Working group to oversee contract awards

30 October 2009

30 October 2009 | Allie Anderson

A West Yorkshire authority is to set up a purchasing panel in response to "serious concerns" raised by an investigation into its procurement processes.

Calderdale Council told SM it will establish an all-party working group to oversee the award of contracts for services worth more than £60,000.

Earlier this year, following members' complaints about the handling of a waste disposal contract, Calderdale commissioned a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). It found several "potential breaches" of EU procurement rules, including failure to consider various purchasing methods such as engagement in competitive dialogue or negotiations.

It also exposed a lack of transparency in the council's requirements, and found that two bids were permitted from winning bidder Sita UK, instead of one (Web news, 25 September ).

Members questioned whether the council had done enough to ensure the winning waste management provider collaborated with its preferred local social enterprise, Kerbside. Sita UK started work on the deal in August 2008, but failed to strike a partnership with Kerbside.

Council chief executive Owen Williams, who will set up the allparty group, called the procedures in the waste collection contract "unacceptable". He will also carry out investigations into the conduct of officers involved in the deal.

PwC's recommendations were approved by the council on 1 October. A spokesman said further details, including which members will sit on the panel and how it will operate, would not be known for "some time".


Birmingham, West Midlands
HS2 Ltd
London (Greater)
£50,800 plus up to £10,000 Recruitment Retention Allowance
House of Lords
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