Monday, 15 December 2008

Render Watch

Is anybody still wondering about what the situation is behind Tim Render's lucrative return to the City Council is?

For those who have forgotten Mr R was made redundant with a £200k pay off but is now back as a consultant.

I've spent quite a few minutes searching round NCC's website (when its actually working, it only seems to be following normal office hours these days) trying to find anything about policies for engaging consultants, records of decisions, meeting minutes etc trying to find any trace of a decision to bring him back but to no avail.

Also, a google search shows no sign of any mention of Mr Render in a consultant's capacity which he needs to do something about if he wants to make a go of this consulting business. He can't rely on backhanders from his mates for ever.

To be fair, NCC probably aren't legally obliged to offer an open tender for whatever he's doing because this is only required for service contracts over a certain value. Still, why him particularly and why all the secrecy?

Imagine a scenario where a fairly high up official was made redundant and he wasn't too happy about it, despite a nice pay off. Imagine that, too late, they realise that they have to keep him sweet for some reason. Imagine that a solution that presents itself is the offer of a 'consultancy' to tide him over for a little while. You might even get him to do some actual work. However there would probably not be much of a public paper trail or comment from the organisation that found itself in this position.

Anyway enough daydreaming. What I have been told is that Mr Render is required as a witness for NCC in a rather hefty employment tribunal. Apparently there's quite a bit at stake, multi day hearings and the like. Obviously this fact can have nothing to do with any decision to offer him a consultancy position because that might be seen by some as just a tiny bit corrupt even if not technically illegal.

Whatever's behind it there's no excuse for all the secrecy on NCC's behalf. All it does is send cynical conspiracy theorists like me off on one.

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