Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Oakham Town Council Contracts and Payments a strong indicator of corruption

The way in which Oakham Town Council Tender its contracts or should I say don't as is currently
stand is a concern. There are a lot of indications that the council could or has acted corruptly.
Although there are very strong indications of this, I have no hard evidence to confirm this. 
There is very clear evidence that the council does not advertise widely and most normal procurement
procedures expected of any council are not followed. Last year the office was given instructions to tender for contracts that come to an end very soon and they have done nothing accept bring 
the matter back to council this week. It is not the job of Councillors to seek tenders or quotes
it is the Clerks job.

Dear Adam Lowe Chairman

As you are aware the procurement of contracts and service has never been satisfactory.

Observing over the years I have witnessed many indicators of possible fraud and corruption.
The most obvious was when AA Cleaning Services Tendered and then were permitted to withdraw
their tender at the last minute and then submit a cheaper offer after the closing date after they claimed they made an error
their tneder was then accepted by the Council.

Then we have the situation of the town bench painting which the former clerk said is split so the contractor Greggs
does not need to tender. Which is an indicator of corruption, It is also illegal for the council to permit this I did raise
this very issue at a previous meeting and the former Clerk noted my comments but no action was taken and the job
is still split into two Parks and Street Benches.

This week the schedule of payments indicate split payments once again I am referring to two payments made to
Lite Ltd on the same day the council only approved the higher payment and not the second payment.
A third payment was made in November 2016
As we know Lite Ltd put up and take down and store the town Christmas Lights and provide a tree in accordance with one contract
so it would be expected that one invoice would be paid that matches the amount agreed in the contract.
Looking at this months schedule of payments it looks like a single procurement has been split into two or more purchase orders or contracts, one below upper level that requires approval of the full council, we are also constantly favoring the same companies even when they provide us with a visible poor service, this according to advice can be a strong indicator of corruption.

I am not sure why the office finds it difficult to seek a wider choice of companies to tender.
In the past there have been some indication that they just can not be bothered to seek them
and provide value for money for the tax payers.
A failure to advertise correctly

And an impatient attitude from some councillors this was very evident last year when the council attempted to find a Christmas tree
supplier at a reasonable price twice the efforts by councillors to seek quotes were interrupted by your impatience to procure a very expensive
tree from Lite Ltd. I hope this wont be repeated again this year and we actually get to consider more than one quotation this year


Martin Brookes