Sunday, 1 July 2018

Glasgow's Cockamamy Pay Scheme

I submitted a freedom of information (FOI) request to Glasgow City Council back in February 2018 in which I asked the Council to explain how much money had been spent on introducing its WPBR pay scheme in 2007. 

Now initially the Council said it held 'no records' on this subject, but after I appealed the matter to the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) I received this letter from Carole Forrest, the director of governance and council solicitor.

The letter was accompanied by two further document - the first one shown below confirms that Glasgow City Council spent £143,103.19 in the early months of 2007 and the second document (which doesn't like to be copied for some reason) confirms that GCC spent a further £530,000 on HR consultants during 2006/07.

So the combined total comes to £673,109.19 and as Carole Forrest concedes there may be other invoices which have since been deleted.

What a terrible waste of public money for a cockamamy pay scheme which I've been criticising since it was first introduced and which was finally condemned as 'unfit for purpose' by the Court of Session, Scotland's highest civil court, in August 2017.

My thanks, as ever, to the Scottish Information Commissioner because without SIC's help and support these damning details would have remained hidden from public scrutiny.

Maybe now, Glasgow's politicians will start to question seriously the way in which Scotland's largest council has been run for the past 12 years. 


By email:

Director of Governance and Solicitor to the Council 
Carole Forrest LLB DipLP
Glasgow City Council
City Chambers 
George Square 
Glasgow G2 1DU

Our Ref PCED0420 Your Ref

Dear Mr Irvine


I refer to your recent application for a decision from the Scottish Information Commissioner in relation to your Freedom of Information request for the following:

Please confirm the total monies paid to Steve Watson and/or Hays HR Consulting inconnection with the introduction of Glasgow City Council’s Workforce Pay andBenefits Review (WPBR) and the Employee Development Commitment (EDC)?

Please confirm whether these monies were paid in instalments and if so, the dates on which individual payments were made?

Please provide a breakdown of these payments between WPBR and EDC?

As you may be aware from discussions with the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner (OSIC), the Council has located some additional information which falls within the scope of your request. I have enclosed copies of this information together with an explanation below of the additional documents. I apologise that this information was not located and provided to you at an earlier stage. The further searches that identified this information are detailed below.

Summary of Invoices from Hays
Please find enclosed a document titled ‘Summary of Invoices from Hays’. This documentprovides a summary of the details contained in all of the invoices from Hays Specialist Recruitment Ltd that we have located in relation to the WBPR/EDC.

The invoices detailed in this document had been incorrectly filed which is why they were not located during the initial search for information falling with the scope of your request. Please note there may be further invoices in connection with this matter which are likely to have since been deleted in accordance with the Council’s Records Retention and Disposal Schedule which provides that invoices should be retained for the current financial year plus 5 years.

Consultants spending
Please find enclosed a copy of a document titled Consultants’. This document was locatedby the Council following additional searches which were carried out on our electronic document and records management system.

The document relates to spending by the Council on consultants and includes information on spending with Hays for the WPBR.

You will note that some of the information contained within the document has been redacted (blanked out). This is because this information relates to spending on consultants for matters unrelated to the WPBR/EDC and falls out with the scope of your Freedom of Information Request.

You will note that the figure for spending with Hays in this document is higher than theamount stated in the ‘Summary of Invoices’ document. Unfortunately due to the age of the document titled ‘HR Consultants’, the origins of the document are unknown, the sources of the information contained within it are unknown and the figures quoted within the document are unverified. It is not possible to confirm if this document is a draft document or a finalised document. As stated above, there may have been additional invoices in relation to the WPBR/EDC which have since been destroyed in line with our Records Retention and Disposal Schedule which may explain the difference in the figures.

Advice and assistance
By way of advice and assistance, in terms of section 15(1) of the Act, I can also advise that the Council entered into an agreement with Ways HR Consulting Limited from 1 April 2007 to provide advice on matters including general advice to the Governance Board/EDC and Service Performance Proposals, maintaining the integrity of the pay and grading structure, advice on reviews and subsequent appeals, and briefing of the Trade Union representatives. The key personnel for Ways HR Consulting Limited included Mr Steve Watson.

In terms of section 15(1) of the Act, I can also advise that decisions of Glasgow CityCouncil’s committees are available on our website and can be found at the following link:

I would advise that the Council does not expect that the detailed information which you have requested will be contained in Committee papers. However, more general information in relation to the WPBR/EDC will have been reported to Committee and may be of interest to you.
I hope that the attached information is useful to you. I understand that an officer from the Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner will be in touch you shortly to discuss your application for a decision.

Yours sincerely


Invoice date 
Invoice total 
Date authorised 
Invoice number 
Account number 
Worked completed 
14 December 2016
£36,372.53 (including VAT)
29 January 2007


Design and preparation of Career Map tool 
EDC Element 2 
5 days at £1,400 per day 
EDC Element 3 
3 day @£1,400 this covers officer meetings on 27/28/29 and 1/12
Includes expenses of £402.80 
Total = £11,602.80

EDC Element 5 
4.5 days @ £1,000
EDC Element 4 
1 day @ £1,000
This covers officer meeting on site on 16/11, 20/11, 23/11, 24/11 and offsite work with the Hays Team including expenses of £1,331.52 
Total= £6,831.52 

EDC Element 2 
1.5 days @£1,200 
EDC Element 4 
4 days @ £1,200 
EDC Element 6
1 day @ £1,200 
This cover work has been taken offsite with attendance of Hays, includes expenses of £45.90 
Total= £7,845 

EDC Element 1 
2 days @ £1,400 
EDC Element 6 
1 day @ £1,400
Includes site meeting on 28/11 plus offsite meetings and communications, includes expenses of £220
Total= £4,420 

18 January 2007
£44,911 (including VAT)
20 February 2007
RP 5821637

EDC Element 3 £7222

EDC Element 5 £12,283.13

EDC Element 2 £11, 277

EDC Element 1 £7,440

19 March 2007
£16,302.60 (including VAT)
23 March 2007
RP 6073839
Management fee, 08/03/2007

Additional support on EDC implementations to February 2007

17 April 2007
£30,426.26 (including VAT)
26 April 2007
RP 6194086
Introduction fee for 4/4/2007: 

Implementation of EDC- 12th March to 6th April 2007

Trg prog design/briefing/ 2 days input 

Delivery for process career coaching/behavioural skills £9300

Del of Workshops/ 2 career coaching 5 process, 5 skills (14 tot)

22 May 2007
£15,090.80 (including VAT)
29 May 2007
RP 6359218
Management fee, 03/05/2007 

Implementation of the EDC- 7th April to 4th May 2007 
Delivery of workshops- 5 Process workshops (11,17,18,24 April, 2 May) Not charging for 11th and 17th 

8 skills workshops (12,13, 19, 20, 23 April, 2, 3, 4 May)

Total payments (based on the invoices stated above) = £143,103.19

Please note there may be further invoices in connection with this matter which are likely to have since been deleted in accordance with the Council’s Retention and Disposal Schedule which provides that invoices will be retained for the current financial year plus 5 years.