Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Auditors go in

Yesterday the Assembly voted to advise the Mayor to call the auditors in for a full investigation of the recent grants controversy. Let's see if he takes our advice...

Meanwhile there was another auditor's report on the agenda. Who remembers Bob Kiley and his consultancy contract? It was a short report but it made some sound points:

the nature of the services provided by Mr Kiley has been such that there is no written documentation available to demonstrate that value for money has been received. TfL has not requested written reports from Mr Kiley, rather advice has been taken in meetings between the Mayor and the Commissioner and Mr Kiley. The consultancy agreement requires Mr Kiley to provide details of days spent performing the services to TfL. TfL has not to date requested such details from Mr Kiley or put in place any other monitoring arrangements. Whilst we understand that the consultancy was set up on a retainer basis, the absence of a documented monitoring process is, in our view, a weakness.

There's a familiar theme here...

And on the subject of the agreement itself:

We also note that the terms of TfL's remuneration committee have since been amended so that the remuneration committee is now required to agree to the terms of any compromise agreements with senior officers. However, the Chair of TfL is also the Chair of the remuneration committee. This, in our view, is an unusual situation. The Combined Code on Corporate Governance (which applies to listed companies) states that the members of the remuneration committee should be independent non executive directors.

TfL's response is that their Chair is unpaid, so that makes him independent...

And on the money paid:

from our discussions I understand that TfL does not intend to make payments to Mr Kiley while he is ill and not available to provide services to TfL. Specifically, if Mr Kiley submits an invoice for the payment due on the contract date of 1 July 2007 this will not be paid while Mr Kiley is unwell and not able to work. TfL should also consider whether any part of the payment made on 1 January 2007 for the six months commencing on that date should be allocated to future services provided, as Mr Kiley has not been available to provide advice since late March 2007.

TfL respond that it is 'not considered appropriate to seek reimbursement.'

So the curtain falls on another Labour scandal involving poor financial controls and waste of public money. Nothing more to see here - it's time to move on...

1 comment:

sjm said...

OK, this is going to be a 'why, oh why' moment:

why, oh why, does Mayor Livingstone and his cronies think it is ok to play fast and loose with MY money, in a way that would be jumped up and down on by HMRC and the law if practiced in a private company?

What is it with this load of spivs and barrow boys - in which I include the Labour Govt - that when they don't like rules and laws they have themselves brought in, they just shrug their shoulders?

Talk about power 'tending' to corrupt!