Press release 05th Jan 2018

Hiring of KPMG to Assist Grenfell Inquiry, without Competition, Raises Serious Questions

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5th January 2018 – News that KPMG has “won” a £200k contract to assist the Grenfell Inquiry raises serious questions over both the competitiveness of Government procurement, as well as the suitability of KPMG to carry out this role given possible conflicts of interest.

Media reports describe that KPMG were awarded the contract by the Cabinet Office without any public tender process. Open contracting is an important anti-corruption tool that allows effective oversight to root out the awarding of contracts to benefit private interests.

Such a process may have also helped reveal and mitigate against potential conflicts of interest, with KPMG’s other clients including companies that are subjects of the Grenfell Inquiry.

Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“A key aspect of the inquiry into the Grenfell fire tragedy must include whether corruption or corrupt practices had any part to play, as would be the case if a similar event took place anywhere else in the world. The public have rightly been deeply concerned by this terrible tragedy and so it is absolutely imperative that the inquiry itself is conducted in the most transparent way possible and with the highest level of integrity.”

“It is therefore worrying that the Government has failed to honour these principles, taking shortcuts when hiring advisers to assist the inquiry. The scale of this contract is enough that it should automatically require a competitive tender process.

“KPMG has amongst its clients three companies subject to this investigation whose interests may conflict with the public’s in the inquiry. KPMG must ensure these conflicts are properly managed, at the very least by effective separation of information about the work of the inquiry from colleagues working on these accounts.”

***ENDS***

Contact:

Dominic Kavakeb

020 3096 7695

079 6456 0340

dominic.kavakeb@transparency.org.uk