Special Investigations

Sound governance should be the cornerstone of any organisation and in the public sector, dealing with vital services and public money, even more so.

For example public sector law, especially that relating to decision taking is highly complex. We have direct hands on experience of dealing with a whole range of matters from disciplinary issues through to criminal conduct. David Bowles was personally involved in one of the highest profile ‘whistleblowing’ case which led to the imprisonment of a politician for corruption.

We have carried out a number of special investigations.

Case studies

Investigation into culture which led to fiddling of waiting lists in the NHS; Following allegations that the manipulation of waiting lists at NHS Lothian was attributable to an oppressive management regime the Deputy First Minister and Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon ordered an investigation. We were appointed to conduct the investigation. David Bowles, with one of our Associates, Susan McNally, developed a special methodology of wider application to the NHS and local government. We were able to identify very serious issues of governance which had not been identified by staff surveys or Investors in People. We produced a report for the Minister along with a number of confidential advice notes. We also produced a report for the Board on NHS Lothian for publication.

The award of a Contract; In spite of serious concerns being expressed in this case there were no indications of fraud but there was malpractice, breach of the organisations own rules and procedures and the organisation had left itself open to action by the unsuccessful tenderers.

Allegations of abuse of power by two Directors. The review conducted, which was very wide ranging, identified clear examples of gross misconduct and ended in the dismissal of both Directors.

Leading a fraud investigation and financial recovery; A unitary Council in Scotland appointed David to oversee an investigation of a possible fraud and the subsequent liaison with police, staff disciplinaries and civil action for recovery. The case is on going.

Illegal pension scheme; A review identified that pension scheme was illegal in its application. We were retained by the organisation to investigate the circumstances of its implementation and the role of individual officers.

Sacking of a whistleblower; The English Unitary Council had lost an Employment Tribunal at a cost of circa £300k. We were asked to review the circumstances and identified a wide range of issues such as inadequacies in the grievance system and a failure to have clear lines of accountability.

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