A suspicious mind

The news that SIC employees have decided not to award the Promote Shetland contract to any of the bidders because they failed to meet the required standard for submissions might make a suspicious mind wonder if this decision might have been made for reasons other than those publicly stated (Trust loses Promote Shetland contract; SN, 07/06/2017).

On 31August 2016, the SIC Development Committee decided that a five year external contract was the way forward. After an unexplained delay of over five months tender documents were finally published on 6 March 2017, with a closing date of 3 April.

A suspicious mind might wonder if the delay was intentional to ensure that the tender process and a final decision would be made during the transition from one council to the next.

The decision not to award the contract to any of the bidders was made by SIC employees, not elected representatives (the new Development Committee hasn't even met yet), and directly contradicts the decision made on 31 August 2016 by elected representatives.

A suspicious mind might wonder if the arbitrary points system used by SIC employees to assess the bids might have been engineered in such a way as to make it impossible for any of the bids to succeed.

This suspicion might also be further strengthened by the possibility that the decision not to award the contract was made by the same SIC employees who stood to gain most in terms of additional resources for their department by not awarding the contract to anyone.

I call on the elected members of the SIC development committee to overturn the decision made by these SIC employees, and award the contract to the best bidder as per the decision made by their predecessors in August 2016.

Furthermore, I call on the elected members to carry out an investigation into why the tendering process was delayed by over five months, and why this process failed to produce even one satisfactory bid according to the arbitrary standards applied by the SIC employees in question.

Should the musings of a suspicious mind turn out to have any basis in fact, I call on the elected members of SIC to fire those employees responsible for conspiring to overturn a decision made by elected members of the development committee.

And when I say fire, I don't mean usher them off into early retirement with a fat golden handshake (an abuse of public funds) or quietly request that they resign, I mean dismissal on disciplinary grounds. Such an abuse of their position should remain a black mark on their record.

Iain Waddell
South Nesting

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