Astonishing levels of government corruption

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TimW
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by TimW » Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:45 pm

Govt lose Judicial Review.

https://goodlawproject.org/update/the-judgment-is-in/
Judge Chamberlain wrote:The Secretary of State spent vast quantities of public money on pandemic-related procurements during 2020. The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by cvb » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:41 am

TimW wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 12:45 pm
Govt lose Judicial Review.

https://goodlawproject.org/update/the-judgment-is-in/
Judge Chamberlain wrote:The Secretary of State spent vast quantities of public money on pandemic-related procurements during 2020. The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded.
While this is good. Does anybody stand accountable? What happens to them?

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by plodder » Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:56 pm

nothing, they can now afford excellent lawyers.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by discovolante » Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:23 pm

Legally, the court makes a 'declaration' of what the SoS has done unlawfully, because by this point he has more or less complied with the rules so the court didn't think it was necessary to order him to do so. Politically obvs that's different, nothing happens.

The judgment can be downloaded here: https://www.judiciary.uk/judgments/good ... cial-care/

I've very briefly skimmed the end basically so if I've got the above wrong feel free to point it out.
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Rich Scopie
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by Rich Scopie » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:31 pm

And Matt Hancock's reply? People will think he did the right thing, so there's nothing to apologise for.

Does anyone in this Government have any shame at all? (Rhetorical)
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by Little waster » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:37 pm

Rich Scopie wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:31 pm
Does anyone in this Government have any shame at all? (Rhetorical)
I'll have you know a government minister personally oversaw the purchase of £3bn worth of shame, sufficient for everyone in the UK, from a close personal friend they know from their golf club.

I think you'll find the apparent shortage is due to people* fecklessly misusing it.





*probably on benefits ... or teachers ... or immigrants ... or something
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by TimW » Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:37 am


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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by IvanV » Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 am

Whilst there is this mucky stuff going on over covid stuff, I would say that in my experience an awful lot of public sector procurement is pretty clean, at least in central government. Local councils are clearly something else. He says as we watch Croydon Borough Council bankrupting itself through malpractice in contracting that has been called out in Private Eye for years.

I mostly do public sector work, let on through publicly advertised tenders or frameworks. We don't do any entertainment of public officials, or anything like that. We just bid, build our reputation, and that's enough. We have an Australian office, and they complain that many similar opportunities in Australia are not publicly advertised, but sent around to a few companies the procurer knows. Breaking in is much harder there, because you do have to do things to bring yourself to their attention. Which is where the problems arise.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the procurement is perfectly on merit. Indeed we get infuriated by some of the nonsense that can go on, perverse marking systems, ridiculous prequalification criteria, lumping things together so that specialists can't bid for the things they specialise in. But these imperfections are mostly cock-up rather than conspiracy. Occasionally some of it is so stupid it makes you think it might be favouritism, especially when lots of suppliers are complaining about it and they turn a deaf ear. Though given so much of it is clearly bureaucracy gone mad, probably most of the rest is too.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by science_fox » Wed Jun 09, 2021 1:28 pm

TimW wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 10:37 am
Govt lose Judicial Review.

Government acted unlawfully over firm's £560,000 contract
Although as per DAG, not illegally or corruptly no matter how GLP spin it. I'm very glad GLP are fighting these cases and trying to prevent even worse abuses, but they are specific and limited abuses and not yet signs of general corruption.
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by plodder » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:39 am

IvanV wrote:
Wed Jun 09, 2021 11:30 am
Whilst there is this mucky stuff going on over covid stuff, I would say that in my experience an awful lot of public sector procurement is pretty clean, at least in central government. Local councils are clearly something else. He says as we watch Croydon Borough Council bankrupting itself through malpractice in contracting that has been called out in Private Eye for years.

I mostly do public sector work, let on through publicly advertised tenders or frameworks. We don't do any entertainment of public officials, or anything like that. We just bid, build our reputation, and that's enough. We have an Australian office, and they complain that many similar opportunities in Australia are not publicly advertised, but sent around to a few companies the procurer knows. Breaking in is much harder there, because you do have to do things to bring yourself to their attention. Which is where the problems arise.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that the procurement is perfectly on merit. Indeed we get infuriated by some of the nonsense that can go on, perverse marking systems, ridiculous prequalification criteria, lumping things together so that specialists can't bid for the things they specialise in. But these imperfections are mostly cock-up rather than conspiracy. Occasionally some of it is so stupid it makes you think it might be favouritism, especially when lots of suppliers are complaining about it and they turn a deaf ear. Though given so much of it is clearly bureaucracy gone mad, probably most of the rest is too.
I also deal with government procurement on a regular basis, and it's a cottage industry of under-qualified incompetents where strong personalities can get what they want. Most of the time they want business as usual.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:51 am

Loads of fishy smells surrounding Uniserve

https://mobile.twitter.com/MarinaPurkis ... 8656130048

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by Troubled Joe » Fri Nov 05, 2021 3:04 pm

plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:51 am
Loads of fishy smells surrounding Uniserve

https://mobile.twitter.com/MarinaPurkis ... 8656130048
Milo Minderbender would approve
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by noggins » Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:02 pm

plodder wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:39 am
I also deal with government procurement on a regular basis, and it's a cottage industry of under-qualified incompetents where strong personalities can get what they want. Most of the time they want business as usual.
Is is a problem of "what to buy" or a problem of "how to buy it" ? Or an inchaote miasma of suck ?

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by plodder » Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:21 pm

noggins wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 5:02 pm
plodder wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:39 am
I also deal with government procurement on a regular basis, and it's a cottage industry of under-qualified incompetents where strong personalities can get what they want. Most of the time they want business as usual.
Is is a problem of "what to buy" or a problem of "how to buy it" ? Or an inchaote miasma of suck ?
"what hoops do we need to jump through this week in order to procure the completely run of the mill services we always need for everything" is a common one. It can take months.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by tenchboy » Fri Nov 05, 2021 9:47 pm

Troubled Joe wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 3:04 pm
plodder wrote:
Fri Nov 05, 2021 11:51 am
Loads of fishy smells surrounding Uniserve

https://mobile.twitter.com/MarinaPurkis ... 8656130048
Milo Minderbender would approve
This is in addition to the one Lead by Donkeys highlighted though, isn't it?
They highlighted the prominent tory party donor and friend of Pritti Patel who setup a company for £200 and sold the government tons of masks at £5+ each even though another company was offering the same kit at the normal price c.£2.50 each.
The company in question is now valued at £200 million.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by IvanV » Wed Nov 10, 2021 9:41 pm

Mr Johnson insists that Britain "is not a corrupt country". And if we translate that to mean, has relatively low levels of corruption in comparison to most places, then I would say he's not far wrong.

The trouble is that he'd like to remove some of the checks that keep Britain a relatively low corruption country, because he and his mates find them personally inconvenient.

Also we could do better. And doing better would be good for us. The wealthiest places in Europe are strongly correlated with the least corrupt, and it isn't a coincidence. So his attitude is is not conducive to making progress.

- There seems to be quite a lot of corrupt procurement at local authority level. Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised as the oversight organisation was closed down about a decade ago. The Audit Commission, which used to oversee that kind of thing, is no more. (Not to be confused with the National Audit Office which oversees central government.)
- FOI isn't strong enough - it has resulted in an extensive culture of publishing stuff which in the past wasn't published; but when they really don't like something being published, often because it does seem to be about misdeeds, they can dig their feet in and often get away with it.
- Whistleblower protection legislation doesn't work very well, resulting in whistleblowers still being punished for their actions, especially in parts of the public sector that can get away with applying their own different, even less effective, whistleblower arrangements - notably in the NHS. The police is an especially difficult place to be a whistleblower, and doubtless the more secretive security services would get rid of you if you tried.
- The police complaints system rarely seems to result in police misbehaviour being acknowledged and dealt with, even though we all know there is still a lot of police misbehaviour, even if it is much improved from 1970s levels.
- The arrangements for miscarriages of justice (which are often a consequence of a kind of corruption in the justice system), which were revised 5 or 10 years ago, has created such an extreme criterion for compensating the wrongly imprisoned, that it is now almost impossible to get compensation. It was rare enough before, but it is now practically extinct. This reduces the incentive to avoid miscarriages of justice. It is also unduly difficult to get your wrongful conviction reviewed.
- We sign up to international rules on standards of good behaviour by the military, and then try to prevent those standards being applied to our military, because whatever our military do can't possibly be wrong, or is the reasonable misjudgment of difficult situations, and any cases will just be sneaky foreigners hypocritically abusing the system to harass them.
- Financial corruption by financial institutions is rarely punished, so weak our our laws on that kind of thing, even when it involves rooking ordinary people on a large scale. But the people in that business pay a lot of money to politicians.
- Another kind of financial corruption that persists is that we continue to act as money-launderers to the oligarchs and kleptocrats of the world, who buy posh houses and football clubs here, use our libel laws to silence criticism and exposure, and give money to our politicians to keep it that way.

And I think preservation of influence is a kind of corruption. Thus the fact that Old Etonians still seem to be able to rule our country in such numbers is the consequence of failing to deal with an essentially corrupt system that preserves their influence a progenie in progenies (from generation to generation) et in saecula saeculorum (world without end), to quote some words Mr Johnson such people probably once knew well. As someone who went to another leading public school once said to me, uttered in a similar accent to Prince Charles: "Don't talk to me about mixed ability education, I had a mixed ability education. The only thing we had in common was we were all stinking rich."

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by tenchboy » Sat Nov 20, 2021 9:36 am

Monarch Acoustics
Monarch Acoustics Ltd, owned and run by husband-and-wife team Stuart and Sophie Hopkin, was given the £28.8m contract to supply surgical gowns after being referred to the fast-track 'VIP lane' by Mr Hancock in May 2020.

Turnover leapt from £9.8m in 2019 to £38m in 2020, and pre-tax profits ballooned from just £267,000 to a hefty £12.6m over the same period.

At the end of the 2019 financial year the firm, which has only 80 employees, had just £41,000 in the bank, yet a year later that figure had grown to a cool £10.2 million.
pharmaceuticals direct
As referred to at an above post

Summary from LBD adds a few more like examples

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by sheldrake » Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:55 pm

I expect we'll slide down this table next time it's updated https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruptio ... ions_Index

Looking at the countries perceived as less corrupt than us is interesting.

1) Nordic countries (is this due to some greater inclination toward honesty and fairness in their cultures, or is it due to good laws?)

2) Singapore and Hong Kong. I don't know about Hong Kong, but Singapore has a deliberate policy of paying senior politicians and civil servants well, on a par with senior management in the private sector, to reduce the temptation for them to be corrupt.

3) Australia and Canada - I assume they're simillar to us but without quite the same envy and hunger for trappings of status due to their being less left of the old class system in these places. Happy to be corrected on this guess

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Sun Nov 21, 2021 6:30 am

sheldrake wrote:
Sat Nov 20, 2021 12:55 pm
2) Singapore and Hong Kong. I don't know about Hong Kong, but Singapore has a deliberate policy of paying senior politicians and civil servants well, on a par with senior management in the private sector, to reduce the temptation for them to be corrupt.
Indeed. It also has very stringent rules and harsh punishments for even minor corruption amongst public officials. Back when Lee Kuan Yew became PM around the time of Singapore's independence, he identified that corruption was the single biggest issue likely to lead to Singapore falling into the trap of communism. There were significant pushes in that direction, especially because of Singapore's high level of Chinese immigration, and LKY was very keen to resist it. Ever since, corruption has been dealt with very strongly by the government.
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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by Woodchopper » Sun Nov 21, 2021 9:06 am

Explanations for Hong Kong usually point to strict laws which are effectively enforced by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC). It is independent from the rest of government and has wide ranging powers to investigate and prosecute corruption.

Hong Kong is an interesting case as it was notoriously prone to corruption before the ICAC was set up in the 1970s.

One thing about the Nordics (except perhaps Denmark) is that everyone has the right to look at everyone else’s tax return which covers income and wealth. Doing so isn’t anonymous but it is easy.

The tax return obviously only covers lawful income but it makes it much harder to hide the proceeds of corrupt payments. Someone who’s spending was far higher than their salary could be identified fairly easily. Of course they could hide the money in a tax haven, but cost benefit calculation is still affected if after committing a serious crime the corrupt civil servant still lives in a modest house and drives an inexpensive car etc

Similar to other places, pay for civil servants in Norway at least is lower than equivalent positions in the private sector. But civil servants have better job security and a generous pension.

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Re: Astonishing levels of government corruption

Post by Al Capone Junior » Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:52 pm

Our gubmint corruption always takes place behind the strip club, where the limo with the senators pulls up to pick up the suitcases full of money. :roll:

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