Dave Burbage Consulting Ltd: Background On Procurement Process

Council clarify procurement of Dave Burbage’s contract

After we launched Armchair Auditor OnTheWight a couple of weeks ago, there has been much discussion surrounding how the head of finance at Isle of Wight council (IWC), Dave Burbage is paid.

The first the majority of the Island knew about Dave Burbage Ltd was when it was highlighted in by Media Watcher in the VB comments, then the amounts of the invoices involved were detailed about an hour later.

Since then, all sorts of media, near and far, have been reporting it.

Those who have been following the discussions will know that Dave is contracted and paid through Dave Burbage Consulting Ltd rather than being directly employed by the Isle of Wight council (IWC).

Details from the council
We thought it would be useful to get in touch with the Isle of Wight council and ask them to clarify the procurement process for Dave’s contract.

What follows is their unedited response.

Dave Burbage was appointed as Interim Director of Finance through contract with Gatenby Sanderson starting 30 July 2007. This contract was let following a process where five candidates were sourced from five interim providers and assessed.

In January 2008, the council negotiated with Gatenby Sanderson to terminate that agreement. This then allowed the council to contract directly with Dave Burbage Consulting Ltd and thus reduce the cost of contracting Mr Burbage.

An 18 month contract starting 1 February 2008 to run until 31 July 2009 (with no provision to extend) was awarded to Dave Burbage Consulting Ltd following approval – following established council procedures – of a waiver (allowing contract standing orders requirements for advertising and competition to be waived) by Procurement Board at its meeting on 31 January 2008.

On 9 April 2009, Procurement Board approved a contract letting strategy report for a 24 month contract (with provision to extend for an additional six months) for provision of an interim director of resources.

Procurement Board approved the award of the current contract on 25 June 2009 following the operation of an open tendering process. The tender was advertised on the iwight.com and supply2gov websites and through the Municipal Journal and Local Government Chronicle o-line advertising facilities. By the close of the tender period, six firms had submitted details of twelve prospective candidates. An initial long listing process reduced this to five which were then evaluated by Chief Executive, Director of Environment & Neighbourhoods and Head of HR. The two candidates with the highest evaluated scores were invited for formal interview. The interview panel consisted of Chief Executive, Director of Environment & Neighbourhoods and Head of HR and attended (in a non-voting capacity) by Deputy Leader, Cabinet Member for Economy and Cabinet Member for Resources (chaired by the Cabinet Member for Resources). The outcome of this very robust process was that the proposal submitted for Dave Burbage represented best value.

Thursday, 10th February, 2011 1:24pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/burbageprocurement

Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight Jobs, Isle of Wight News

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Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Mr Justice

    10.Feb.2011 1:54pm

    What on earth is that funny smell? Can you smell it? I think I can.

  2. Mike Starke

    10.Feb.2011 3:49pm

    I quote from the Wightwash: “six firms had submitted details of twelve prospective candidates”.

    Er… Whenever I have applied for a job, I’ve done it myself, not with “firms” helping me.

    So how much does the IW Council pay “six firms” to do what normal people do with interviews of prospective candidates. (Savings possible there, folks?)

    Go back 15 years, voters, and see how the Sociery Of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) set up this scam.

    Their brochure, which I have dowenloaded, boasts they have 900 folk they can shove in to our local authoritiesd as “interim” or full-time employees.

    At a price.

    Elected councillors I have spoken to about this say they are unaware of this arrangement. Including Cllr George Brown, who told me in January 2010 he had never heard of SOLACE.

    And he is deputy leader of the council.


    • L Pinkerton

      10.Feb.2011 4:55pm

      The official reason given to staff in 2005/07 was that they didn’t have the expertise to evaluate people applying for senior posts. At the time they were in the process of ditching, by various means, about 35 senior staff who they were afraid were closet left wingers and argued that they needed to pay the same as a large authority in order to obtain quality. These two views taken together explain their thinking for the use of appointment consultants and the new much higher levels of salary payments made to new senior staff.

  3. Smoke and Mirrors

    10.Feb.2011 4:00pm

    So I wonder what the cost was to “negotiate” this gent out of his contract with Gatenby Sanderson, I’ll bet it wasn’t done for free?

  4. Ryde Queen

    10.Feb.2011 6:50pm

    Pity the poor saps who went thru the interview sham

  5. During the meeting the other evening tues 8/02/11 mr pugh was asked a question by Cllr Barry over the legal requirement around a Section 151 officer and whether such an officer should be a council employee. mr pugh responded by clarifying that legislation (section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972) required the council to ensure that one of its “officers” had A – 11 responsibility for financial administration. (The word used being “officer” and not employee).

    It is well known that Mr Burbage is not employed by the council and that he is in fact an employee of DAVID BURBAGE CONSULTANCy LIMITED which is paid by the council as a consultancy firm.(contractor)

    The bottom line is as an employee of DAVID BURBAGE CONSLTANCy LIMITED david burbage is not an officer of the council and that in fact the council have not met the criterion set out in Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972.

  6. Local Government Ombudsman will give advise on

    0300 061 0614 or 0845 602 1983

    Although this may be more for Mr Duckworth the CEO at Newham BC to look at (if he is still there). If the CP have it correct , its employed salary plus pension that exceeds their pay on leaving that is the key.

    • Stewart Blackmore

      10.Feb.2011 7:53pm

      Bill, Joe Duckworth was ‘escorted from the premises’ at Newham Council on 15th July 2010.
      Newham, one of the poorest boroughs in the country, was paying ‘Vera’ a massive £240,000 per year! This figure excluded pension contributions etc. Guess which employment agency(!) Mr Duckworth is represented by? That’s right, SOLACE. Now there’s an ironic name. Not much solace for the poor taxpayers who pay these part timers’ wages and pensions.
      Mike Starke (see above) points out that our own Council’s deputy Leader purports to know nothing about this organisation. How many senior officers at County Hall owe their jobs to SOLACE, I wonder?

  7. if i were to change my employment status purely stop a reduction in my pension would i be guilty of defrauding the pension company. on the other hand if i were a council leader and i was involved in helping someone to keep a certain amount of pension they were not entitled to would i be guilty of a crime.

    what if i had changed my employment status and my leader had helped me out (funny handshake type) and because he held the general public in such contempt didn’t realise the hole he was digging himself into

  8. Sandown Sally

    11.Feb.2011 1:38pm

    Todays local seems to suggest several other senior oficers are doing this – but Pugh refused to name them or identify figures. We must be entitled to know if there are more of these smelly deals?

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