Justice CommitteeSupplementary written evidence from Zusana Windle

I write further to my previous correspondence with the committee dated the 28 August 2012. I have watched the Parliamentary Accounts Committee debate and wish to inform the Justice Select Committee that Ann Beasley, Head of Procurement at the MOJ, misled the PAC and provided it with inaccurate information, which she knew was inaccurate.

The information concerns the suitability of Applied Language Solutions as the sole supplier of interpreters in the justice sector.

In 2010, when I was a director of the Professional Interpreters’ Alliance, I supplied the procurement department with specific information relating to ALS, which clearly indicated that the company was not suitable for a contract of this nature. The documents, which I sent to the Procurement department and the MOJ show that ALS’s credit rating was a measly 6 out of 100 in February 2011, which was the time the contract was awarded to them, and that the company was liable for too many mortgages and encumbrances to make it viable. I also submitted to them information about the CEO of ALS, Gavin Wheeldon, which suggests that he has a propensity to obtain contracts by deception. The Procurement department and the MOJ were in possession of an interview with Mr Wheeldon, published by The Sunday Times, entitled “How I made it”, in which Mr Wheeldon openly admits to obtaining a contract by pretending to be a large company, when in fact it was just he with his mobile in his bedroom. Moreover, I submitted to the MOJ an extract from Companies House records, which shows that Mr Wheeldon was a CEO of a company called “Future Builders”, which was formed in 2008 and struck off and dissolved by Companies House in May 2010. The company never supplied any accounts.

Ms Beasley clearly did not discharge her duty of due diligence during the procurement process when she chose to ignore and disregard extremely relevant information, which she should have taken into account. During her questioning by the PAC, Ms Beasley gave the impression that she was not aware of any factors, which made ALS unsuitable for the contract. This is not true. Ms Beasley was in possession of an expert report advising against awarding ALS contracts worth more than £1 million, as well as the documents relating to Mr Wheeldon’s activities and ALS’s financial position. I enclose these documents for your urgent attention. It would appear that Mr Wheeldon used the same modus operandi when applying for the MOJ contract that he used in respect of the contract with Hewlett Packard, to which he refers in the Sunday Times interview. He simply took on a contract, which he knew he could not deliver, and Ms Beasley and her department chose to ignore accessible information that was supplied to them at the time.

October 2012

Prepared 5th February 2013