#Manchester Council gives MMU £13k for carbon literacy training – with no contract!

Manchester City Council has given a “contract” worth £12,900 for carbon literacy training … without going to the bother of a written contract!!  Against a target of 60 councillors ‘carbon literate’ by the end of 2014, the actual number was… 23.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request from Manchester Climate Monthly, the council stated

In your request you asked for the following information:

 “I am requesting a copy of the contract between MMU and the Council  for the delivery of carbon literacy training.”

I can confirm that the Council do not hold the information you have requested.  We followed our standard procurement procedures. Our contract procurement rules do not require the Council to have formal a written contract for services procured under £30,000.
(emphasis added, word order jumble in original)

MCFly has sent the following Freedom of Information Act Request.

Thank you for the reply to Request for Information – Reference Number: NBH/9T9FEE (contract with MMU for delivery of carbon literacy training)

I find myself mildly surprised that the Council has spent £13,000 pounds without agreeing precisely what it will get for its (as in the public’s) money. Perhaps the confusion lies in the term ‘contract’ which may have some specific legal standing of which I was previously unaware.

Consulting my mental Roget’s, I’ve come up with the phrase ‘agreement to deliver services’. This would include performance parameters, dates by which time services would be delivered, ‘break clauses’ for what would happen if performance were not satisfactory. That sort of thing.

On that basis, please regard the following questions as under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  • Was there a formal tender process for the carbon literacy training ‘agreement to deliver services’?
  • If so, when was this process undertaken, and which other organisations bid for the ‘agreement to deliver services’ besides the “contracted” organisation, MMU.
  • If there was not a formal tender process, who (which officers and members) decided that the Council would award almost 13 thousand pounds to MMU?
  • I am requesting the internal correspondence relating to this matter, and the correspondence between the Council and MMU related to the awarding of the ‘agreement to deliver services’.
  • I am requesting the communications (including but not limited to the minutes of meetings and emails) between the Council and MMU with relation to the delivery of the actions related to this 13 thousand pound ‘agreement to deliver services’ from the 1st December 2014 to the present.

MCFly says:

Wow. After all these years, I continue to be surprised by the behaviour and ‘performance’ of this Council.  Given the hard times the Council has fallen upon, it’s willing to dish out £13,000 without anything in writing? For real?


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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3 Responses to #Manchester Council gives MMU £13k for carbon literacy training – with no contract!

  1. Tracy says:

    Hey Mark, perhaps you and I could knock up a day’s carbon literacy training and undercut MMU. Say ten grand. That’d be five grand each. I could live off that for six or seven months! I’m sure the council would go for it without any background checks and balances!

  2. Just how much this @ManCityCouncil wastes on contracts or dealings it has with other private organisation, is anybody’s guess. For example, at a time when it states it has to cut front-line services, due to Government cuts. It gave away Birley Fields (estimated to be worth £10 million) to the MMU, for nothing. When this was questioned by Hulme residents fighting against the MMU campus. We were informed, they could not charge anything for the land, because of possible EU claw-back.
    I had to dig around, in the very confusing web-site that is @ManCityCouncil’s site, to find, that the EU had decided, that monies had not been properly accounted for in the 1990s development of Hulme and Moss Side. Further searching revealed that the council is also liable to an EU claw-back from the East Manchester (Bradford, Beswick and Lower Openshawe) development. Due, once again, to monies not being properly accounted for. Why has there been no full investigation of these issues, especially to investigate if criminal activity or maladministration has taken place?

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