Audit Scotland has issued a request for comments on Futures Program CAP system, but the truth is they already knew and completely failed to act.
This site has seen correspondence between whistleblowers and Audit Scotland that were sent almost weekly from December 2014 to March 2015 and have seen other documents and statements that pre-date that.
Whilst it is reassuring that Audit Scotland is finally acting it is concerning that they only ever seem to act after the event.
Indeed, one email seen dated 9th March, 2015 and addressed to Audit Scotland and copied to both Richard Lochhead and the First Minister showed the exasperation one whistleblower had with Audit Scotland themselves and is quoted in full below:
I should like to thank Michael xxx of Audit Scotland who has emailed me to reassure me that “We will reflect on the relevant concerns you have raised to inform our ongoing monitoring of the Programme”
Wonderful news. I will most certainly sleep well tonight knowing that Audit Scotland are monitoring the project, just as they monitored the Edinburgh Tram system and even provided ongoing reports right up to the very end, after which Herald Scotland reported
It is understood Edinburgh City Council could consider another court tangle involving its own arm’s-length company.
It was set up to deliver major transport projects in the city and a firm that provided it with advice.
The news comes as an online campaign and petition was launched for a public inquiry into how the project cost £776 million, more than the original £545m, and arrived three years late.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government said: “As we have said on many occasions before we would welcome a public inquiry.
“We would then intend to meet with the council to discuss how any inquiry could be best structured to establish clear lessons for similar projects going forward.
[Daniel Donaldson] said: “Lessons have to be learned concerning how large scale, public infrastructure projects of this type are procured, managed and audited for public value.
“If lessons are not learned from the Edinburgh Trams project, there is a real risk that we will all pay the price again in the future.
It is also reassuring to read the various reports Audit Scotland produced during and after the construction of the Scottish Parliament Building
Yes, I am definitely reassured to know that you are monitoring this project in the same manner that you monitored the Parliament Building and the Edinburgh Tram System.
Let me guess – another report in 5 years time to reiterate that “lessons must be learned”?
No wonder Scotland appears to blunder from hundred million pound failure to hundred million pound failure.
Imagine if Audit Scotland ran the fire service
“Yes, there was a fire. We monitored it. It spread throughout Edinburgh and raised most of the city to the ground. We must learn lessons for next time. We’ve appointed a committee to consider trying to extinguish the next fire.”
Or if Audit Scotland ran the police service
“Yes, there were a number of crimes. We monitored them. Unchecked, they too spread like wildfire. We must learn lessons for next time. We’ve appointed a committee to consider trying to mitigate crime in the future.”
I look forward to your report in 2020 detailing the lessons that you must learn when the AFRC project becomes a financial and political disaster – albeit “monitored” by Audit Scotland all the way to the very end.
At least I’ve tried to wake you sorry lot up to what is going on.