Bigger news story behind ‘Wallgate’
SIR, – I refer to your “Wallgate” story (Press and Journal, September 27) where it was reported that the council was minded to offer an apology to former councillor Willie Young for wrongly identifying him as the landowner.
As interesting as that may be, it is nothing compared with the real story; that the council was forced to report that their project management processes are not fit for purpose, what processes they had were not followed, and that their officers lacked the required skills and training to deal with this specific project.
But there have been a plethora of poor capital investment decisions and projects being delivered late and significantly over-budget by Aberdeen City Council; Marischal Square, Broad Street, the Townhouse, the Diamond Bridge, the art hub and the art gallery to name a few. The Wellington Brae saga has forced senior officials to finally reveal that the council’s project management office is not fit for purpose.
Time will tell whether or not their claim to have initiated a programme of process improvements and officer training will be effective. In the meantime, I believe it would be beneficial to conduct a thorough and robust process audit on all of the projects mentioned above in order to inform the council as to where process improvements and training are really needed and that those audit reports should be made public in a spirit of openness and transparency.
The audits should be carried out not by Audit Scotland but by a team of truly independent auditors. Furthermore, in view of these revelations, it would be prudent for the council to call a moratorium on the initiation and approval of new projects and in particular, reassess their investment, and planning, decision to proceed with the Energy from Waste Incinerator project as the same inadequate processes will have led to its approval.