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RIAS dismiss ‘flawed’ George Square inquiry

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November 18 2013

RIAS dismiss ‘flawed’ George Square inquiry
RIAS have called on the Public Standards Commissioner, Stuart Allen, to re-open an investigation into the bungled George Square competition - after revealing he had failed to interview any of the competition judges as part of his investigation.

Describing the report’s findings, which cleared council leader Gordon Matheson of any wrongdoing, as ‘flawed’, RIAS highlighted a failure to cross-check evidence, factual errors and undue deference to evidence given by Matheson in reaching their own conclusions.

In a letter to Allen the organisation wrote: “Our conclusions are that the report lacks details, lacks investigation and that the conclusions are therefore of doubtful validity. It appears there has been a simple acceptance of what was said by Commissioner Matheson without any consideration of issues of credibility and reliability.”

Commenting on the report RIAS Secretary, Neil Baxter, said: “This report ignores clear concerns about unfair treatment of local authority staff; failure to follow good ethical public standards and well established standing orders and legal principles.

"The Commissioner’s decision also sends out a strong signal to those who witness wrongdoing and consider acting as whistleblowers. The message seems to be ‘no matter what you are witness to, no matter how wrong you see it to be, no matter how your moral and ethical judgments are offended, if you say something you stand a very good chance of being ignored and after a cursory investigation it may well be you who is cast as unreliable.”

RIAS ran the George Square design competition on behalf of GCC but have been at loggerheads with the authority ever since amidst claims that Matheson had pulled the plug on the £15m project when judges refused to back his preferred scheme.

The PSC launched an investigation back in April after both the architecture body and GCC’s former chief architect contended that this stance put the authority in breach of procurement rules.

2 Comments

brian mccabe
#1 Posted by brian mccabe on 19 Nov 2013 at 23:46 PM
I'll be contacting Mr Baxter shortly to provide him with all the background information to my complaint made to the PSC and so abysmally investigated, and then the follow up complaint to the SPSO which led to the scathing report into the PSC's failings.
This was the SPSO report referred to in the article on pg15 of last week's Sunday Herald and highlights a shocking failure of PSC to adequately investigate and then to further engage in a cover up by not releasing documents to the ombudsman when requested.
The PSC is not a fit & proper organisation to carry out the function they have been tasked with by parliament. I look forward to speaking with Neil soon.
Janice Moakler
#2 Posted by Janice Moakler on 22 Nov 2013 at 12:53 PM
Remember the Cafe in the Square competition in 2005......

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