An investigation by WRAP into the procurement of a composting study has concluded that the final decision was sound but the procurement process was “not up to WRAP’s high standards”.
The contract for the tender, Green Waste Compost Production Capacity – Feasibility Study for Wales, was awarded to Enviresource Consulting in August.
In November, WRAP launched an investigation into the procurement process after MRW raised concerns about a possible conflict of interests because of links between the manager overseeing the study and the consultancy.
Lance Jones, WRAP’s organics project manager, Wales, was one of two directors of EnviResource Consulting from its launch in 2011 until January 2012.
At the time of the original story, Jones insisted the procurement had been through the proper process with an independent panel, and that “all of the rules were followed to a ‘T’”.
But WRAP said: “The investigation highlighted that the procurement process had not been completed to WRAP’s high standards.”
The agency said the investigation showed the procurement conformed to WRAP’s processes but that it had highlighted “the importance for staff to be aware of their roles and responsibilities during a tender process.” WRAP would not supply any further details how ‘high standards’ had not been met.
WRAP added: “We are refreshing our guidance and tightening our procedures, to ensure all individuals involved in tender processes attend procurement training and refresher training on a regular basis.”
However, WRAP stated that there had been no conflict of interest and they concluded the decision to award Enviresource the contract was sound.
According to the agency, “[the tender was] not impacted by any potential conflict of interest on the part of the individual assessors, who all ranked the successful tender as first choice against the selection criterion set out in the Invitation to Tender”