It has emerged that LibDem-run Kingston Council has handed a former Kingston LibDem Councillor a lucrative paid contract without going out to tender, and without an interview.
Equally as surprising was the news that Kingston Council didn’t request a declaration of interest from the former LibDem councillor, who is understood to still be involved in local LibDem politics.
Following a Freedom of Information request, Kingston Council advised that as well as not obtaining competitive quotes, they did not ask the contractor to complete a declaration of interest. However, since the contract dealings from July 2019 were discovered, the Council has since confirmed that they will require such contractors to complete a declaration of interest in the future.
The contract to provide ‘technical consultancy’ was handed out to the LibDem using an exemption to the usual requirements of gaining three competitive quotes. Kingston Council advised that they had not employed the former LibDem Councillor as a member of staff, but admitted his company had been contracted to work for the council.
Kingston Council advised that the exemption from the usual tender requirements was due to ‘business and time critical’ circumstances.
Cllr Kevin Davis, the Conservative Group Leader, said: “It’s extremely concerning that LibDem-run Kingston Council handed a contract to a former LibDem Councillor and senior activist, without an interview and without going to a competitive tender. The process for awarding contracts should be open and transparent. Kingston residents who pay the highest council tax in London, have the right to expect that contracts are put to the market for competitive quotes to ensure best value can be achieved by the council.”