20 January 2012

In Procurement any old supplier will do.

Mr Mustard is something of an expert in the solvency arena having worked for a quarter of a century in credit control of one sort or another. Prior to that he had been the manager of the purchase ledger for a chain of private hospitals. As important as ensuring that your customers can pay you is that your suppliers will be around in the future to support you. Barnet Council have a set of rules to ensure that suppliers are solvent and monitored; they would seem to have failed.

Who prepared the graphic designs for the new website ( expected on 30 March but doubtless it will be late in arriving ) and were paid £15,000 in September 2011? The firm of CDT Design Ltd. Who has just gone into liquidation and so won't be around to make any amendments? yes, CDT Design Ltd in liquidation.

Just look at the figures:

Cdt Design Liquidation

Well, CDT Design were in a pretty bad way then, weren't they? They haven't paid their PAYE (sounds like Barnet Council who regard it as option for interims) or their VAT. They were also insolvent to the tune of £371,463 not what one would call an insignificant sum. 

Now could Barnet Council have known about the parlous state of the finances of CDT Design? Yes, of course they could. They subscribe to Experian, one of the largest sources of financial information in the land and it is a minutes work to download from Companies House as Mr Mustard has done.

CDT Design Ltd Accounts to 31 March 2010

So what we can see from the accounts to 31 March 2010, which were filed in September 2010 is that the company had borderline solvency.

Thus it was that Barnet Council employed them in 2011 and paid them as follows :

What Who Date Ref Value £
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 06/04/2011 5000300950 4,015.00
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 06/04/2011 5000300952 4,015.00
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 06/04/2011 5000300954 1,275.00
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 06/04/2011 5000300954 1,237.50
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 06/04/2011 5000300954 1,237.50
Consult Fees CDT Design Ltd 19/04/2011 5000302268 840.00
Consult Fees CDT Design Ltd 19/04/2011 5000302269 2,340.00
Consult Fees CDT Design Ltd 04/07/2011 5000309677 3,750.00
Equip-Mats-Purc-Rep CDT Design Ltd 23/08/2011 5000315427 1,450.00

In addition Mr Mustard has an FOI response which says that CDT were paid £15,000 in September 2011.

So which officer is responsible for Information Systems? It is ultimately Crapitain Craig Cooper, the Commercial Director, who is paid £132,480 p.a. and who is responsible for procurement and for adherence to the council's rules on purchasing and the vetting of suppliers, yes, it is Craig Cooper, the Commercial Director on £132,480 p.a.

Would it be too kind to use the description "inept"?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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