West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper believes former Lancashire County Council Leader, Geoff Driver has questions to answer over his conduct regarding the tendering of the County’s Fleet Services contract.
Councillor Driver signed off the contract just days before County Council Polling Day. He did so despite Rosie Cooper raising concerns over the process and the probity of the decision.
MP Rosie wrote to Geoff Driver on 24 April 2013 requesting that the decision on the Fleet Services contract be deferred until after the election for greater clarity around the tendering process.
Geoff Driver forced through a decision on the multi-million pound contract just 8 days before polling day.
Rosie asked Councillor Driver for assurances that every organisation tendering for this contract had been treated fairly, equitably and with parity in terms of access and had been given the same information.
Geoff Driver wrote in an email to Rosie on 25 April 2013 at 08.37, “...I can assure you that the proper procedures were followed in the tendering of this contract.”
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“I wrote to Councillor Driver stating I had serious concerns regarding the tendering process.
“For whatever reason, he chose to ignore my requests for him to defer the decision on this contract; which I made on three occasions in correspondence with him on the 24 April 2013 and 25 April 2013.
“Following the suspension of the Chief Executive over the tendering process, I do believe the former County Council Leader has serious questions to answer over his conduct.
“From the outset there have been questions over this process. Take for example another question I asked Councillor Driver: How a Lancashire County Council spokeswoman could say on 29 January 2013 ‘we’re not currently considering any proposals for changes to this service’. Yet there was correspondence dated 8 January 2013 between the County Council and Union Officials to the contrary.
“Ultimately, Councillor Driver was the person who signed off this multi-million contract. He had a duty to the taxpayers of Lancashire and I believe he too has questions to answer.”