Monday, 19 January 2015
I have formally requested that the City Council’s Chief Executive David Martin ask the Auditor General to engage Audit Scotland to independently investigate the full circumstances of the budget problems affecting the V&A project.
As I indicated on Friday, the huge increase in V&A projected costs is a shocking indictment of the poor project management skills of the SNP administration with regard to the V&A project. When the Chief Executive and Chief Officers met with myself and two other opposition councillors about the situation on Friday morning, I was shocked when we were informed that the costs have shot up to £80.11 million. The SNP administration has kept opposition councillors completely in the dark about the soaring costs.
The Chief Executive has promised me a full investigation as to the detailed reasons behind the huge increase in cost. However, as I have said to David Martin, given the concerned reaction I have received from many constituents, I have no doubt that, if public confidence is to be maintained in the project, any investigation has to be independent of the City Council. Therefore Audit Scotland must be called in to do that.
If the City Council fails to formally ask the Auditor General to undertake an independent investigation, I will make such a request of the Auditor General myself.
The V&A project is vital to the city’s economic growth and absolutely has to be delivered but the public purse cannot be used as a bottomless pit.