Tuesday 1 February 2011

Dodgy Dealing Over Pease Pottage?

Pease pottage hot, pease pottage cold,
Pease pottage in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.
[Old English nursery rhyme and children's singing game.]

It is beginning to look more and more as if our initial opinion about the Crawley Forest School plan, namely that the agreement between detention business wannabes Arora Hotels Ltd. and the Home Office to convert the school into a Pre-Departure Accommodation facility' i.e. a 'fluffy' detention centre to appease woolly Lib Dem members of the Condemnation, is in fact a dodgy behind-closed-doors stitch-up between the two organisations.

At a regular UK Border Agency 'stakeholder' meeting last week, when the plans were revealed to those attending [1], it became clear that there would be no open public procurement tendering process for the facility as is required under EU and UK legislation. In response to a question from one of those attending as to why the Agency was ignoring the law the response was "because there is not time"!

This of course signals a potential spanner that might just fall into the Arora/UKBA works, leaving them open to a legal challenge on the issue and it certainly warrants a parliamentary question being asked by some interested MP about the Home Office's apparently mendacious behaviour.

[1] Though interestingly not in the latest [January 2011] issue of the Border Agency News.

No comments: