I wrote about the losses of the Employability Team before but since the issue has now been reported on by the Performance Review and Scrutiny (PRS) Committee and the full council meeting in June, I feel the time is right to add my own views.
I wrote a report some time ago on the team’s finances and this can be read here. Summary report on Employability Team It’s best to read this as it’s relatively brief but it demonstrates very weak financial management and absolutely no reporting of the financial problems to elected members. By the time the team is wound up it will have burned its way through £1.2m of your money.
The PRS committee’s report which was agreed at the June council meeting can be found here. EMPLOYABIILITY SERVICE CONTRACT FINAL
This is a pretty damning report, and quite right too. At the council meeting in June I said that had I been responsible for something like this when I was principal of Argyll College, ie take on risky contracts, fail to manage the financial risks and, worst of all, not report the losses to my board, I would have been fired. I would have thoroughly deserved that too.
But, in the lala land of local government, I doubt any such thing will happen. There badly needs to be proper accountability in local government and that means individuals being held accountable. Don’t hold your breath.
This is dreadful. We both come from a world where this work is known to be really important and potentially valuable. For us to have to have got to where you’ve described is so sad. I care not at all about the financial numbers (bad as they represent) it’s the people involved that matter and what an Employability Team can do that is the real loss.
Agreed. They did good work but the financial management was woeful and that’s what led to their demise.
Its difficult to imagine a clearer example of gross incompetence. Aside from the officer(s) directly responsible for financial probity there was presumably some sort of designated councillor(s) overseeing role. Do we know who that was?
Without checking I can’t say who the councillors were over this period of time. What I can confirm is that there was no reporting on the finances by officers. In early 2013 they did identify the project as having a red risk but there was no report at all on what the project had actually lost at that time.