Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tom Watson avoids a difficult question about Labour donor/lender?

Come off it Tom!
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was paid by [the] Department to Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries in each financial year since 2000; which contracts were awarded by his Department to Capita Group plc in each year since 2000-01 to the most recent available date; what the cost was of each contract; what penalties for default were imposed in contract provisions; what the length was of each contract; whether the contract was advertised; how many companies applied for the contract; how many were short-listed; what criteria were used for choosing a company; what provision was made for renewal without re-tender in each case; and if he will make a statement. [180690]

Mr. Watson: This information requested for the Cabinet Office is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Is he seriously trying to say the Cabinet Office cannot provide even the most basic of financial records of how much money they paid out to the company headed at the time by a major Labour donor/lender and someone caught up in the "cash for honours" scandal?

Sounds like there might be something there doesn't it? "Not readily available" read "no chance are we answering that and opening that can of worms again"

4 comments:

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

The question was too long. Broken up into shorter questions it would have been more difficult to evade.

Anonymous said...

What the Cabinet Office is saying is that the information is available, but it would cost more than £700 to collate it.

Bishop Hill said...

They need to try restricting the question to the main accounting system only - it's Sun Accounts apparently. That way the "too expensive" excuse is not tenable.

john BOy said...

sorry Trumpeter, no chance.

When asked about its travel and subsistence expenditure - nearly £3M pa the office of the deputy prime minister said it could not analyse £300k of uch expenditure for the same reason.

Of course it would show what legover junkets Prescott and friends had been on, but that was just a coincidence.

By the way, the state can say that to YOU, the payer of this money, but YOU cannot use that excuse to the state when they (HMRC) ask you abut your expenditure. If you say you cannot analyse it HMRC will disallow it as tax deductible.