Saturday, 23 July 2011

Edinburgh City Council official sacked in contracts probe

A COUNCIL officer has been sacked after he was found to be listed as a director of a building firm now being investigated over repair contracts awarded by the local authority.

Scott McDonald, 32, was dismissed from Edinburgh City Council after his connection to the company was discovered.

News of the sacking comes as the council’s Property Conservation Department is under investigation by Lothian and Borders Police for alleged corruption. A total of 18 members of the department and one planning officer have been suspended while the investigation takes place.

The department controls all essential repairs to buildings in Edinburgh and is responsible for £30 million worth of essential works in the capital a year.

The allegations centre on the awarding of contracts by council officials to crony building companies.

My comment: Pity they aren't as keen in England on rooting out Council corruption. However, when we have English Local Government Ombudsmen who are reluctant to accept council staff lie, let alone commit any more serious wrongdoings, what can you expect. 

Read the full story from the source Herald Scotland You may have to register to read the full article.

Read all articles about Edinburgh City Council on this blog

UPDATE 20th September 2011: Corruption claims against Edinburgh council officials.

There are calls for a review of recent work carried out under the statutory notice system, which allows the council to order repairs to private homes.

The BBC understands that police have been passed evidence claiming a council officer went on holidays paid for by a contractor.

The property conservation department's hospitality records until 2009 have now been lost.

BBC Scotland commissioned two experts - quantity surveyor Gordon Murdie and structural engineer John Addison - to examine cases where work was carried out under the statutory notice system.

They concluded that the residents had been over-charged, and that some of the repairs were unnecessary, of poor quality and may actually have made the buildings worse.

Scotland's Property Scandal will be broadcast at 22:35 on Tuesday 20 September on BBC1 Scotland, and on the iPlayer 

My comment:  What about the property scandals in England and Wales? Pity our councils and authorities aren't as keen as those in Scotland to root out bribery and corruption. Or, in some cases making it difficult for the public to find out exactly what private company interests their officers have.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

UPDATE 1ST December 2011: Four sacked after Edinburgh housing repairs probe.

Four members of staff at Edinburgh City Council have been dismissed over an alleged multi-million pound housing repair scam, BBC Scotland has learned.

It is understood the workers were sacked after an internal investigation into the way contracts were awarded for work relating to statutory notices.

About 500 people had complained about statutory housing repairs with concerns including costs and unnecessary work.

When the allegations came to light last year, at least 15 staff were suspended.

My comment: Another 'where were the Scottish Watchdogs and Ombudsmen' to stop this happening?  You can't tell me that at least one of the complainants didn't complain to them.

As far as England is concerned I know why the Local Government Ombudsmen would never be involved. Firstly they think that council officers taking a bung is an urban myth and secondly their track record suggests that even if they came across any evidence of such behaviour during one of their investigations they wouldn't tell the Police.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

No comments:

Post a Comment