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"The culture...pushes the boundaries of what the public would consider acceptable"

Thursday 10 November 2016

"The culture...pushes the boundaries of what the public would consider acceptable"

The States had built up more than 1.5million airline loyalty points which officers had little or no idea how to use, according to a new review.

It's also found that some officers showed what's described as a "blatant disregard" for the spirit of the code of conduct on booking travel and accommodation at the taxpayers' expense.

Earlier this year a scandal broke after two senior civil servants were accused of spending nearly £13,000 on fully-flexible business class tickets to a conference in South Africa - that prompted the States spending watchdog to take a close look at how travel and accommodation are booked using taxpayers' money.

That report has just been published and it's found that while there is no widespread abuse of the States system, a minority of officers didn't make an effort to find the cheapest travel options, some departments (such as the Chief Minister's) didn't apply their own policies to the letter, and others had a culture which "...pushes the boundaries of what the public would consider acceptable conduct."

Bizarrely, the report also found that the States had built up more than 1.5million travel loyalty points - but it seems no one knew how to use them for the benefit of the public. 

It said that a previous report, conducted by the Chief Minister's department into the same topic, hadn't been thorough enough. 

This report's been done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), whose Chairman, Deputy Andrew Lewis commented:

"The culture of some Departments pushes the boundaries of what the public would consider acceptable conduct. There is evidence to suggest that endemic within some departments is the belief that because attendance at global networking events leads at least in part to a significant (non-disputed) return of investment to the Island, there does not need to be such stringent application of those principles.

"However, the PAC considers that expensive business-class or fully-flexible tickets are rarely justified, and it believes that little or no attempt was made to seek more cost effective options. The PAC was particularly concerned that in one department, a high-cost itinerary was undertaken on three consecutive years with little or no exploration of real savings.

"Furthermore, it was shocked to discover that there was no robust policy and procedure in place to redeem individual airline loyalty points accumulated on States business, for the benefit of the public.  

"PAC discovered that there were 1.5 million loyalty points centrally accrued on States business which officers had little or no knowledge of how to redeem for the benefit of the public.

"Whilst we commend the review undertaken by the Chief Minister’s Department, my Committee believes that it did not go far enough to identify or highlight the instances of seemingly blatant disregard for the spirit of the code of conduct by certain officers."


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Posted by Tim South on
Chief ministers department conducting a review of themselves, you couldn't make it up.
Posted by david lesbirel on
Where do I find the Comments printed
Posted by nigel pearce on
It was discovered that officers didn't know how to utilise the points. These are the people running our government! I expect they would have been able to work out how to use them if it was their own points in question.
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