I'm trying to be helpful here, but one major cost that the Council incurs has not been the subject of tendering for a huge number of years.
I believe that putting this out to tender would save money, by getting a better price (perhaps 10% lower), and by allowing better monitoring of costs which I believe are running wild and uncontrolled.
So why has this £500,000 pa cost never been put out for tender?
It nearly was, but the last report around 2006 which was originated by Council Officers and demonstrated huge potential benefits never made it to the Committee. Apparently, it was blocked by more senior officers and not by Members, who never knew anything about it.
Why is the usage of petrol and diesel by Comhairle vehicles not the subject of tendering and consequently more tightly controlled?
To do so - perhaps by the use of fuel cards, which could benefit other business on the islands - would also allow the Council to monitor usage and consumption per vehicle, and it should reduce the number of Council vehicles doing the 'bacon roll' run every morning.
The narrower financial issues make it a matter for Commercial Operations Board; the wider economic impact issues make it a matter for Sustainable Development; and the broader policy issues make it a matter for Policy and Resources.
Although the Chair of P&R would have to declare an interest and step aside, there is nothing to stop his firm tendering in a fair and open process.
Just what is the downside to this proposal? Nothing. So why is it not on any agenda?
* Councillors: you will be asked to take a decision that has already been made for you, and is already being implemented. The justification for the decision is entirely false, and is about getting very senior officers out of the mess they made for themselves. More details to follow when I see the report, which will be taken in private and probably given to you at the last moment.