Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Integrity, Integrity, Integrity

I wasn't going to blog anything else today but I've gone and read about Blunkett again. Why is he in the government again?

I see that he's been bolting the stable door. Unfortunately, the horse left the stable some time ago and went on to lead a long and fulfilling life before dying and being turned into pet food and glue. Still, the door *is* closed *now*.

Tony "there is no room for sleaze in the new Britain" Blair says "the matter is closed". Well, that's me reassured then.

The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, wrote to the Chris Grayling of the Tories stressing that there was no conflict of interest regarding Blunkett's involvement with this company.
DNA Bioscience does not have any contracts with the DWP [Department of Work and Pensions] or the CSA [Child Support Agency] and it is not currently in any discussions with them about future work.
Being a self-confessed cynic, I immediately wondered if this is one of those truths which only tell half the story. That looks like vagueness dressed up as something else to me. "Not currently in any discussions" can cover a multitude of sins. The statement does not claim that there have been no discussions of this nature in the past. The use of the word "future" implies that there is no possibility of such discussions happening somewhere down the line either. The statement absolutely does not say that though, it merely says that they are not "currently" discussing contracts.

And, on their "about us" page, DNA Biosciences claim that their customer base includes something they rather ambiguously call "Social Services". To be fair, that could refer to private social service providers. Maybe it's just us old fashioned leftie types who think of Social Services as the domain of a government department.

Anyway, if I was the advising the Tories, I'd recommend asking whether DNA Biosciences has ever been in negotiation with DWP or the CSA regarding possible contracts. I'd also be asking whether the company is (or has been) negotiating contracts with any other government departments. The answers might well still be no but they really should ask.

BTW, this is all excellent free publicity for DNA B... Entirley unplanned I'm sure, but I suspect this story will have significantly increased their "brand awareness" and their customer base.

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