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It mostly covers my work as UNISON Scotland's Head of Policy and Public Affairs although views are my own. For full coverage of UNISON Scotland's policy and campaigns please visit our web site. You can also follow me on Twitter. I hope you find this blog interesting and I would welcome your comments.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

KPMG and billing

Interesting story in the Herald today about the accountancy firm KPMG. This is the firm that claims to be able to reduce costs in the public sector whilst at the same time making a lot of cash out of its public sector contracts. No discount there! They are also significant players in the commercial lobby to privatise Scottish Water.

Administrators from KPMG who were called in to Glasgow jewellers Martin Groundland have had a £518,000 bill reduced by £77,000 after a judge ruled that parts of the claim could not be justified. According to the story they may have been charging £100 for phone calls a few minutes long. Not bad work if you can get it!

KPMG also explained that its spreadsheet system “does not and cannot specify the particular work done." Can this be the same firm critical of public sector work practices?

According to KPMG it is “not uncommon for courts to reduce the fees of accountants and solicitors without any question of overcharging or malpractice”. I have to say I struggle with that explanation, but perhaps the Accounts Commission and those public bodies who have shelled out vast sums to KPMG over recent years should take a closer look at their bills?

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