Feeds

Bradford procurement slammed

Audit Commission blasts 'weak' process

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been criticised for the way it mismanaged the procurement of a key Asset Management Project (AMP).

Local authority watchdog the Audit Commission has published a damning report highlighting weaknesses in the way the authority sought to find a partner to manage its assets portfolio, a contract that is worth an estimated £1.2bn over 20 years.

The commission launched an inquiry last year after it received allegations from anonymous sources over the way the procurement process was being handled.

Reporting back, the district auditor Ivan McConnell said because of its complexity and lack of unanimous political support within the council, "progress on the project has not always been smooth".

As a result, he found the overall management of the project fell short of the "high standards expected generally for local authorities".

He noted that: "More formal arrangements would have helped to assure members that the portfolio of projects was being managed effectively to maximise benefits and minimise risks."

Because of its poor management, the scheme ended up without a fully effective project structure, the auditor said.

He found there was no dedicated project team, internal resources supporting the project were "at times stretched beyond their capacity" and there were "no formally documented roles and responsibilities for team members". Bradford failed to document the project properly, meaning the records are incomplete. In addition, it failed to predict the fees it eventually paid out to financial advisers on the project, meaning it probably broke its own and European procurement rules.

"In my view these deficiencies contributed to delays in progress and meant that key project control tasks such as management of advisers and documentation were not effectively completed."

He said the council needed to re-appraise its position on the AMP "quickly" and ensure any future project structure for the procurement of asset management is strengthened.

"This report is not about the decision taken by the council to improve its asset management but about the inability of council officers to employ effective procedures to manage this critical project. My conclusion is that there have been significant weaknesses in the appropriate standards required to manage a complex project of this kind."

However, he added that the council's interim chief executive has accepted the recommendations of the report without reservation and has already taken action to implement the report's recommendations.

Read the report here (PDF: 126KB).

Copyright © eGov monitor Weekly

eGov monitor Weekly is a free e-newsletter covering developments in UK eGovernment and public sector IT over the last seven days. To register go here.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.