Council staff sacked over contract scandal

Grant Prior 12 years ago
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Four staff have been sacked at Edinburgh City Council following an investigation into contract awards during an alleged multi-million pound housing repairs scam.

BBC Scotland said the quartet are believed to have been dismissed after an internal investigation into contract awards for maintenance work across the city.

About 500 residents had complained about the cost of housing repair work forced on them – with many saying the repairs were unnecessary or too expensive.

The allegations last year led to at least 15 staff being suspended while the council investigated  513 disputes which included claims of bribery, overcharging, unnecessary and poor quality work.

Edinburgh City Council uses a system of statutory notices to ensure essential repairs are carried out on its historic tenements.

Under the system, Edinburgh City Council can intervene to organise repair work on private properties when the owners of shared buildings cannot reach agreement.

It is the only city in the UK where council surveyors can arrange the work through approved contractors and recoup the cash from owners.

The local authority also receives 15% of the final bill.

The value of statutory notices issued by council surveyors has increased in recent years, from £9.2m in 2005 to more than £30m in 2010

Independent investigations by Deloitte, ordered by the council, and the fraud unit at Lothian and Borders Police are also currently under way.

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