Oxford experts erased from public spending records

The coalition government’s habitual redactions of crucial information from major contracts is seriously contrary to declared transparency policy. But its redactions can also get a bit silly.

Take Cabinet Office, government department responsible for implementing the coalition’s transparency policy. It published a contract it is signed with the Oxford Saïd Business School in January 2012 to establish a Major Projects Leadership Academy, for teaching civil servants not to bodge big public projects.

But it published only after redacting the names of project directors and big cheeses who would run the school, even though most of them could be identified easily enough by looking them up on the internet.

The A-Team included:

Einstein.png[Redacted Text], executive director of the BT Centre for Major Programme Management at Oxford Saïd Business School;

Einstein.png[Redacted Text], the BT Professor and Chair of Major Programme Management at Saïd Business School;

Einstein.png[Redacted Text], BT Saïd’s practitioner director and president of Major Government Programmes at US conglomerate CH2M Hill.

Einstein.png [Redacted Text], a Partner at Deloitte who “leads our Programme Leadership practice” and “has led some of the most complex projects in Government, including for the [Redacted Text] and [Redacted Text]

It also lined up:

Einstein.png [Redacted Text],  “former permanent secretary of the [Redacted Text] and senior advisor to [Redacted Text]“. Also well known as distinguished chairman of [Redacted Text], and former chairman of of [Redacted Text].

Einstein.png [Redacted Text], “internationally renowned” author of “bestselling book [Redacted Text]“, otherwise known as professor of Risk Engineering at New York University Polytechnic Institute & Distinguished Research Scholar, Saïd

Einstein.png [Redacted Text], “Chairman of [Redacted Text] from its establishment in April 2005 to the end of August 2006… previously Managing Director for [Redacted Text], Chief Executive [Redacted Text] and Chairman of [Redacted Text]“.

Einstein.png[Redacted Text], “Chief Executive of [Redacted Text]“, “directed the strategy unit at the [Redacted Text], working with Ministers on [Redacted Text]“, also renowned author of reports on health leadership.

Anyone would think them embarrassed to take public money. Cabinet Office redacted their public fees too, and pricing and milestone payments for the public Academy as a whole.

Anyone would think them embarrassed to take public money. Cabinet Office redacted their public fees too, and pricing and milestone payments for the public Academy as a whole.

Public sector

This Oxford [bunch] were concerned, however, with major projects the coalition’s transparency reforms sought to dismantle. By the government’s reckoning, their generation was on the way out.

Advised largely by a Cambridge bunch, the Conservative coalition leadership sought to publish public contracts to catalyze the dissolution of big public bodies. Total transparency was going to make it easier for a new generation of government contractors to take over. They did stage a take-over too, the Cambridge bunch. But they had their contracts [Redacted] too.

That’s a whole other story though. You can read the rest of it <here>.

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