Regular readers will know that Hart Council has recently been criticised about the way it ran the Shapley Heath project in the independent Audit Report. In response to the report, they are to hold a “Facilitated Reflection” (aka Investigation, aka Independent Review).
No details of the review have been released, so we put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to ask for the following to be released:
1. The Terms Of Reference provided to the various bodies approached to conduct the activity.
2. The budget set by the Council to carry out this piece of work.
3. The actual costs incurred carrying out the work.
We have received a response to the FOI saying the Council does not hold the information requested. Typically Terms of Reference (ToR) would set the scope and objectives and lay out the organisation and governance arrangements for the piece of work. If they have no ToR and no budget, they aren’t following the basics of prudent management and financial control.
The criticisms laid at them by TIAA included the following:
- No evidence to suggest that the project was financially managed appropriately.
- Little financial monitoring information presented to members and some of that was inaccurate.
- The Project Management did not meet the required standards.
- No formal records of meetings and emails subsequently deleted.
- Project reporting in terms of frequency and content did not meet expectations.
- Little oversight by the Oversight Board and none by the Cabinet.
- Virtually non-existent risk management.
In essence, they are carrying out this “reflection” in the same lackadaisical way they did the original project. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Sadly, they are demonstrating over and over that they are living in a clown world.