Thursday, 23 October 2014

TESCO CASE RAISES SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE CONCERNS


Mr E Cairns
72 Hillhouse Street
GLASGOW G21 4HP
22 October 2014

                
Mr Bob Doris MSP
The Scottish Parliament
EDINBURGH EH99 1SP                                              


Dear Mr Doris,
SCOTTISH ENTERPRISE      
I have been prompted to write to you again following reports of Tesco’s spectacularly falsified figures in relation to which I heard on BBC Radio 4 that in order to prevent such occurrences there ought to be more support for whistleblowers.
As you know I blew the whistle on deliberate false accounting in Enterprise Ayrshire but Scottish Enterprise gave me no support at all.
According to Scottish Enterprise’s position I exhausted their complaints process but in reality I never received a formal response to my complaint.
Following my early request for such information, Mr or Ms Ray Macfarlane, the Acting Chief Executive, wrote in a letter dated 14 October 1994:
‘Thank you for your letter of 4 October 1994 to Crawford Beveridge seeking comments on your departure from your contract post at Enterprise Ayrshire (EA). As Mr Beveridge is on leave at present, I have been asked to respond on his behalf.’
‘I am confident that the officers in EA have dealt with this case in an extremely professional manner. I realise that this will be a disappointing response for you, but have to inform you that, so far as Scottish Enterprise is concerned, the matter is now closed.’ 
Consequently, I request that you ask Scottish Enterprise on my behalf to provide a copy of their formal response to my original complaint in view of renewed public concern about false accounting and recognition of the need to give more support to whistleblowers.
Scottish Enterprise, as an important public agency, cannot continue to hide the outcome of my complaint without giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that something is still seriously wrong.  
Scottish Enterprise’s Lena Wilson already admitted that ‘The matter was immediately investigated at the time by Scottish Enterprise, its principal funder, and the accounting requirements for Local Enterprise Companies were clarified.’
So, as a result of the matter I had raised in Enterprise Ayrshire, accounting requirements for all the LECs were clarified. This indicates that my complaint had an impact upon the whole group.
But what did the formal outcome actually say? As an ex-employee, as a whistleblower, and as the complainer, I think I am entitled to see it. Maybe my copy got lost in the post.
Scottish Enterprise’s previous argument about not wanting to waste any more public resources on my complaint would be disproportionate in this instance since the expense of reproducing what they hold to be an already existing document would be negligible and since this is such an important matter relating to integrity in accounting which has again recently been a focus of much public concern.
Yours sincerely,
                               Eddie Cairns.