A whistleblower in 2014 reported what he believed to be a serious conflict of interest when the CAP system Delivery Director replaced swathes of UK workers with contractors through his own agency – many apparently on Tier2 visas which are only supposed to be issued when there are no resident workers available with the requisite skills to do the job.
18 months later the CAP system has become an unmitigated disaster, leaving a £400million hole in the rural economy.
In the same period, accounts from the delivery director’s own agency have shown an increase in assets from £80k to £3.5million.
Today the report from the Audit Commission confirms a conflict of interest that the Scottish Government failed to even register for 8 months let alone act on.
key points from the audit report (paragraphs 123 onwards)
In December 2014, the Scottish Government was notified by a whistle-blower that the delivery director owned an agency that provided both CGI and a recruitment agency used by the Scottish Government with the staff it needed for the programme.
This meant there was an opportunity for the delivery director to benefit financially from the programme recruiting from his company.
There were opportunities for the delivery director to influence recruitment decisions and be involved in the quality assessments for people recruited through his agency.
In January 2016, the Scottish Government identified that out of 107 contractors who were on a day rate higher than that agreed in the original framework with CGI, 97 had been recruited by CGI through the delivery director’s agency
The delivery director was … able to sign off overtime claims for contractors … coming through his agency
The delivery director should not have been on the resources group and allowed a direct involvement in recruitment decisions.
The arrangements that were in place were not strong enough to address the risks and did not ensure value for money.
The delivery director’s conflict of interest was formally recorded on the register… eight months after the Scottish Government was notified of the conflict.
The delivery director was removed from the programme in January 2016.
CGI still uses staff employed through his recruitment agency on the programme
The audit report can be found here: audit-report