Wednesday 9 April 2003

What kind of auditor is this?

There is more in today's Scotsman on the Scottish Parliament construction scandal. Margo MacDonald, who has campaigned for better management of the whole sorry project, said:
"The report reveals the project was fundamentally flawed from the very start and it has grave implications for the whole of our public life and executive spending."
Indeed so.

The Auditor General's spokesman said that his report didn't go into the detail of the procurement process because "in our judgment it was not one we felt adversely affected the overall management of the project". In the private sector, auditors don't just look at whether projects have been managed well and the figures recorded properly, but also examine contracts with suppliers and customers to make sure that the best arrangements have been made from the point of view of the shareholders. It is hardly surprising that public expenditure is out of control nor that taxation is crippling industry if our elected representatives are not given the information that they need to do their job.