William Eichler 11 April 2018

Council criticised for procurement ‘maladministration’

Council criticised for procurement ‘maladministration’  image

A council in Northern Ireland has been criticised for ‘maladministration’ in its procurement of stewarding services.

The public services Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, stating the local authority did not follow proper procurement procedures for an event in 2016.

The complainant Andrew McQuillan claimed he had been told his company could bid for the contract to provide stewarding services for Armed Forces Day, but was later told it had already been awarded to another company.

The Ombudsman concluded the council should have obtained a quote from Mr McQuillan’s company, as well as the other company (referred to in the report as Company A).

It said not to do so amounted to ‘maladministration’.

‘The council’s failure to obtain a quote from the complainant’s company to provide stewarding services at Armed Forces Day did not meet the requirements of the council’s financial regulations,’ the report stated.

The Ombudsman also criticised the events assistant for not disclosing their former connection with Company A and for advising the company to keep its quote under procurement thresholds.

The assistant’s actions were ‘inappropriate’, the report said.

‘I am satisfied that the maladministration I identified caused the complainant to experience the injustice of a loss of opportunity to have his proposal considered by the council,’ the Ombudsman concluded.

‘He also experienced the injustice of frustration and uncertainty and outrage based on his belief that the Council’s procurement in this case was improper.’

Responding to the report, a council spokesperson said: ‘The council has received the report and is in the process of implementing the recommendations.

‘The report will be considered at the next meeting of the Audit Committee.’

Best practice in resident ballots image

Best practice in resident ballots

Residents on the South Kilburn Estate overwhelmingly voted in favour of council plans to regenerate their neighbourhood in October 2019. Brent’s strategic director for regeneration and environment Amar Dave shares the lessons learned for other landlords holding resident ballots.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Education, Health and Care (EHC) Co-ordinators

Buckinghamshire Council
£30,874 - £37,188 per annum
Interested in a career as an EHC Coordinator? Come along to our drop-in event to meet members of the SEND team and find out more about the role! England, Buckinghamshire, Aylesbury
Recuriter: Buckinghamshire Council

Head of the Gloucestershire Pension Fund

Gloucestershire County Council
up to £71,376
Give your time and talent for the people who gave us theirs. Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Head of Quality, Performance and Systems

Norfolk County Council
£65,817 - £73,638 per annum
Children’s Services in Norfolk are on a rapid upward trajectory. Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norfolk County Council

Social Worker - Youth Offending Team

Essex County Council
Negotiable
This post is based in Epping Please ensure you provide a supporting statement when applying for this role. We cannot accept any applications without England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

SEND 16-25 Officer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£29,636 - £33,799 per annum
An exciting opportunity has become available in a busy Special Educational Needs team. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine