UK government in fresh Carillion criticism

Just when you think a story has gone away, the British government has come under new fire from one of its committees for its handling of the Carillion collapse, says the Daily Telegraph.

This time it’s the heads of the business and work and pensions committees, Rachel Reeves and Frank Field, who are offering the ammunition. Their concern is that the company’s directors essentially deceived the Crown Representatives – the part-timers charged with overseeing these sorts of engagements – and that the government has refused to review the representatives’ role.

One major concern is that this means the same thing will inevitably happen again.

This might seem fair enough. Intelligent Sourcing makes no comment on the allegation that the directors “pulled the wool over” the Crown Representatives’ eyes (a Brit expression meaning to deceive someone), as the committee suggests; we’re not on the spot and are not going to claim that we know, we merely report that this is what the committee said. However, something went wrong, and the Telegraph report states that it has also emerged that there was no Crown Representative oversight in the months from August to November last year.

This suggests a vast amount of trust offered to Carillion of which, either through error or through a deliberate attempt not to co-operate, it basically wasn’t worthy. The lessons are all too obvious and it’s bewildering they weren’t anticipated beforehand: make sure the people overseeing a contract are experienced and understand the field and…er…make sure you haven’t left any three-month gaps in which the outsourcing partner is unattended..?

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