Friday, June 16, 2006

The Unanswered Questions

The Durgan debacle refuses to die down, and there are rumours emanating from the ICAEW bunker relating to the how the Independent heard about the matter in the first place.

The post Durgan "clean up" by the ICAEW, in itself, has raised a number of questions which need to be answered:
  • Why was Council (and apparently also the Board) not informed of the impending problem sooner? These contracts had been under negotiation for several months not mere days.

  • Was it just coincidence that the issue was raised at the very last Council meeting before the new President took office? Earlier notification might have enabled the matter to be resolved without the need for Graham to stand down.

  • The Independent article was virtually word-for-word what the Chief Executive said to Council on 3 May 2006. Any leak would, therefore, appear to be either internal or a Council member with perfect memory.

  • Why is it necessary to have a single "preferred supplier" status, why not simply a quality threshold (a "kitemark") with anyone passing it awarded appropriate status? Had EWI been one of two or more such suppliers, there would have been no need for Graham to stand down. Again, a coincidence?

  • Council opted for the Group of Past-presidents to look into the issue rather than commissioning an independent, external audit. Council expected the Group to report back rather than just providing an oral comment. An external auditor would, of course, have provided a full written account of the issues. Perhaps Council was steered towards the route it chose as this was easier to influence.

  • An internal audit has revealed "some issues" - why hasn't this report been made available to Council?

  • Who overlooked inviting ATC International to bid, and why?

  • The Special Council meeting was called at very short notice and attended by only 41 Council members (out of 96). Why wasn't the date advised to Council members earlier so that they could pencil it in their diaries... just in case a meeting was required. Indeed, were any Council members advised to pencil in the date prior to the official announcement? If so, who was advised, by whom and why?

  • Has this just been a momentous cock-up by a junior member of staff, or a very cleverly orchestrated conspiracy by someone much more senior?

  • Was the leak deliberately designed to bring Durgan down? If so, who leaked the story and why?

  • Why is it left to this site to expose these issues, is it not the role of the professional media to be investigating this?
I look forward to seeing the above questions answered.


  1. Durgan is nobody's fool and could have been a thorn in someone's ambitions. Being in education he might have been unwilling to promote more mergers.

  2. What would be really useful would be to have the email addresses of Council.