Edinburgh trams facing full inqury


trams in Edinburgh

By Graeme McLarty

Edinburgh’s controversial tram project is to face a full inquiry by audit Scotland following claims that it has been financially mismanaged.

The report into the mismanagement of the £600 million project is being prepared for release early next year.  It is expected to look into the fact that transport Scotland have continued to fund the project despite knowing that it was massively over budget. They are also accused of not properly monitoring or looking into what the money was actually being spent on.

The project has been hit by many delays recently after the resignation of former project chairman, David MacKay two days ago and the recent dispute with German contractors Bilfinger Berger.

It emerged on Tuesday that Billfinger Benger dropped a legal action of defamation against Mr. MacKay after he described the contactors as “delinquent”

A spokewoman for Audit Scotland said: “The Accounts Commission General for Scotland have asked Audit Scotland to prepare a report on the trams project for publication in early 2011.

She continued: “The auditors of the City of Edinburgh Council and Transport Scotland have been monitoring the project and its associated risks as part of their ongoing audits.  The report will draw on their findings.

“It is expected to be an interim report which will draw on the progress of the project to date, governance arrangements and the kind of issues which will need to be managed as the project moves forward”.

SNP Lothians MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville, however was cautious towards the proposed inquiry: “with the council set to make key decisions set to be made in December, it is essential that the people of Edinburgh have answers before then.