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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Community Appraisal

Let me start by declaring an interest in the Community Appraisal work that was carried out to ascertain the needs of the community. Except for any Sunday issues; or windfarms; or anything else controversial.

I am astonished to see the response rate of 25% which was justified as comparing "favourably with that of a typical resident survey", given that the tender document said "It is hoped that a return rate in excess of 80% can be achieved."

The 2,995 responses returned cost the Comhairle over £13 each, virtually every penny of which went to Edinburgh.

We were part of consortium which submitted a tender assuming a response rate of 50% (which we did think was still high), which would have cost the Comhairle under £5 per returned survey, every penny of which would have been recycled in the islands.

We proposed to have a team of 10+ individuals doing manual data entry using an existing network of freelancers, whilst the winners took the documents and had them scanned on the mainland.

Strangest of all, the Comhairle approved the tender at the figure mentioned in the report to Policy & Finance (21/6/07 item 42), but awarded the contract at about 90% of this figure some four weeks later, for no apparent good reason.

No doubt my FoI request - due by next week, after interminable delays and a deemed refusal following the Comhairle's failure to reply - will shed light on the matter.

Still, I'm sure it was value for money.


Anonymous said...

Why did you not just start this post by saying: once more something has not gone my way, therefore I am obviously bitter. And as it was done by an organisation I used to be in I will now to proceed to attack them as is my will, want and right

It's the same with all your Isles related posts. If things are that bad why don't you declare now that you will stand again for the Comhairle or against the current MSP/MP and get campaigning on these issues. Will make a lot more difference than just sniping from the sidelines (which all the time is lessening your reputation)

- A disgruntled reader

Anonymous said...

anon 10:41

A bit harsh on Angus

Things will even up when the local Labour party elect Docus as their candidate! Angus can go in firing both broadsides evenly. I look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I think Angus has been far too fair with this posting.
I have been told that the local consortium would have employed at least a dozen islanders across all the islands over a period of about 3 months. Many hours of hard work went into the bid, which would have broken even, just to bring the work to the islands and to help to set a benchmark for other organisations to bring this type of work here in order to create jobs, something that the Comhairle should consider fairly high priority when considering tenders.
The price difference between the local bid and the successful bid was about £30,000. For the absence of doubt, the local consortium bid £30,000 LESS than Mori.
This is not bitterness, it is reality.
Does every council tax payer out there believe that the questionnaire that they received was worth £30,000 of their own money? Obviously 75% of them didn't because they didn't even bother to fill the thing in.
I can think of many things that the Comhairle could have spent £30k on. Paying the sports centre staff to open on Sunday is just one example. This money could have employed 1 - 2 people for an entire year doing something useful, instead it has gone to a large, off island, faceless organisation who will bring nothing back to us.
So, disgruntled reader you may be, but you are obviously one of the "decision makers" who don't like the reality of your decisions being in the public domain. I suggest you stop reading and continue to bury your head in the sand.