Further Update On Supply Chain Efficiency Scheme

18 Feb

As you are aware projects running under the SCES, such as Pembrokeshire Produce Direct and Fork2fork have appeared on numerous occasions on this blog. Both these projects where funded through the Supply Chain Efficiency Scheme. I understood that there was to be some evaluation of this so asked some questions and the wag replied.

Response to my Freedom Of Information question No 9170.

  1. Which is the independent company that has this contract and how were they awarded this work? Was it put out to tender?
  2. You have given me rough dates for publishing the final report and supporting documents as end of 2015, but are you then able to send this final document through to me? Or if that’s not possible, when and where do I know how to search for this information?

In relation to question 1

CM International was awarded the contract for the independent evaluation of the Supply Chain Efficiency Scheme on 26 November 2014. The contract was awarded via an open tender public procurement exercise on etenderwales.   

In relation to question 2

The independent evaluation of the SCE scheme is scheduled to complete by the end of September 2015. We expect therefore to publish the final report and supporting documents on the Welsh Government website by the end of 2015.

So we are only slightly further forward. But after further wag website digging I found the cost of the tender awarded was £56,375 – with £70k actually set aside for this evaluation. Which is wonderful wag work if you can get it. The SCES scheme, which the government says is an important element of the Rural Development Plan for Wales, (RDP) has been running from 2007 – 2013, with quite a few dubious projects, in my view. We’re now told wag will not have this evaluation until the end of September 2015. Wag will then take nearly three months before this will be posted on their website. So my next question is, will this be easy for us to find? I doubt that very much. But as Welsh food and drink is so important to this country why does this evaluation process have to take so long? When is there time for lessons to be learnt on wasting money?   As a cynical journalist it concerns me that it will be the end of December before we get a chance of reading these words of evaluation wisdom. So I worried that the end of 2015, when many people are on Christmas/New Year holidays, is a great time for wag to bury more bad news…………………

Something else worth highlighting for those of you going forward for tenders is that:

The Welsh Assembly Government, on behalf of the Welsh Ministers, will be conducting this procurement exercise through the etenderwales portal Tender documents and other information must be downloaded from and returned through this portal.

So just in case wag have not informed you of the introduction of etenderwales, please don’t just check out selltowales, get yourselves registered on ‘etenderwales’. I’d be delighted to hear that wag had kept you updated, but maybe they’ve not!

We’re also told that:

A series of recommendations based upon the research findings will be made to inform the development of any similar scheme that may wish to be implemented by the Client in the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020.

Well it’s good to know those timings isn’t it? Bearing in mind the Rural Development Programme  now runs from 2014 -2020 but is unlikely to kick off until late 2015. Now could that be that our Welsh Labour Government might just be thinking that this timing will give them a head start for the May 2016 elections? I guess they could look at it that way and they have the power to do whatever they like, it might also fool any Welsh voters who have short memories, or don’t mind the government sitting on a stack of money and just biding their time to help their elections chances. Let’s hope I’m proved wrong ………………………………………


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  1. Cup Cake

    February 18, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    We’ve all got that this scheme was flawed from the people whop agreed some of these projects to those that supposed to have run them. As producers we are interested in PPD and F2F because they were our main food ones. But my husband has plenty of tales about meat ‘projects’ including HCC and Cambrian Mountains they both got lots of cash.
    Cheers for keeping us in the loop K. you are the only one doing so, doing part of wag food’s job for them, you are such a kind lady!!!!!!!!!

  2. BOW

    February 18, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    You have opened a lot of cans of worms relating to wag food, but this must be the biggest by a mile.
    Burying bad news, well that’s true from our side, but from their side, they’ll tell us they are learning lessons from these failures. Bet without explaining why these two projects were given the go ahead in the first place.

    We cannot expect wag food to be upfront and honest. If they were they would not be treating you and your guys as scapegoats for telling us and them the truth.
    I despise what wag food are doing and wish some one in that department could behave like a grown up and put us and you first.

  3. Parrot

    February 18, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    You are asking too much from wag food.
    They are in control and will do whatever they see fit – even if it isn’t in our opinion.
    They are our public servants but sadly in our view not in touch with reality.
    You support is welcomed though!
    Only wish we could achieve more to change things but sadly not.
    knocking our heads as the big wag food wall……………………

  4. Beefy

    February 19, 2015 at 11:56 am

    If this was funny it would be a great joke
    but it isn’t funny. This is our money which has been thrown at these 2 projects in particular, plus there have been others too, but neither of these 2 worked. They’ve not had a few grand to play with. One had nearly £800k the other at least £1.4 million pounds. As Producers we cannot see what they’ve achieved and where this massive amount of cash has gone. It isn’t good enough for us to be told they’ll learn lessons from the old projects to use on the knew ones. So that means Europe’s boxes are ticked, their money is sat in wag’s bank doing nothing, but the people that agreed these stupid project get off scott-free. Bet they even got a pay rise.
    Cheers Kath for keeping on this one but I can only guess how cross you are with wag blocking you the whole way whilst you search for the truth. We need an honest and clear government but we haven’t a hope of that happening.
    I class SCES under shady deals, but what do I know?
    Life would be easier if wag food can read this site, understand it and act on it, but that’s another of my dreams.

  5. BOW

    February 19, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    I’m sure you above all people will have to accept that despite your valiant efforts you will never ever get the truth on SCES.
    You know what will happen, you’ve explained how you see it and many of us agree wholeheartedly.
    But we also admit that we and you haven’t a hope of changing how the wag food work and how they never seem at accept the mistakes they make and the poor judgement that runs through this department. That’s how it looks to me and others working on the coal food face.
    You literally can only despair of the whole lot of them and I can only say to you that you should not have backed the new guy, whoever he is. Most of us producers wouldn’t pick him out of a 2 man line up. He’s a stranger, in fact I see him as the enemy, which sounds strong but that is how I feel It shows he doesn’t give a hoot about us as long as his boxes are ticked.

  6. Mr T

    February 19, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Congrats on pushing wag and wag food on this one but they’ll tell you little more.
    As you’ve said we’ll be told – they’ll learn for it well that will not happen.
    Pity Europe is unable to take an interest in what wastage goes on in Wales instead of just checking their ticked boxes.

  7. BOW

    February 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Heads should roll on this mis management of all this cash. But there’ isn’t a hope that will happen
    we’ll learn from these poor schemes – what an expensive lesson for us to pay for.

  8. foodie

    February 23, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    10 out of 10 for taking this on but you are on a mission to nothing
    wag food will cover all their backs and this big amount of monies will have been wasted
    heads will never roll their because of incompetence I’ve sure never heard of that occurring instead the main culprits will be promoted and we’ll pay them even more!

  9. foodie

    February 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    You do not stand a hope of finding the true story of what has really happened on this scheme. You cannot possibly expecting wag food to tell you the truth.
    You have raised issues about this scheme since fba were awarded that contract, you’ve followed up with PPD and you have not got the truth.
    But the truth is wag food have made poor decisions, wasted European money, and the food producers have missed out big time.
    You’ve asked serious questions for years but have been fobbed off and bullied which speaks volumes to us outside the civil service.

  10. BOW

    February 25, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    This is probably ONE of the biggest can of worms you uncovered Kath.
    You have spent so much time trying to get to the truth but we both know you are on a hiding to nothing.
    I don’t see wag food having the bottle or the honesty to tell us the truth of what has gone on especially with fork2fork and PPD. Such a massive amount of money on these two products alone and they’ve achieved nothing for us on the ground floor producing food and drink. Sure Europe will be ok with wag food ticking their boxes but what a sad situation for the Welsh tax payers.
    I see this as the utmost disgrace more so as we’ll never be told the truth.

  11. foodie 2

    February 27, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I admire your courage keeping going at this one but we all know it is a waste of your time, apart from highlighting this outrage for all Wales to learn about.
    Wag food will bury this and FBA and PPD got shedloads of money to achieve very little for producers.
    I believe wag food must be totally out-of touch with the food scene in Wales to approve such pointless schemes and waste so much of our cash.
    Heads should role on these two projects let alone any others but instead we’ll be fed the line on how many lessons wag food have learned form what is about £2.25 million given to these 2 projects.
    You deserve a medal Kath for keeping on with this without you we’d know little about this but wag food cannot forgive you for telling the truth.

    Wag food bully you, but it is only because the are wrong and haven’t the guts to admit it. They’d get a few producers on side if they had the bottle to do so, which is more than they have now.
    But wag food can never say: sorry we were wrong and things will change because we’ll now LISTEN.

    I’m dreaming of course that this will happen!

  12. Parrot

    February 27, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    We are both dreaming sadly that that will happen

  13. Jo

    March 2, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Wag face up to the ginormous sums of money you have thrown at projects that have been totally wasted with little if any benefit to food and drink producers.
    But you’d have a job to face up because you lot have so much egg on your faces with on going wastage it’s take forever to scrap it off.
    This site has told you in detail where we as producers know you are going, Kath can talk for us because Kath and Ian talk to us and always have done. But you public servants think you know best and take it upon your self to bully Kath for saying it how it is . You say you want feed back but that’s more lip service that’s all lip service and you have no intention of listening to someone who knows better than you lot think you do.
    Bully is your tactic and it is disgusting that you’re allowed to behave in this manner. There should be a law against such discrimination – all because the lady is right and you shower can’t hack it.
    You are childish too and children should learn from their betters but not if they are civil servants.

  14. Beer boy

    March 2, 2015 at 4:46 pm

    My take on this is you are dealing with idiots whose main goal is now to the cover the cracks in these big grants they’ve given out. They’ll then tell us they’ll learn from their errors and it was only our money but Europe’s boxes have been well ticked, so Europe’s happy it’s only us food producers that aren’t and of course Kath that’s done all this work to get to the truth. .
    Well I don’t see those civil servants ever learning that lesson they are civil servants after all.

  15. Bow

    March 13, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Do wag food need another carpet sweeper? Sure they must do….
    Let me know as a career change might wrok for me whilst wag food continue to wreck our industry.