Regular readers of my site will be familiar with the circumstances surrounding the appointment last year of Rona Fairhead, an HSBC director to the Trust Chair of the BBC. The details are set out in this blog, Smoking Gun.
To verify the information contained in that blog I have made a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Media, Culture and Sport. Any government procurement over £10,000 must be put out to public tender. In this case the “recruitment ” of Fairhead was undertaken by Saxton Bampfylde, a headhunting firm of which Cynthia Hall, wife of the BBC Director General, is a partner.
In their first response to my FoI request the DCMS stated that the tender process was carried out in the normal way and told me where the invitation was posted:
Having been unable find the document on Contracts Finder or the CCS Executive Search Dynamic Purchasing System I asked the DCMS for direct links to the tender documents. They then replied that the tender process was done by inviting suppliers directly, rather than through their “current policy”
I consider if extremely unlikely that 8 companies can be asked to tender on 14 May and 10 days later a contact is agreed and signed (see below). The contract is dated 24 May which was a bank holiday weekend Saturday. The contract also doesn’t have the requisite Bribery Act 2010 clause. I believe it to be fake. I asked for details of the 8 suppliers and the covering documentation on 4 November and am still awaiting a reply.
One of these procedures was accomplished within 10 days according to the DCMS :
As far as I am concerned, I am satisfied that the appointment of Rona Fairhead by Sajid Javid, with the approval of David Cameron was completely unlawful. There are EU Regulations covering government procurement: