Croydon replaces £765 per day interim with… another interim

Inside Croydon’s regular reader will remember how we were the first to reveal the £765 per day fees paid by Croydon Council to Paul Davies, the long-time “temporary” executive who was the interim head of procurement, even on those occasions when he was leading a departmental “awayday” playing frisbee in Lloyd Park.

After around two years banking his Council Tax-payers’ funded dosh from Taberner House – which would work out as £198,000 per year, plus other allowances and expenses – Davies has moved on to another job.

Despite all sorts of “restructuring” of council departments and advertisements in the Municipal Journal, according to the council’s recent online procurement reports, Croydon has managed to replace Davies with… [cue drum roll]… another interim!

There is some deep unintended irony in all this.

The procurement department’s role is supposed to seek the best possible value in terms of hiring and buying in supplies and services for the council. With someone heading it up being paid on a basis which represents the worst possible value for the people of Croydon.

Whenever our council brings in consultants or makes an open-ended appointment of a “temporary” executive, or interim, it inevitably costs the people of Croydon far more than if they managed to employ someone “on the books”, as a member of staff (unless, that is, they make a complete Horlicks of the staff recruitment and vetting process, and end up making a secret mega-pay-off within months of making the appointment. But that’s another story of our council’s mismanagement and waste at the very highest levels).

In total, Croydon spent at least £20 million on interims and consultants in 2011, while laying waste to front-line services and axing lower ranking council jobs elsewhere in the name of “efficiencies”.

Now, Inside Croydon has discovered that Paul Davies’s replacement at Croydon Council is Jas Kothiria. On a temporary basis, of course.

Kothiria previously held a position, also as an interim working on procurement, at Westminster City Council. There, Kothiria worked with… Paul Davies. What a small world, eh?

It appears that back in 2008, Davies was the director of procurement at Westminster while Kothiria was the interim head of procurement there.

This connection only came to light because of a Freedom of Information request about the contract given to Hays to supply temporary staff to Westminster in 2008. The correspondence that council was forced to disclose included an email from Davies which was copied to Kothiria, as she was also involved in awarding of this particularly high value contract.

Davies was placed at Croydon by Morgan Law, a recruitment agency. They will have received a substantial commission for identifying and booking Davies with Croydon. Might they also have had a role in recommending Kothiria? And might we expect Kothiria to be costing Croydon a similar amount to the £765 per day that was invoiced for her predecessor Davies?

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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