26 June 2012

You can call me Al

Traffic wardens (CEO) like to change their name. You can call me Ade, or Oladokin or Arsen but unfortunately they were not their real names.

Take a look at page 39 in Item 7 of the report pack for the Audit Committee of 21 June 2012 

and you will find that Ade Oresanya was really Adebukonla Alaba Oresanya
that Oladokin Awonusi was really Olalekan Abraham Oduwaye and
that Arsen Fundi was Eddy Nduwimana.

The first two, who were detained by the UK Border Agency as a result of Operation Quest acted as Civil Enforcement Officers for Barnet Council as direct employees. 

The third one, Eddy, has form for Theft and Deception who, whilst a postman, posted anything of value into the boot of his car. That must be what is known as Special Delivery. He was dismissed by Barnet Council when the subterfuge came to light which it did when he had been working through a temp agency and then applied for a permanent post.

The report does not say which agency supplied him although it is most likely to be through the Hays contract which is an umbrella arrangement covering about 100 agencies. In the Hays contract, signed with Haringey Council on behalf of such other public bodies in Greater London as wish to use it, paragraph 4.5 states that is the obligation of the contractor to obtain two professional references for each Temporary Worker. ( There is not a definition of what a professional reference is. In the case of people who are prepared to change their names supplying a professionally forged reference probably won't be that difficult. Mr Mustard recalls that 30 years ago he had a boss, an accountant, who had a stock of blank letterheads for all of his previous employers so that he could type out any reference he fancied!)

Para 4.5 goes on "The contractor shall, at no additional charge to the council ensure that all checks including, where appropriate, CRB checks on Temporary Workers are carried out prior to the said Temporary Worker being placed with the Council. Subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 the Contractor shall pass the results of such checks to the Authorised Officer."

Now, whether or not it was Hays ( and one would expect the same type of clause to be in any contract with any agency supplying temporary staff ) we have to ask ourselves if the agency, probably Hays, obtained the "professional references" and we have to ask ourselves if the CRB checks were being carried out properly by the agency and also if the documents were passed to the council and/or whether they noticed they hadn't had them. Has there been recruitment of Temporary Workers by Barnet Council in default of good HR procedure and outside of contract because the criminal conviction only came to light when Eddy tried to go from temporary to permanent staff?

Out of a workforce of about 50 Parking wardens to have 3 in one year (6%), who were not who they said they were, get through the recruitment procedures is a pretty dismal performance. It is easy to look good in CAFT, it just tells you how pathetic other departments have been.

HR = hardly rigorous

The big question

Can an illegal immigrant, if that is what they turn out to be, or an employee who wasn't entitled to be an employee, issue a valid parking ticket?

This is a question which has come up a lot around England and which Mr Mustard cannot see has been properly tested unless of course, you know different.

An honest body would of course immediately rescind all tickets that had been issued by someone who should not have been out on the streets issuing tickets at all but we are talking about grasping councils so that is too much to hope for. 

If any reader knows because of a case at PATAS the name of the traffic warden who issued their ticket, because they had to give evidence, and if it was any of the three named above then please get in touch with mrmustard@zoho.com and we will see what we can do.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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