Anglo’s auditors.

A secretive waste firm fined €1.3m for overcharging Iarnrod Eireann.

And Dublin City Councillors.

What could possibly go wrong?

For some unknown reason, the former Anglo auditors were employed by the council to choose a new waste firm for its juicy waste contract. For some even less obvious reason E&Y were given an outrageous €250,000 for coming up with the name of Greyhound.

It is far from clear why the council could not pick the waste operators themselves. They have a waste department, presumably with a more specialist knowledge than Ernst & Young. Instead, they lashed out €250,000 of taxpayer’s money to Ernst & Young, the villains of the Anglo fiasco.

What more, in the name of God, does a company have to do to find itself struck off the State’s list of favourites?

If Ernst & Young cannot be blacklisted for their Anglo howler, they should surely have been given the cold shoulder for State or local government work for several years? If they had waved the red flag on Anglo we might never have been left in our financial pickle. They didn’t. Every year for eight years they missed their chance to rumble Anglo.

So the council’s award of a contract to Ernst & Young, and then to Greyhound, demands public explanation. The big question is: how much did Ernst & Young or Dublin City Council know about Greyhound?

Not much. Or so it seems.

 

Stench As Rubbish Firm Wins (Shane Ross, Sunday Independent)

Earlier: Oh, Wheely

Thanks Sido

14 thoughts on “Pungent

    1. cluster

      This question of why a firm of accountants were chosen to make a crucial decision on waste engineering and then paid a quarter of a million to do so is mind-boggling.

  1. Jockstrap

    It all make sense when you stop assuming that all these cronies are honest people.

    They use the state coffers as a personal slush fund doled out by their old school mates placed in the Government departments.

    It’s been that way since 1922.

  2. Esquire

    So the state contracted an accountancy firm to do something… those bastards.

    Maybe if they hadn’t contracted accountants at all, we wouldn’t be in this mess! The Independent, what a rag.

    It’s not an auditors job to patriotically raise any red flags. They just make sure that reporting is compliant and legal. You can contract an accountancy firm for an advisory role, but you’re not legally bound to act on that advice unless it concerns something illegal. Unfortunately, it’s the politicians who write the laws. They’re also unlikely to employ those who’s advice they constantly ignore. See the problem?

    1. cluster

      Why would you hire an accountacy firm for this task? This is not their field. Presumably they charged out partners to the state at hundreds of euro an hour to apply expertise which they do not have.

      An engineering consultancy with procurement experience could possibly be justified although the council should be able to do this themselves. It is worth pointing out that E&Y were the auditors of both Anglo-Irish Bank and Lehman Brothers and that the waste firm chosen does not seem to have delivered successfully on a previous semi-state contract.

      This sort of process should not only be above board but should appear above board to prevent the sort of corrosion of public confidence in public institutions that will result otherwise.

      I’m not a fan of the Sunday Independent but I genuinely can’t see why this article would justify describing the paper as a ‘rag’, in fact I think they have done the public a service here. So, Esquire, perhaps you could explain?

      1. Esquire

        I’m no expert on what E&Y does. I’m also no expert on what E&Y does not do but the article is couched in an assumption that auditors have no expertise in waste management. The bidding process E&Y were brought in to organise may have had very little to do with the actual auditing service line. Waste management companies probably do need accountancy services from time to time and if E&Y has a strong suit in this industry then it probably is a very relevant partner.

        Look, I’m not an accountant but they’re basically involved in everything in some shape or form. The article makes a few good points but the whole ‘just what *are* E&Y doing here’ thing wreaks of stupidity. The Independent is a rag because it’s mixing this with a sensationalised idea that auditors took their eye of the ball in Ireland.

        There basically could be a million reasons as to why E&Y were involved and I’m sure the vast majority are very boring. The ‘explanation’ probably won’t sell newspapers so it won’t go to press. People only give a shit if you’re lacking enough facts to put a spin on it.

        1. King of Fools

          Finally, someone on here that makes some sense so a thumbs up to Esquire. A Big 4 Accounting firm has MANY business units that specialize in advising pretty much all operational aspects of a business. Also, in terms of the person that made the comment on how EY was Lehman’s auditor. EY was never found to have done anything incorrectly and it is documented that EY advised against some of the LEGAL practices that Lehman partook in.

  3. Paul McEntee

    There’s a glaring error in Ross’s piece. It wasn’t EY’s job to chose a winner – it was the council’s decission based off an long list that EY drew up. As someone else confirmed above, it’s not up to the accountants to check the legal issues these candidates have gone through – purely to assess the business itself and its physical ability to manage the size of the task ahead etc. Clearly the council have also made a significant amount of money for selling this service which people seem to be forgetting. Also it wasn’t a ‘tendor’ for someone to provide the service — it was an auction to sell the service.

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