It appears that it’s not just the farmers that are up in arms about the failed £200m CAPs system that is currently still being worked on at Saughton House in Edinburgh.
Whistleblower reports sent to the authorities and to Nicola Sturgeon warned that there was a genuine belief that the project was being deliberately sabotaged by senior management who stood to profit massively from their actions.
Nicola Sturgeon referred the matter back to the Scottish Government at the beginning of the year but beyond that appears to have done nothing.
The Crown after reviewing the evidence instructed a multi-agency investigation but it appears that they too have failed to act.
Now the Scottish farmers are without their subsidies, the system is currently a £200m failure which it is believed is increasing in cost by in excess of £10m per month, and there is little or no belief that the system will ever work.
Meanwhile it is believed that some senior managers have received payments in excess of £1m each for their part in the ongoing failure.
A small group of UK consultants have now come forward saying that they can deliver a working system by the end of February for less than 1/10th of the current cost if the Scottish Government acts swiftly and shares the requirements and current design documentation.
Furthermore, they believe that if the Scottish Government continues with the existing project, then the whole project will fail with disastrous consequences for the Scottish farmers.
“The current system is over-engineered, slow, and unmanageable.” the group claimed, “we would look to review the requirements, considerably simplify the design and would regularly review our work with both the Scottish Government and the farmers to reassure them of the ongoing success of our efforts. We would welcome an open and honest environment and would even welcome interested parties and press to join the project on a regular if not permanent basis as part of that policy of openness.”
A number of the group claim that they worked on the existing CAPs system and flagged up grave concerns about the way it was being developed but were over-ruled by management who they believe were interested only in deploying more and more people for whom they could charge their own margin.
It is claimed by some of these people that nearly every British worker on the project was replaced by (largely) unskilled workers brought in from outside the EU. Many of these workers they believe were brought onto the project through an agency owned by the Development Director using Tier 2 visas and that his agency received a cut of each workers daily pay.
It is not surprising therefore, that they claim to have seen documents in which he insisted that these people worked long hours and weekends to make the system work as he stood to gain personally from their overtime – and the more overtime they did, the more money he made.
Even now there are unconfirmed claims that as many as 60 people have been authorised to work every weekend from now until the end of the year. Yet the belief is that this is nothing more than “milking the system before it fails decisively”.
In a document seen by this site the UK Workers offering to save the system claim that their number include analysts, designers and developers who worked on the existing system and know the requirement intimately and who claim they were terminated after they warned the Scottish Government that the system they had been forced to implement was over-engineered and would never work.
“We have calculated the the current system has a cash burn of over £10m per month and has no hope of ever working.” one consultant stated, “so our offer is not only a way out for the Scottish Government, and a glimmer of hope for the Scottish Farmers, but it will save the Government tens if not hundreds of millions going forward.”
Not only are this group confident that they can deliver the system, but they have committed to train and use Scottish Workers, some of whom currently work for the Scottish Government and to liaise with the Farmers and the Farmers Unions to reassure them of their ongoing success.
“This project should be about delivering a good working system for the Scottish Farmers, and creating jobs and skills for the Scottish People.” the group added.
“At no point was it necessary for the Government and their suppliers to bring in hundreds of people from outside the EU to work on the current system. These workers are not interested in the success of the project. They are interested only in a route into the UK that will allow them to establish permanent residency. Likewise, some of the managers who facilitated this appear to have benefited considerably from the decision to use these people and the routes that were used to bring them on board.”
“By using Scottish people to do the work you are using people who have a vested interest in the projects success because they are a part of the community who will benefit from that success.”
Richard Lochhead and the Scottish Government are urged to look into this offer seriously.