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A contractor walks inside Carillion’s Royal Liverpool Hospital site [Image: Reuters].


The critical Con (and I use the word with a capital letter for a reason) of hiring private companies to do government business rears its ugly head yet again.

We were told we couldn’t see the full impact assessments on Brexit because they were “commercially sensitive”. In fact, they didn’t exist.

We are told we cannot see information on the activities of privately-run public services, such as Atos, Capita and G4S, because they are commercially sensitive and are therefore exempt from examination under the Freedom of Information Act (S.43 exemption).

Undoubtedly there are other examples.

And we know the facts are being hidden from us because they would reflect badly on the companies and the government – that is why efforts to open companies with government contract up to public scrutiny have been rejected by the Tories.

What have they got to hide?

Tory ministers have been attacked for refusing to publish a report on doomed Carillion’s performance – because it’s “commercially sensitive”.

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it commissioned an independent review into prison maintenance, millions of pounds of which was outsourced to the stricken giant, early last year.

The review was carried out after prisons minister Sam Gyimah said he was “not impressed” by Carillion’s maintenance work in September 2016 and the firm was sent a formal warning.

Despite the row, the firm went on to win another £40million in Ministry of Justice contracts last year – before collapsing leaving 20,000 jobs in the balance.

Yet ministers say the report – together with other reports on Carillion’s effectiveness including an “improvement plan” – will not be handed to the independent House of Commons Library.

Justice minister Rory Stewart wrote: “There are no plans to place the information in the library as the report contains commercially sensitive information.”

Source: Tory government refuses to publish official report on doomed Carillion’s performance because it’s ‘commercially sensitive’ – Mirror Online


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