Minister says EU regs stop govt rejecting #Carillion on finance grounds. Oh really?

Cabinet Minister David Lidington

As the SKWAWKBOX covered on Monday, Cabinet Minister David Lidington attempted to deflect blame for the government’s continued award of huge projects to collapsed construction and outsourcing giant Carillion onto the European Union.

Lidington claimed that EU regulations prevented the government from rejecting Carillion’s bids on financial grounds.

According to the government’s own procurement website, he was talking nonsense.

The Brief guide to the EU Public Contracts Directive (2014) to on the ‘gov.uk’ website outlines the process for the procurement of goods and services for the public sector. In spite of its name, it’s not very brief – it consists of seventeen pages.

But it is very clear, in section 20, about the process for selecting suppliers and the criteria for accepting or rejecting those who bid for a contract:

procure regs.png

Not only are those deciding where to award a contract supposed to assess bidders on their ‘economic and financial standing‘, with particular mention made of ‘levels of financial soundness‘ – but the guide even puts that assessment above the question of their technical ability to do the job.


If the Tories want to say something to deflect blame, they’d be better choosing something a little less checkable.

What they actually achieved was to intensify the obviousness of their guilt in the Carillion debacle even further.

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  1. Heard him say “rules” prevented them from taking financial soundness into consideration but missed the part where he tried to blame the EU.
    Good job finding the truth – was pretty sure it was bullshit so looked on Gov site myself but couldn’t find it.

    Corbyn-blaming obviously wouldn’t fly this time so the weasels tried Plan B – hang it on Blair-Brown.
    Looks like their box of tricks is just about empty.

    A new low for the “party of financial responsibility” or just the most undeniable example of their ineptitude that’s come to light so far?

    Not much chance of the Tories admitting any responsibility for this or any other clusterfuck but some of the innocent deluded among their supporters might finally see them for the despicable, lying incompetents they truly are.

  2. Well here we go- the laziest excuses are already booming! However the largest seems to be the low margins on the Contracts. Rubbish!! Of course there should be limitations of greed but Tenders for Contractors should be based on accurate tendering and the perception that good practice ( not deliberate low level action) in running the projects efficiently should enable the Projects to be profitable – even if not highly.
    Question really is how many people in a year have been paid £1million plus bonuses and Salaries. How can executive ( especially those who have stepped down- still be paid £660k salaries. Takes a lot of profit just to meet that salary. How much has been paid to shareholders. Who are the shareholders ( many worms in the woodwork there as one will eventually see and many will be seen to be part of the underworld of issuing these large contracts.
    Thatcher and Heseltine started this all up to feather their own nests when they deliberately removed all organisations such as the PSA who looked after Govt Organisations Estates. Some of the first to go to these new companies to run and administer for example were large chunks of Portsmouth Royal Dockyard (MOD) RAF Shawbury and a dozen or so others. Heseltine oversaw the main work and he even sanctioned a complete redraw of all Property Plans etc for every building /asset so that they could be handed to new Contractors ( without any cost to these Companies)- must of cost couple of million. Also duplicated PSA work to prove so called cost in inefficiencies by insisting that everything the PSA did was duplicated and run parallel by consultants – no need what so ever as PSA employed all these skills. A Group of companies owned my Heseltine ( not sure of name but they owned things like Biffa Waste, Initial Towel services and many more I believe) were awarded some of first as trial and then another company SERCO was awarded another tranche. Dennis Thatcher was on the Board of Serco at the time. Absolutely stinks and was proven ( but by using creative accounting ) that it was grossly costly. An example I recall that became a local laugh was w new timber pedestrian door on an aircraft hanger being replaced 4 times in a year because a procurement instruction issued by a young clerk – used a BQ style airing cupboard door ( perfectly suitable for interior door) was used and disintegrated after a few weeks exposed to the weather off the Atlantic. These companies made a killing in money. These MP’s and those that followed should be jailed as it was basically bad practice and with financial undertones at the highest levels.
    Ultimately though if the margins were supposedly so poor – most companies would not undertake further commitments on same basis.
    Since Thatcher started it – the whole system can be construed as a organised structure to enable favourable ways of working to the inner circles of Big Big Businesses with right connections. Probable connotations resulting and having existed through this period is left to the reader to think about and probably surmise the worst. These things are of course never sought out – let alone relevant people held to account- very intrinsic web that is virtually impossible to unfold and can only be stopped when people have the bottle to say enough is enough – lets start again and ensure full accountability.

  3. The key problem here is not simply that the Government are corrupt and incompetent it’s that the whole British Establishment and British State is built upon and based on a paradigm in which the core systemic principles are based on venality.

    As such, it cuts right across the formal/nominal political Party structure and key institutions where even large sections of institutions and organisations supposed to offer an alternative, from the Labour & Trade Union movements through to the third sector (even Momentum have apparently accepted what Malcolm X referred to as a ‘house slave’ in the form of John Macternan as a member), have been subject to institutional capture.

    It’s little wonder a large part of the Scottish population have lost patience.

    The bottom line is that the British State and it’s Establishment is not fit for purpose. It/They are dysfunctional. Their ideas and ideology do not work on a practical level and its continued survival will drag not only themselves but the rest of the country down with Them/It to a point where survival in many senses will be questionable.

    As matters are currently constructed, under our unwritten, pliable and flexible for those with power Constitution, there seems little possibility of the Establishments political Party in Government losing a Parliamentary vote requiring it to go to the country whilst the Establishments Party of Loyal Opposition remains outside that State Establishments full control.

    This means at least another four and half years of increasingly futile attrition under worsening conditions in which a whole swathe of sectors: from the ACO model for health care, through to free schools and increasing privatisation of security covering police services and possibly even the military; see the NHS, the Education system, policing, security, justice, food production, transport and most, if not all infrastructure, will result in them going the same way as Carillon.

    With replacement employment from previous waves of automation and technological job substitution paying wage renumeration levels far below that of the jobs they replaced it is reasonable to surmise that the coming wave of employment substitution from AI will further exacerbate that trend. Which begs the question of whether the small in number elites who form such Establishments have reached the point of believing they no longer need large sections of the population they exploit to produce what they require.

    Unfortunately even being where we are now,dire as matters are, there remains a sufficiently large section of the voting populace ready to die in a ditch to insist of continuing down this dysfunctional route. Even with 40%+ of the vote in opinion polls under Corbyn there remains a similar % of the population behind the Establishment Party and it’s unworkable doctrines.

    Consequently it cannot be assumed that even a Hard Brexit and its aftermath will shift such entrenched positions. Which may be a moot point as by 2022 we may well be past the point of no return.

    Which leaves the logical and rational option of trying to find a way of forcing the issue and lancing the boil once and for all. As things stand the only option which presently springs to mind is a strong enough shock to prise an opening. Presently, the only thing I see on the horizon is the second Independence Referendum in Scotland.

  4. Can you imagine for one moment that if a socialist Labour government tried to sort out the Carillion fiasco and other capitalist messes it inherits that it would not fall foul of EU regulations? After all, the Treaty of Lisbon (which is the EU constitution by another name) is the only such document in the world which enshrines capitalism as its “state religion.”

    1. Hi labrebisgalloise, I haven’t read the Treaty but from what you say we all ought to.
      Is there a link anyone could point to or a clause/section number?
      EU Publications website server won’t provide the actual document.

      Considered myself pro- a reformed (socialist-led) EU but if that’s not possible…
      Halfway through the TUAEU piece – some interesting points there.

  5. This foul piece of work has form:

    In May 2009, The Daily Telegraph revealed Lidington had claimed nearly £1,300 for his dry cleaning and had also claimed for toothpaste, shower gel, body spray and vitamin supplements on his second home allowance.[10]Lidington decided to repay the claims for the toiletries, saying: “I accept that many people would see them as over-generous.”
    Lidington was also criticised by local newspaper the Bucks Herald for claiming £115,891 in expenses in one year, almost double his salary.

    Lidington’s shameful CV starts from the very beginning. He went to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge and whilst there was Chair of the Cambridge University Conservative Association which, in the previous generation, had supplied Thatcher with her Cabinet – who concealed Peter Morrison’s abuse of children in care in north Wales – including Ken Clarke, John Selwyn Gummer, Michael Howard and Norman Lamont. So Lidington was following in the footsteps of the Greats. Did you perhaps get to know some of them whilst you were at Cambridge David? I’m sure that the corrupt old bastards who were prepared to ignore suspicious deaths for the sake of Peter Morrison’s continued participation in sex parties with kids in care were invited back to their Alma Mater to dispense their wisdom and recruit the next generation of complete scumbags. Lidington was Deputy President of the Cambridge University Students Union and before doing some very dirty deeds at the Home Office for Douglas Hurd, he worked for BP and Rio Tinto.

    Why the people of Aylesbury vote for him I do not know

  6. Tory tripe as usual! You can just imagine them … “Oh, I’ve got a good one! Why don’t we just blame the EU?”
    Not that they care whether we believe them or not – they’ll just keep on regurgitating the same old rubbish anyway … like Boris banging back on today about £350m+ for the NHS

  7. Today we see the Tory dream exposed as bankrupt.

    Jeremy Corbyn better have the metaphorical baseball bats ready at PMQs tomorrow and smack them the fuck out of the park. It’ll be his biggest opportunity yet.

    Please don’t fuck it up, Jeremy!

  8. Interesting to hear on this evenings BBC news that George Osborne wanted to bring PFI contracts back in-house.

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