A SECRET report looking into the problems with the project to renovate the Lagoon has slammed council officials and contractors involved.
Renfrewshire Council’s chief executive David Martin was asked by councillors last June to investigate why the four-year project costs had overrun and to look into management problems.
The Paisley Daily Express has now seen a copy of the damning report he presented to councillors behind closed doors.
And in it he details a catalogue of errors – and asks for an extra £130,000 to finish the project once and for all.
He has also instructed the council’s head of personnel to carry out a disciplinary investigation into what went on to see whether further action needs to be taken.
Mr Martin uncovered:
lAn adversarial relationship between council team members and external consultations.
lStrained relationships between the contractor and external consultants.
lPeople who were more concerned with doing their bit of the job rather than working towards a shared goal.
lPoor record keeping and an over reliance on verbal instruction.
lInsufficient management intervention at key stages during the project.
lProblems being dealt with as they arose, rather than at a strategic level.
He also said councillors should have been better informed of what was going on.
“The Lagoon project is one of the council’s flagship initiatives in recent years, with a high level of community and local interest,” said Mr Martin.
“While the council’s corporate governance procedures have been observed in a ‘technical’ sense during the evolution of the project, greater effort could have been made to keep members fully informed of progress – and emerging issues – by submission of additional reports to relevant policy boards, or in the form of member briefings.”
An extra £130,000 is needed from the council to finish the project. This is because since the Lagoon opened fully to the public, there have been some complaints over practical issues, such as the changing and showering facilities, moving around inside the centre and parking outside.
Mr Martin said: “In order to resolve these problems and provide a state of the art facility, it is proposed to allocate additional resources of up to a further £130,000 to finalise the Lagoon development.”
This work should be finished by the end of April this year.
As a result of his investigation, David Martin has commissioned a review of how the council’s investment and technical services (ITS) department works.
He also wants to develop a comprehensive training and employee development plan for the ITS department, with a specific focus on high order management and leadership skills.
A number of other changes are to take place to make sure no other council project overruns on timescale and cost, including improving document keeping, officer monitor meetings to have a focus on cost and timescale, a greater emphasis on long-term relationships with contractors and an update on all construction-related job profiles to make sure people know their roles and expectations.