Wednesday, 23 October, 2019

Carillion Bosses Branded 'A Series Of Delusional Characters' By MPs

Business committee chairwoman Rachel Reeves lashed the Carillion executives for failing to take the necessary action to protect the business Carillion Bosses Branded 'A Series Of Delusional Characters' By MPs
Russell Knight | 07 February, 2018, 04:52

KPMG - along with Deloitte, EY and PricewaterhouseCoopers - was ordered by the Business and Work and Pensions committees to disclose details of all work undertaken for Carillion over the last decade.

In 2011 FM World reported on Carillion's acquisition of suppliers of heating and renewable energy services, Eaga - likely to be the one to which Green is referring - whose share price "took something of a hit [in 2010] as government cuts hampered its business, especially the delivery of the Warm Front programme".

Ms Reeves and Mr Field said everything they had seen "points the finger in another direction - to the people who built a giant company on sand in a desperate dash for cash".

Zafar Khan, who was finance director for eight months until September 2017, denied being asleep on the job and said his report into the Middle East business "spooked" the board.

But Mr Cochrane said cancelling the £50 million dividend payment in 2017 would not have had a significant impact on the company's finances.

Former boss Keith Cochrane, who is among a string of executives being grilled by MPs, claimed all the decisions he took were in the best interests of the company.

Former Carillion FCO Emma Mercer denied the company was a habitually late payer that made suppliers wait 120 days, putting them in peril.

But, with the meeting hearing first from the company's most recent chief executive and chief finance officer, and then from their predecessors, there were times when each blamed the other.

To my mind one of the issues that contributed was the fact our debt had grown over the past few years.

Mr Matthews also warned colleagues that any private sector work for clients ‎involved in the fallout from Carillion's demise would have to be signed off by its United Kingdom board.

'Yes, I was surprised at the outcome that eventually came to pass, ' Mr Khan said. "I believe I did everything that I could have done, essentially".

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"I am encouraged that efforts are underway to complete the new hospital but we need to know when work will resume on site".

Clearly the business did have issues.

Green added: "I believe all of the board and every decision we took at the time we took it was right and we had surrounded ourselves by quality advice".

Green attributed Carillion's implosion to high debt levels from 2013 to 2016, problems with a small number of big contracts its failure to raise short-term financing to support the business in early January.

Carillion collapsed on 15 January when its banks refused to provide further funding.

Job losses at Carillion have risen to more than 800, after the official receiver said that it was laying off another tranche of workers employed by the failed contractor. "I don't believe so".

The two-part inquiry ended in an explosive manner as business committee chair Reeves called on the former bosses to demonstrate their sorrow by giving back bonuses they had received.

As Green spoke about the huge amount of people affected by the collapse, Labour MP Frank Field reminded the former boss that he still managed to "take nearly £1m out of the company while this was happening".

She added: "All of you sitting here with multi-million-worth of pounds from the company over a period of years, you say how sad and disappointed you are but what actions are you taking?"

"Because it's just words, isn't it?"

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