Monday 22 June 2015

Rubbish Scrutiny

The council's Waste Management contracts with Cwm Environmental Ltd, (wholly owned by the council and the largest operator) and AWS in Llangadog came to an end in March this year. This was not unexpected of course and, as is usual for such services, proper tenders should have gone out long ago in time for the March deadline.

However, aside from a 'Prior Notice' of the long term contract being issued, the department decided that the way forward in the short term was to extend the contracts with the two current suppliers for another three years.

This required exemptions from the council's contract procedural rules and, consequentially, the potential risk of legal challenge from other possible suppliers.

The Environment Scrutiny Committee has met twice since March and, as we can infer from the Minutes from their meeting on the 8th June, below, that it came as something of a surprise to learn all this, and that it had already been implemented;

"It was asked why Committee was being requested to endorse a recommendation that interim arrangements for treatment, recycling and disposal of waste be put in place, as this appeared to have been implemented already, contrary to what the Committee had been told in a previous meeting."

Even if the reasons for the delay in the long term tendering exercise are unforeseen and plausible, (and of course the bins still have to be emptied), the failure to notify elected members of the informally extended contracts - and the legal implications - until after the event, show that Scrutiny in Carmarthenshire still has room for improvement.

No comments: