Three Senior Isle of Wight Officers Suspended After ‘Unlawful Action’ Report

The awarding of the £13m Undercliff Drive Contract To High Point Rendel has lead to the action against three officers at the very centre of the council.

Three Senior Isle of Wight Officers Suspended After 'Unlawful Action' Report

The Deputy Chief Executive (John Lawson), The Director of Finance (Paul Wilkinson) and Director of Regeneration and Development (Derek Rowell), have been ‘suspended pending further investigation.’

The suspensions following the publication of an independent report examining the process of awarding a £13m contract to High Point Rendel for work carried out on the Undercliff Drive between Ventnor and Niton. It was penned by a senior officer at Southampton City Council after being commissioned in November 2006.

It is understood that despite independent legal advice being given two years ago on the subject, the report claims that ‘some council officers” didn’t act on this advice, despite some officers knowing about the ‘questionable’ situation at least two years ago.

Joe Duckworth, the new chief executive of Isle of Wight Council, will, on Wednesday, be recommending the setting up of a cross-party investigatory and disciplinary committee, reports the County Press.

The report states that:

previous administration acted either in ignorance or disregard of rules and regulations in relation to its procurement of consultancy services. Its appointment of High Point Rendel was also unlawful.

High Point Rendel have been the consultants on the Undercliff Drive Proposal which has attracted much interest in the Rotten Boroughs section of Private Eye.

We might’ve mocked it in the past, but it appears that whilst he was distracting the press with his cheesy thinking cap idea, Joe Duckworth has been very busy thinking about how to deal with the administration that he’s inherited.

Solent TV
County Press

[Image courtesy of BlipTV]

Tuesday, 20th February, 2007 7:54am



Filed under: Politics, Unexpected

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9 Comments on "Three Senior Isle of Wight Officers Suspended After ‘Unlawful Action’ Report"

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Lee Nicholas

Contracts kerfuffle involving High Point Rendel?

This rings a bell with us folk up in Scarborough.

Have a look at this:

Look at page 6, section 2.10, and take a wild guess who our Director of Technical Services was.

Clue: first name Derek.