Scottish Liberal Democrat rural economy and connectivity committee member Mike Rumbles has today blasted the Scottish Government's response to the committee's report on the collapse of the Fergusons shipyard and the failure to deliver a pair of long overdue ferries.
The committee inquiry revealed the Scottish Government chose the most expensive of six shipyards tendering for the contract to build two new ferries in 2015 and paid well over its initial valuations when selecting Ferguson Marine as the successful company. The ferries have so far cost more than £250m.
The Scottish Government's response released today fails to address the millions of pounds of losses faced by the taxpayer and indicates that the government remains ‘fully supportive of our transport agency Transport Scotland, CMAL, and CALMAC" despite the report heavily criticising all three bodies.
Mr Rumbles said:
"This is an appalling government response to the committee's unanimous report. The failure to accept that there was a catastrophic failure in the procurement process suggests ministers have their hands over their eyes and their fingers in their ears.
"Meanwhile the government's response criticising the committee’s report for not blaming the contractor enough, suggests that complacency is well entrenched in the Scottish government, with an almost complete lack of understanding of the reality of their mistakes from the start to the finish of this sad episode.
"To top it off the Scottish government does not even mention in their response the millions of pounds lost to the taxpayer. This is the worst government response to a committee report I have ever seen. The minister must immediately appear before the committee to answer for this dereliction of duty."