Tag Archives: KPMG

CROOKS AT THE COUNCIL UPDATE

The Reverend Rees continues his rudderless rule of the city with another useless decision that reeks of gormless establishment backscratching and favours returned.

Our spies inform us that the vicar has now accepted a senior management staff secondment to his crappy CITY OFFICE from notorious public sector troughers and one of the world’s most useless audit firms – corporate accountants and Labour Party donors KPMG.

This latest unaccountable jobbing consultant with a recently purchased MBA to roll up at Bristol City Council is coming FREE OF CHARGE from the corporate beast to advise the Reverend on “public sector reform” or “vicious public sector cuts delivered in impenetrable management jargon” as it’s also known.

So look out for claims coming soon that lots of our money can be saved by replacing frontline staff and services with some absurd overpriced techno-fix available only from a pricey but well-placed corporate supplier. A recommendation that we employ even more management consultants – such as those available from KPMG – to interpret all their bullshit for us and implement their shite plans is also HIGHLY LIKELY.

KPMG are a “disconcertingly COMPLACENT” firm according to Parliament. As one of the so called “big four” global audit firms, they FAILED to notice that the banks they were auditing – including the notorious HBOS – were effectively INSOLVENT in the lead-up to the financial collapse of 2008.

Although, before this crisis unfolded, these auditors did manage to collect extremely LARGE FEES from those very same banks for audit work and for large amounts of additional “consultancy work”. Some would say this represented a blatant CONFLICT OF INTEREST with the notion of “independent” audit work as firms were auditing the results of their own advice and inevitably deciding that all was well!

KPMG received £55.8m in audit fees and £45.1m in non-audit fees from HBOS in the period before the financial crash in 2008. They also managed to produce an “independent” report claiming a whistleblower, HBOS’s group head of regulatory risk, Paul Moore’s concerns were “WITHOUT MERIT” shortly before the bank financially collapsed!

More recently, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has started investigating KPMG over their audits of the financial statements of Rolls-Royce between 2010 and 2013. The engine-maker has recently admitted it FALSIFIED accounts to commit a string of BRIBERY and CORRUPTION offences during this period and has agreed to pay £671 million to settle claims and avoid prosecution. Blatant criminal activity, alas, that the brilliant and highly-skilled staff of KPMG totally failed to spot!

Why on Earth is the Reverend giving this shower of shit house room at our council?

GREEN SPONSOR FARCE

 

green cap

NEWS that the 2015 Green Capital nonsense had attracted major corporate sponsors FIRST GROUP buses and accountants KPMG was greeted with much excitement by the usual gullibles of the city’s press and establishment.

While the amount the corporations were handing over to get their logos plastered all over the year long greenwash non-event had to remain secret due to “commercial confidentiality” we were told.

However, we can reveal the reason for the secrecy. The “major sponsorship” adds up to a free audit from KPMG and a couple of new hybrid buses from First that they were introducing anyway!

THE (E)X-BOSS FILES #1: ANGIE RIDGWELL – “SO LONG AND THANKS FOR ALL THE CASH!”

The (E)X Boss Files

ANGIE ‘PAIDWELL’ RIDGWELL the former KPMG consultant who in the space of just nine months notched up three senior job titles at Bristol City Council (Corporate Services Director, City Director and now Organisational Development Director) and pocketed a tasty SIX FIGURE SALARY off the council tax payer – is quitting at the start of November, ‘to spend more time with her money’.

Riding into town in her top-of-the-range BMW, the dazzling redhead turned many a head, not least that of Mayor ‘Gorgeous’ George Ferguson – especially when she whispered into his ear how “very effective in delivery transformation in challenging and heavily unionised environments” she was. But alas, the relationship has soured and a permanent separation now seems inevitable.

Angie Ridgwell - ZERO LOSSMs Paidwell appears to be taking her ball home after not getting the permanent City Director top job that’s gone to Hull’s Nicola ‘Lady Gaga’ Yates, and so is heading off for the glamour of central government in That There London as she becomes Director General for Finance and Corporate Services at the Department of Energy and Climate Control. This leaves Gorgeous George and our council rather redfaced and in the lurch.

For Ms Paidwell is the person running George’s “zero-based budget process” that’s been shrouded in the utmost secrecy (see The BRISTOLIAN #4.4), quite possibly because it’s COMPLETE TOSH.

So isn’t it nice to know that when this corporate accountant claptrap eventually sees the light of day in November and is introduced to George’s unbelieving staff and public, its chief architect will be gone – along with £100k of our money!

So much for accountability in public office…

EXCLUSIVE WEB CONTENT: SNOUTS IN THE TROUGH NEWS

While ordinary Bristol City Council staff who do all the actual work have now gone without a pay rise for over three years and are dealing with the personal consequences of an effective THIRTEEN PER CENT CUT to their wages, no such hardships are happening at senior management level. Up there, it seems, pay rises continue to be dished out willy-nilly to any old passing public sector trougher capable of knocking out a persuasive Power Point presentation to gullible councillors.

First at the trough we find that not only has the city council created yet another new senior post – Commercial Director for Energy – but that, even before anyone’s in post, it’s been decided that this manager needs too have their pay UPPED from £71k a year to £85k!! A pay rise of twenty per cent for doing nothing!

Then there’s another new post – Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods and City Development – combining the two old posts of Strategic Director, City Development and Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods that used to pay a mere £102k a year for little in return (one postholder came up with the crap £150m Bus Rapid Transit white elephant; the other has overseen the creation of a major housing crisis in the city). But no worries here because the new postholder instead will receive £130K A YEAR!!!

That’s a rise of over 25 per cent for doing absolutely nothing beyond successfully navigating a recruitment process that continually dredges up hopeless deadbeats that have to be quietly pensioned off to Wales at a later date to save the council from further embarrassment. Still, this utterly undeserved pay hike should help ease the pain of austerity for the lucky postholder shouldn’t it?

Next on our troughers list of glory comes our new best friend, ANGIE PAIDWELL, the new Director of Corporate Services who turned up in January to clear up the former-Director, Will Godfrey’s mess and give the long-suffering staff on Shitty Hall’s third floor some respite from the sight of a useless dickhead wandering around the place with trousers flapping around his ankles. Angie started in January on a salary of £120k but lo and behold! Within two months she’s been given an entirely undeserved 25 PER CENT PAY HIKE to £150k to “act up” as City Director.

Now, this is an interesting one because councillors at the recent budget meeting voted to stop all “acting up” payments to council staff. Instead long-suffering staff are expected to do more work and take on more responsibility for nothing!!! Although obviously this new rule applies only to the little people at the council, not wannabe union-busters with top-of-the-range BMWs to keep on the road and KPMG on their CVs.

The Bristolian also learns that a post of Service Director for Strategic Property has been created recently with the job of selling off the council’s property portfolio. The plum job has been awarded to a very posh glorified estate agent called Orrett who used to work for corporate property firm BNP Paribas. And it must be said, Orrett’s come up with a very imaginative ruse to top up his £65k a year pittance – he’s simultaneously working as a CONsultant for his old firm BNP Paribas who might just be in the market for buying, er … Bristol City Council property!

The Bristolian will be on the streets later this week …

FERGONOMICS: CUT £35 MILLION (THEN SPEND £18 MILLION)

George buys 100 Temple Street for a bargain £18 million

Bristol’s new overlord GEORGE FERGUSON has celebrated his favourite date in the calendar – International Women’s Day – with the announcement that the City Council is to splash out £18 million on new office space in a massive overhaul of its property portfolio which will cost £70 million.

The triple dip-defying move to 100 Temple Street near Temple Meads train station – as hinted at in the last issue of The Bristolian – is a bold strategy for the Mayor, who is slashing nearly 400 jobs, cutting the city budget by a tenth and raising Council Tax by just under 2%, yet comes at a high personal cost to His Redtrouserness according to insiders.

“The new premises on Temple Street fall within Lawrence Hill, which is the fifth most male ward in the city with only 48 percent of residents being women. Whilst it’s a marginal improvement on Council House, which falls within the 47.9% female Cabot ward, it’s certainly no Westbury, which weighs in at nearly 54% women,” reveals a source close to the SINGLETON MAYOR.

Fergo apparently spent several restless nights considering the options, pacing up and down the empty, echoing corridors of Shitty Hall in the dark like a RED-TROUSERED NAPOLEON, before deciding to bite the bullet and make the move to Redcliffe.

“We were so worried we even put a proposal to him to relocate the Mayor’s office to a special temporary annex at Badminton School,” says the source. “But selfless to the last, George insisted that we fork out half the amount we’re saving in budget cuts on a prestige office complex by a roundabout.”

The Council’s new site is currently home to global accountancy firm KPMG, with whom George’s interim Corporate Services Director Angie ‘Sacker’ Ridgwell has a long history. KPMG will be the second ‘Big Four’ auditor to be made homeless in Bristol over the past year, following the ouster of Ernst & Young from their Rupert Street offices to make way for the sparkly new Bridewell police station (refurbished at a cost of just £3.8 million).

SACKER PAIDWELL APPOINTED

His Royal Mayorness George the First has announced that his newbie temporary Corporate Services Director ANGIE ‘PAIDWELL’ RIDGWELL, who only arrived in January, is to take over from Chief Exec Graham Sims in the new post of interim City Director.

Ms Paidwell has an intriguing past including a spell in 2006-08 2008-10 as Chief Exec at Thurrock Council, where she was unceremoniously dumped by the Tory administration there for a series of blunders including delivering late and incomplete accounts for the authority and getting the council threatened with a COSTLY LEGAL ACTION by big beast quango, the Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

Picking up a secrecy-shrouded pay-off of £330k for her trouble at Thurrock, Ms Paidwell reemerged at the London Development Agency running corporate accountants KPMG’s £1.8m project to restructure the accounts of the quango shortly before it was scrapped.

Two more years down the line and Ms Paidwell reemerges in Bristol in the top job with a council press release optimistically talking up her innovative relationship with ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm KPMG. Ms Paidwell, meanwhile, describes herself as “very effective in delivery transformation in challenging and heavily unionised environments.”

In other words she’s good at sacking people.