What is in a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
- Services to be delivered by the Service Provider have to be defined up front so that the recipient of the services knows what they will receive.
- Level to be delivered means defined performance. The quantity of Services to be delivered to the recipient has to be defined, when & where they will be delivered, the Quality of the service being delivered and KPIs [key performance indicators] to be measured.
- There should be a pricing schedule showing how much each service delivery item costs. This is in order to justify that the services being delivered are ‘value for money’.
- Normally a SLA will include a schedule of fines/reductions of payments to the Service Provider if the services delivered do not match the contract schedule and/or the services are not to the quality defined. Evaluation or auditing of performance against the defined Quantity & Quality outcomes is usually performed by an independent party.
- An Agreement is the contract which defines the above Services, quantity & performance Levels, pricing schedule, duration of the agreement, and payment arrangements. Without a written agreement there is no legal recourse if problems occur between the parties concerned.
What happens when:
1. No Services were defined up front to be delivered by the Service Provider (Celtic) for the funding payments provided by NHSGGC, EDC and SED through The Lennoxtown Initiative charity. According to The Lennoxtown Initiative minutes there appears to be periodic ad-hoc attempts to press gang/round up children and see if they can be accommodated at Lennoxtown to justify the Celtic SLA.
2. No performance Levels were written down. No ‘outcomes’ appear to have been defined upfront and there is no record of the Quantity & Quality of the services supplied. How many children attended sessions at Lennoxtown occasionally during schooldays or boys club tournaments during summer break? Was it ‘value for money’ for each delivery?
3. No Agreement appears to exist. It looks like only the payments were defined and there was a scramble to find services to fit under the SLA to give it some legitimacy. It looks like the Celtic SLA was only a ‘project’ in a charity and there was no formal agreement. This leaves the 3 public authorities potentially exposed to accusations of mismanagement, fraud and corruption. Surely the 3 authorities would have kept a copy of the Celtic SLA if there was a written contract? Well none of the public authorities has a copy.
The Celtic SLA lasted 9 years and finished in 2014 so it started in 2005. Lennoxtown was approved [un-minuted by the NHSGGC] on 17th August 2005 but the ‘in principle’ Celtic SLA was in place before the sale. It was undocumented in 2005 and it appears that it continued to be undocumented.
There appears no evidence to justify the allocation of £884,167 public funds by the public authorities over nine years through a charity, The Lennoxtown Initiative, to a project called the ‘Celtic SLA’. Those public authorities could not have tracked if their funds delivered ‘value for money’ because there was no defined services in a contract that could have been measured or evaluated for performance.
East Dunbartonshire Council (EDC) FoI on Services is one month late
We have a FoI that went into the EDC late August 2014 requesting details of what services were delivered to them under the ‘Celtic SLA’. FoI’s are supposed to take 20 working days – about a month. It’s almost 2 months.
The thought behind the FoI was that, although there appears to be little legitimacy to the ‘Celtic SLA’, either when it was established or when it was running, from The Lennoxtown Initiative minutes, perhaps it actually delivered something of value for the residents of Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire or the taxpayers of Scotland/UK. So we asked the EDC what was delivered and they don’t even reply, never mind make any attempt or perhaps they are ‘generating evidence’ as we speak?
Really EDC, the ostrich-head in the sand or in this case the shit, is not a confident move when the situation appears to be fraud using a charity, especially to Audit Scotland, the charity regulator and the police.
Not having the contract, audited performance of delivery or even details of services delivered all point to this being a scam. If it was a real SLA then all those details would be to hand because it’s mandated that public authorities show they obtained ‘value-for-money’ for public expenditure. And the EDC would have answered the FoI easily since they would have the details.
It appears that the Celtic SLA was dangled in front of Celtic to get them to move to Lennoxtown (Why when the land was cheap anyway?). There never were defined services, levels or an agreement. All that was left of the ‘Celtic SLA’ was Celtic. It was all about funneling money to Celtic.
There was no open tendering of kids football training – did Rangers, Dumbarton or Clydebank get asked? Celtic were getting paid for the ‘Celtic SLA’ when they didn’t even have an operating training centre in Lennoxtown. All those other teams had training grounds operating nearby during this period but were not even approached. Notice the familiar recurring pattern: Closed transactions given to only one party – no open transparent competitive tendering.
Speaking of the stench of corruption, one MSP warned about this years ago.
‘The set-up stinks and is giving off wiffs of corruption’
Frances Curran (SSP) in the Scottish Parliament twice highlighted, in 2003 and 2006, that something was not right with The Lennoxtown Initiative, but no one took her warnings seriously. They should have. The dates have links directly to the quotes.
Well it looks like Frances Curran was correct.
Thanks to the person who found the latter comments.