Sunday, November 26, 2006

Recent Bonfires- 41

He only overspent private money

In the news this week:

£150,000 overspend on slipshod carpark project- "A COUNCIL committee wants to launch an investigation into why Workington’s multi-storey car park was allowed to go over budget, costing taxpayers £150,000... council officers had failed to ensure that key security features were included in the plans... the installation of movement sensors had been discussed as early as 2002, but had never been incorporated into the design of the building or the relevant tendering documents. A report to councillors stated: “The slipshod management of the contract is deplorable and an unnecessary expense to the rate payers. There is no explanation given for this lapse of common sense.” (News & Star 22.11.06)

£300m overspend on rail upgrade- "More effective procurement could have reduced Network Rail's £300 million overspend in the West Coast Main Line modernisation, according to the National Audit Office. Network Rail is set to finish £300 million over the original £8.3 billion budget to complete the overhaul of the operation. Edward Leigh, MP, chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, claimed this saga emphasised the need to "get a grip on large-scale projects before they run out of control". (Supply Management 22.11.06)

£270,000 overspend on roadworks- "The total figure for roadworks around the Floral Clock in Palmeira Square in Hove came to a total of £965,000. In Brighton and Hove City Council's 2005-06 financial year, £450,000 was budgeted for the scheme and a further £245,000 for resurfacing the road... a £270,000 overspend... Serhat Halil, owner of Bona Foodie, Western Road, Hove, said he had lost 50 per cent of business while the work was continuing because of noise and customers having difficulty getting into the shop. He said: "All along we could never understand why the work needed to be done. It's not improved the area or made any difference apart from widening pavements." (The Argus 24.11.06)

Latest £220m overspend on Olympics- "The true cost of the showpiece venue for the 2012 Olympics was seriously underestimated by organisers of London's bid when they were campaigning to win the right to host the event, The Observer can reveal. Sports and construction experts now predict that, despite the official cost of the planned Olympic Stadium being £280m, the final figure will be closer to £500m." (Observer 26.11.06)

Nicked mobile runs up £46,000 bill- "An official mobile phone went missing in 2004 when the Scottish Parliament moved from its temporary headquarters in Edinburgh to its £431 million home at Holyrood. But no one bothered to report the disappearance, and as a result the thief managed to run up £46,200 worth of calls before a stop was eventually put on the phone. Add VAT, and the bill is far higher. Parliament officials did not even realise that the phone was missing it seems until Vodafone alerted them to the rapidly mounting bill. Margo Macdonald, an independent MSP and arch-critic of the Holyrood building, said: “A child with a mobile phone who had it nicked would know to notify the supplier immediately. It’s not just the cost, it’s the sheer incompetence. Am I surprised? No.” (Times 25.11.06)

Total for week- £520,466,000

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