Council Breaking Law Over Waste Consultant Contract

town hall 4The Council has broken the law outlining how they must award contracts and tenders.

The Town Hall has revealed that they acted illegally in continuing to offer consultancy work to SLR.

The company was paid around £150,000 in the 2012/13 financial year, to advise the Council on waste.

But the job should have been put out to tender so other interested parties could pitch for the work.

The European Union imposes strict rules on how contracts should be offered out when they reach certain financial limits.

Director of Place Craig Dryden told members of the General Purposes Committee that they didn’t realise how much technical expertise would be required when they first took the firm on.

But he said the amount paid over the years now meant they were “definitely in breach of EU regulations.”

He pointed out that the money had come from central government rather than islands’ ratepayers.

It means they’ll have to terminate the contract with SLR by the end of the month and advertise the work.

Members heard that SLR have a number of key pieces of work to complete, including generating a plan for ending the use of Moorwell as a landfill facility.

Cllr Richard McCarthy asked if that could be done by 28th February. Craig said there wasn’t any choice, although much of that work is already in place.

An employee of SLR also manages the incinerator facility on a part time contract.

Cllr Andy Guy was concerned that the Council had already paid a considerable amount of money to SLR. He asked whether they’d have to spend that again, “on more consultants to tell us what we already know.”

But committee chairman Cllr Steve Sims said SLR would be free to retender for the contract.

Cllr Gaz O’Neill demanded to know how the Council had got itself into this situation. He said it was “disappointing and worrying” and asked if they’d be having a similar conversation a few years from now.

Craig said the Town Hall would be looking more closely at how it secures its contracts in the future, adding that new Chief Executive, Theo Leijser, wants them to be a “legal Council.”

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