Mr Picardo Weak on MedDoc
The feeble defence of the suspect MedDoc contracts by the Chief Minister is patent. The fact is that the breaches of the rules and processes have only surfaced because of an in-depth investigation by the Principal Auditor. It has only come to light now because Mr Picardo has been engineering delays so that the Principal Auditor could not deliver his reports in a timelier way. Otherwise these issues would have been known before the last election. What other truths on other financial dealings were buried by the GSLP/Libs before the last election?
The issues could not have been discovered from looking at the estimates or from questions to Ministers because the key information is simply not disclosed in the budget book and Ministers (including the Chief Minister) are not forthcoming about their non-compliance or this level of detail. From looking at the Principal Auditor’s report it is quite obvious how agonizing and painstaking the extraction of information from the GSLP/Libs Government is. It is clear that in some cases the Government have been quite obstructive with his enquiries.
It seems that the best that the GSLP/Libs can do is protest that the MedDoc contracts were the best prices obtainable. Of course, that is in stark contrast to the findings of the Principal Auditor.
As is his style Mr Picardo also resorts to red herrings to defend himself. His widening of issues to allegations of a past unspecified direct allocation will do him no favours. Has he forgotten the “£2.5 Billion” Eastside tender that he awarded to an entity that had not participated in the tender process and did not even exist when the expressions of interest process closed? Or the other direct allocations on lucrative plots carried out by his Government? His protestations that the tender process is better than ever is laughable.
Mr Picardo’s weak attempts at distraction will not be lost on anyone. The main point here is that he is presiding over a Government that indulges in suspect processes while pretending otherwise and then obstructs the auditors so that politically damaging facts do not emerge at election time.