Monday, September 13, 2010

£100 million paid to consultants, ‘pals of pals’ culture became rife and unchecked under the Labour Party, we need legisaltion not guidelines now

Dear All

Scotland is corrupt.

It is something which I blog on all the time to show how social interconnecting networks effectively operate like drugs cartels.

Some people refer to it as ‘jobs for the boys’.

Now, more of the corruption is seeping as the public find that Public bodies have spent millions of pounds on contracts to consultancy firms run by their former employees.

As regular readers of this blog know, Glasgow University is corrupt; several former University employees got contracts and opportunities to make further money after they had left university employment.

In other words, we see public money flowing into the pockets of ‘pals of pals’ which in any other commercial business would send alarm bells ringing!

This is problem is a direct result of how the Labour Party operated the quango system through-out Britain.

The cost of consultants hitting the public purse is £100 million a year.

And the kind of work they are doing throws up questions, IT, human resources, management, finance, engineering and the law.

Why can’t in-house staff do this?

And effectively why are we paying or employing people who don’t have the skills and expertise?

As I have said, corruption in Scotland is new but how does it work, quite simple, Government hasn’t a clear strategy for using consultants.

You know it as ‘don’t ask don’t tell’!

The abuse of the system is widespread and endemic right through Scotland, quangos, agencies, councils and police bodies have all awarded work to firms run by their former managers and executives.

I would say that the policy should be simple; ‘you’re gone, you’re gone’, it is a small step in how to stamp this practice out.

Scottish Enterprise is a case for investigation, it handed large chunks of work to the firm’s of one-time employees, John Kelly left a management post at Scottish Enterprise and joined consultancy EKOS Ltd.

He is a director but he made networking contacts which kept him in the loop and minds of Scottish Enterprise.

And that has paid off to the tune of £6 million since 2001, however Kelly disputes the figure obtained under Freedom of Information.

Scottish Enterprise via a spokeswoman says they stand by the £6m figure, but then they are answerable to the Scottish Government.

So, the bottom line is they are all at right across the board and through-out Scotland.

The Tory/Lib Dem Government is pledged to tackle the quango system and they have made a start that work needs to happen in Scotland.

This is an issue that the next Scottish Government must tackle as savings must be and have to be made.

‘Pals of Pals’ culture must be banned.

Opposition MSPs have spoken out because for them this is political capital and there is an election next year at Holyrood.

Labour MSP Hugh Henry said:

“I want Scottish Ministers to investigate these contracts and I will also be writing to Audit Scotland to examine whether these practices represent value for money.

Jeremy Purvis, the LibDem finance spokesman said:

“This sounds like a revolving-door culture that cannot continue. It also appears to come at a very high cost to the public.”

Margaret Mitchell, a Tory MSP in said:

“Organisations should have the in-house staff whose expertise would mean that consultants would not need to be hired. But if consultants are hired, as a last resort, value for money is paramount. It is not acceptable to hand out these sorts of contracts without a tender.”

Both Henry and Purvis weren’t vocal about this practice under the Labour/Lib Dem Executive coalition at Holyrood.

Now, they have found a voice.

Much more in terms of legislation is needed, guidelines are not enough.

Corrupt Scotland 2010.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

No comments: