Responsibility at the OFT

Yesterday I suggested that those responsible for having to pay the £100,000 to Morrisons might be forced to pay it themselves, rather than us taxpayers picking up the bill.

It was business as usual yesterday at the Office of Fair Trading. A badly drafted, inaccurate and sensationalist press release may have cost us taxpayers £100,000 and forced the OFT to apologise to Wm Morrison, but the regulator, it seems, concluded it would be unfair to discipline any individuals.

In the real world, the debacle would have cost someone – anyone – their job. Former management consultant Sean Williams, the "director of markets and projects" whose name adorned the press release, would have been the favourite for the chop. But life, it seems, is very different at the OFT.

Sadly, that\’s not the way it works: not even any falling on swords pour encourager les autres.

Happy Taxpayer, eh?

6 thoughts on “Responsibility at the OFT”

  1. “….the regulator, it seems, concluded it would be unfair to discipline any individuals.”

    ‘Unfair’….? On whom? The people at the OFT ho screw up and don’t get caught?

  2. so … ought the bankers who have been responsible for loses/costs to others (like to to the taxpayer/central bank) be “forced to pay it themselves?”

    What are you on about? Think what an employment contract would look like if the employee was personally liable for mistakes like that – I used to be a journalist, and got threatened with libel action on occasion … it have require about 100 times the pittance they paid me if I was personally liable for what I wrote.

    It’s not even clear that firing somebody who makes a big mistake is always the right thing to do.

  3. In the real world, the debacle would have cost someone – anyone – their job.

    If the writer is using “the real world” to mean “the private sector”, then he’s an ignorant moron. It’s only £100k; I’ve seen [*] plenty of legal disputes – mostly employment and copyright – which cost private sector companies far more than that, and which were sensibly chalked up to “unfortunate mistake, don’t sack him/her”. It’s the old IBM maxim, “why would I sack someone I’ve just spent £100k training?”

  4. I wonder if journalists were personally liable it might be a good idea.
    When I worked as a barman in Oz you were personally liable for fines for serving under-age drinkers – it does concentrate minds.

  5. crivens, just as well it never came to court then

    (would Pearson plc. really have made me pay the damages?)

    Tim adds: Usually depends upon how much they like you….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *