11 June 2007 | Paul Snell
The Isle of Wight Council has suspended seven of its staff, including its purchasing manager, pending an investigation into a contract to buy consultancy services.
A report commissioned by the council last November found the appointment of consulting firm High-Point Rendel on a highways contract was unlawful. It also stated some council officials were aware of the situation and did not take any action.
In a statement to supplymanagement.com the authority said the council's purchasing manager, the director of policy, performance and partnerships, the director of regeneration and development, the director of finance, the head of engineering services, the principal highways service engineer and the programme lead for compliance have all been suspended while the investigation continues.
Three of the staff, the director of regeneration and development, director of finance and the director of policy, performance and partnerships are also facing disciplinary proceedings.
Law firm Sharpe Pritchard is investigating the position of the procurement. The employment issues of the contract are being examined by lawyers Wragge & Co. The results of the investigation are expected later this year.