Thursday, 27 September 2012

Being asked today at the Executive meeting I hope

Dear Mr Chair.

I recently was denied a Freedom of Information request regarding the £100m Wilson Bowmen contract on commercially sensitive grounds.

In July 2012 in the previous meeting the minutes state

Panel noted the four principles of good scrutiny as identified by the Centre for
Public Scrutiny. With regards to the principle 'to reflect the voice and concerns of the
public and its communities', Members questioned how the public could be involved in scrutiny. they were informed that they could attend pubic scrutiny meetings,
ask questions at meetings, suggest topics for review or could pass their concerns on
to their local councillor. Agendas for public meetings were also sent to the local media.

Audit Commission Annual Plan 2011/12 also notes the dangers of the partnerships

"The risk of error and misstatement appearing in the financial statements will increase if weaknesses continue in your arrangements for the valuation of assets."

"At present the progress of the Transformation Programme does not take place in a public meeting. There is a risk that existing reporting lines do not enable effective scrutiny of progress by members outside of executive and other interested stakeholders."

Do you accept that a £100m council funded contract where there was little consultation and land and asset valuations have not met the auditors expectations and controlled by a select few people who are from the same organization presents a risks to mismanagement of funds and public value for money.

Also your current purchasing decisions state that 80% service and 20% price as determining factors. This again maintains opportunities for 'relationships' and I feel there should be a scale. If one company charges twice and much and is a 99% 'trusted' supplier and another company is locally trusted but does not have a relationship a member of the council council they may get a trusted score of 50% and could never get the work even if they were to offer it at half the price.

I feel the 80% 20% does not represent the purchasing style of the people you represent and would wish for tenders to be more openly scrutinized and higher quotes justified with an independent other.

Update. The answer

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