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

Monday, August 01, 2011

The Council and fuel prices

The fuel price derogation has had little or no comment from the Council.

Why could that be?  Given it is such a hugely important matter for the community.

Let's make it absolutely clear that there is absolutely no suggestion of impropriety or personal gain.  Absolutely not.  No way, Jose.  Let's put it down to incompetence and low ability thresholds.

If the Council buys a generic product from a number of suppliers, then having a preferred supplier could - must! - drive down prices as the various parties bid against each other.

Let's suggest that there are three suppliers of the same product that differs in price each week and by each supplier, meaning that the best deal may be difficult to locate by the customer.  What would you do to maximise value?

Would you: ask the three suppliers to tender and reduce that to two or even one suppliers based on a discount from the average price.

Would you: consider buying the product in bulk and renting storage and delivery at a fixed price, thereby reducing risk?

Or, would you: run a large and politically sensitive item of expenditure through an innocuously named report via a sub-committee; meaning that there was no proper discussion of the matter, as the majority of Councillors will have missed this.

I refer, M'Lord to Item 9 of the ICT, Procurement and Asset Management Committee; at this Committee the 'framework' agreement whereby the Council employees can buy the fuel wherever has the best bacon rolls.  My sources tell me that there is absolutely no prospect of their being a national contract occurring in the Western Isles, as there is no national supplier. 

Did this mean that the Leader and the Cllr N MacLeod did not have to declare an interest when the matter passed through the Policy and Resources Committee a few days later?

I'd love to tell you one way or another, but the Decision report - which was given to members that day, hasn't reached the web yet.

Does no-one - members or officers - have the sense to see how this must look to the public?  Blindingly obviously not; and that is a real worry.

A critical observer might believe that the backbenchers were being kept in the dark and told how and when to vote, whilst other have free reign to merge personal gain and Council business.  Harsh?  Yes, but that is the perception and this does nothing to remove that doubt.

Worse than that, how can the Council criticise the Governments when it so brazenly mismanages it's own fuel costs?


Anonymous said...

When you have price fluctuations between retailers on an almost weekly basis, a price reduction of 3.3% (5p/liter) will be virtually invisible.

It will also be almost impossible to administer as the any change in price by the retailer or the supplier will mask the minuscule discount. i.e. the consumer will not know if they are getting a discount or if the bulk of it is swallowed up by a slightly bigger margin by the supplier and retailer.

Not worth the effort in my book.

Anonymous said...

Hello from America. Done some calculations based on the current exchange rate.

Cost of petrol in North Uist today is ... $9.37 per US gallon.

Here in rural (no cities or even big towns for a least an hours drive) Iowa, USA, it's around ... $3.50 per US gallon.

Anonymous said...

Angus posted.
"Let's make it absolutely clear that there is absolutely no suggestion of impropriety or personal gain. Absolutely not. No way, Jose. Let's put it down to incompetence and low ability thresholds."

Yes, that would be it.