Would one of the porridge wogs care to comment?

What, actually, is the screw up here?

SNP ministers have been accused of presiding over a “ferry fiasco” after it emerged that the Scottish Government is being sued by its own quango.

The state-owned operator CalMac has raised legal proceedings after it missed out on a £450 million contract to run services to the Northern Isles.

Opposition parties accused the Government of incompetence and said the action “tells you everything you need to know” about the “mess” it had made of ferry services.

The contract was awarded in September to the private sector operator Serco, which has been running sailings to Orkney and Shetland since 2012.

12 thoughts on “Would one of the porridge wogs care to comment?”

  1. This clearly shows Capitalism has failed and that the Scottish government should take these services into public ownership, for the benefit of all (the staff)

  2. From the info available I guess the reason for the legal action is likely to be that the principal contract success criterion was stated to be lowest price in the invitation to tender. Calmac’s price was supposedly lower than Serco’s, but Calmac was not awarded the contract.

    Brewery, piss-up, SNP = amateur hour.

    In fact, rank amateur hour.

  3. Ted S, Catskill Mtns, NY, USA

    SNP ministers have been accused of presiding over a “ferry fiasco” after it emerged that the Scottish Government is being sued by its own quango.

    I thought the point of quangos was to sue the government to get a court to mandate more spending

  4. There’s something about Serco, and Capita and Group4 and all the rest who go for government contracts that offends me. Possibly unjustifiable but never mind. I remember a client I used to visit who were paralyzed by Serco’s stupid practices. Why is it always they who get the contracts? Is it the ability to find their way through the maze of requirements before you can even bid? Or something entirely more to do with ‘networks’?

  5. The competing bids were judged 65% on price, 35% on quality. CalMac won on price but lost overall, so they want the government to reveal what was so great about the quality of Serco’s bid.

    CalMac’s staff union are banging on about Serco being private, English, and downright evil; which presumably they think should be factored into the quality score.

  6. rhoda klapp,

    They exist because of the bullshit required by government when tendering. And as such, you have a fairly small number of specialists doing that. But most of the work isn’t going to employees of those companies. They hire a small company to do the actual work.

    If anything, that’s the best structure. Do you want armies of people who know how to write a good anti-slavery policy in every software or catering company? No. You want programmers and cooks.

    If you cut out all the government bullshit, you wouldn’t have people like Serco around.

  7. Re Serco, the CEO is Rupert Soames, friend of the establishment and among the non-execs is one Rachel Lomax. Who she?

    “Previous roles
    Deputy Governor, Monetary Stability, Bank of England, and a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Permanent Secretary in the Department for Transport, Department for Work and Pensions and the Welsh Office, and senior posts at the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury and World Bank.”

    What a coincidence

  8. A recent TV program on the HS2 fiasco in Merrie Olde England described a prime piece of vacant land in the path of the proposed kinda-sorta-high speed rail tracks. Government rules for the price paid for condemned property seized by Her Majesty would pay only a low price for vacant land. The owner consequently built a multi-story office block on the land, to get the very much higher price which UK Gov pays for developed land. UK Gov then bought the property and demolished the brand-new never-occupied office block. Not surprisingly, the uncompleted HS2 project has experienced substantial cost over-runs.

    It seems the Scottish Government has learned well from Westminster.

  9. Gavin: the prices paid must be insane if people can make a profit on building and having demolished a completely empty building.

  10. jgh — My thoughts exactly — but consistent with the admitted huge cost overruns on that project. Anyway, it was on TV, so it must be true. Yes?

  11. Presumably the price paid would be it’s value over the following X years – as in, we compulsory purchase this property, you could have made £Y over the next X years from it, therefore we pay you £Z which is based on £Y and factoring in things like being paid upfront rather than over X years, inflation, investment returns etc.
    On that basis, the “value” of a new office block over (say) 25 years would likely be significantly more than the cost of building it – especially if you build down to the lowest standards (it only has to stand up until it gets knocked down) rather than building it to be rentable.

  12. SNP are so fixated on IndyRef2 nothing else matters to them. Decisions/policies seem to be made by the Scottish Parliament mail trolley pusher

    SNHS Hospitals Edinburgh, Glasgow, St Johns all in Special measures, staff sacked for fraud/theft, new-builds flooding & ceilings collapsing, waiting time targets never met…


    Scot Gov’t owns CalMac

    @rhoda klapp

    Is it the ability to find their way through the maze of requirements before you can even bid?


    @Gavin Longmuir

    A recent TV program on the HS2 fiasco – when, name, what channel, youtube?

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