An external consulting agency will be given £70,000 to explore cost-cutting measures within the Highways PFI contract.
The proposal was unanimously supported by members of the Isle of Wight Council’s ruling cabinet at a meeting tonight.
As revealed by OnTheWight back in March, Jay Jayasundara has been back on the Isle of Wight since the beginning of the year examining the Highways PFI contract he was paid to create back in 2012/13.
Architect of contract paid to find savings
Jay Jayasundara, of Jasmine Consulting, set up the contract with Island Roads in 2013. Cabinet members approved the decision to pay his firm, Jasmine Consulting, £70,000 to explore efficiencies within the contract, with a view to saving £2 million a year.
Cabinet member for transport, Cllr Ian Ward, said:
“We are foolish if we do not explore these options.”
Failings within the original contract highlighted
Opposition councillor, Cllr Julia Baker-Smith said:
“Is the cabinet member aware of various failings within the original contract, such as areas that were left off the project network? For example, in my ward road signs were left off the network, hedge-cutting in some areas and of course the difficulty in adding to the project network?
“This was a contract that was written by Mr Jayasundara.”
However, chief executive, CEO John Metcalfe, defended the decision:
“The national audit office report said that public authorities don’t have the expertise to deal with very complex PFI contracts and therefore need to look to that expertise from wherever they can get it. In many cases the teams that set up the contract.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some additions by OnTheWight. Additions made by OnTheWight. Ed