Civil Service Against Campbeltown Ballycastle Ferry

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Civil Service Against Campbeltown Ballycastle Ferry

Postby Enough » Wed Apr 27, 2005 5:22 pm

BBC News are reporting civil service head of the Scottish Executive department running the Campbeltown-Ballycastle tender, Eddie Frizzell has taken the unusual and publicised step of asking for a "Ministerial Directive" as he doesn't think subsidised reintroduction of the service will provide "value for money".

Mr Frizzell wants to make sure that if it doesn't work, then it is clear that ministers will be to blame and that he doesn't have any responsibility.

Not looking good.

Best of luck DBAG.

Cheers,

Russ
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Postby Les » Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:29 pm

Russ

Picked the BBC story up yesterday but it's a bit of a red herring although not very helpful to us at this juncture.

Mr Frizell did in fact follow the correct procedure from his perspective and asked for a Ministerial Directive to cover his own back. This is exactly what happened the last time if you recall with Wendy Alexander. We were aware of this as part of due process although it actually happened back in March before the announcement about retendering.

The bureaucratic follow-up to this was that it had to be noted by the Audit Committee at Holyrood which met yesterday, and the BBC picked this up as an Agenda item. Unfortunately it would appear that whoever had the story thought they were on to another story about wasting public money. (Perhaps in retaliation for the pasting that MSPs were giving to the Controller of BBC Scotland at Holyrood on the same day? ) Thus a non-story made it on to the BBC web site couched in terms which were meant to be alarmist.

Of course the story once again raises the unwelcome ghost of the previous service. We can only hope that not too many potential operators spotted it. Finallly a more accurate name for the thread might be " BBC against Campbeltown (Again!) "

Les
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Postby Enough » Wed Apr 27, 2005 9:19 pm

Hi Les,

Thanks for the reply to the post. It helps put some more balanced perspective on it. Also I have it from within the Scottish Executive that Mr Frizzell had a very difficult time with Independent Learning Accounts and was roundly criticised for his role in the difficulties that beset ILA's so I suspect that having been bitten once by MSP's the civil servant is just watching his very vulnerable back.

For our part, whilst neither our group, nor any of the ferry guys alongside us now intend tendering for Campbeltown-Ballycastle, there is still an 18 year history of shoulder to the wheel trying to get the thing going, and it would indeed be an absoute shame if the wheels came off the process at this stage because of civil service problems. Especially when the ferry is almost in sight.

Very best regards,

Russ
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