Our council does a lot of good things and it has lots of good people working for it but the fine of £250,000 issued by the Information Commissioner raises serious questions about its leadership.
When I read about this massive fine imposed on Scottish Borders Council (SBC), I went to the council website to see what was being said on the subject by those who are paid very well to lead the council.
There was nothing I could see from Mr Parker, only this from the text of a press release from the SBC chief executive, Tracey Logan:
“This additional expenditure is obviously unhelpful at a time when public funding is already stretched. We do have robust financial monitoring processes in place across the council, however, and have always ensured we have the funds available to cover such unforeseen costs within our reserves.”
No mea culpa there. Not even the usual refuge of the exposed, a vapid assurance that lessons have been learned.
Ms. Logan and/or those who appointed her should consider their positions if she or they seriously think that it is appropriate to view this fine as evidence of the need to hold reserves for unhelpful additional expenditure.
Let me put what she said another way; “We hold back some of your money so we can cover our backsides”.
I do not share the view that the private sector is somehow superior to the public sector. But evidence that each is as capable as the other of displaying shockingly bad judgement at the expense of the public is no comfort to us plebs.