Computer boss cost taxpayers £340,413

An agency worker who ran a council computer department in Wolverhampton for two years cost taxpayers £340,413, it has emerged.

An agency worker who ran a council computer department in Wolverhampton for two years cost taxpayers £340,413, it has emerged.

Councillors today branded the bill "obscene" but authority bosses claimed there was no-one else qualified to do the job.

Tom Rennie has just been appointed interim "delivery director" for Wolverhampton City Council and will be paid £800 a day for six months while a permanent replacement is found and recruited.

But it can be revealed today that he commanded up to £729 a day through an agency between 2007 and 2009 while an overhaul of computers and customer services was taking place.

The £68 million project involving Surrey-based Axon was scrapped in 2009 amid concerns over mounting costs and fears it would not bring the £60m of savings it promised.

Mr Rennie led information and communication technology services while Richard Moll, a council employee, was seconded to the role of transformation director.

The £340,413 paid to the agency over 28 months was equivalent to an annual salary of £146,319, which is £12,000 more than the council's chief executive Simon Warren gets for running the entire authority and £4,000 more than the Prime Minister.

Mr Rennie then spent 440 days working for the West Midlands Pension Fund, based at Wolverhampton City Council, and through an agency charged £814 a day. This was paid for by the pension fund. His current job as interim director is paid by the city council.

Conservative councillor Paddy Bradley said today: "I am appalled. They say there was no-one else qualified but did they really look? This payment is obscene."

Council chief executive Simon Warren said: "At the time no other suitably qualified and experienced person was available within the council to cover this critical role.

"Mr Rennie was recruited through an agency on day rates ranging from £618.56 to £625 from January to April 2007 and from £625 to £729 from April 2007 to April 2009. The total paid to the agency was £340,413."

Pension fund director Brian Bailey said the fee charged by the agency broadly equated the cost of a full time senior manager.

Comments for: "Computer boss cost taxpayers £340,413"

stjoe

The money is no more obscene than that of the Chief executive or even the prime minister. Can the Prime Minister look after Computers and I.t in an organisation? He can be replaced in at the drop of a hat. How many years does it take some one to learn about I.T and Networking to the size that this organisation is. Cheaper than the Axon deal anyway. Stop monitoring peoples wages by what the PM earns. Surgeons,Doctors,Engineers I.T people are worth far more than any PM, and take longer to train. PM's can be replaced by the voters in 24 hours at a general election.

Steveo

Not sure I agree with you here. For me it's more about the the burden of responsibility. Whilst your point is sound regarding the time and money it takes to train a person to become a doctor, engineer etc, an individual person in these professions will never have to make decisions that impact so many people in so many different ways.

The PM role should be the highest paid job in the entire public sector and all others should be graded accordingly.

stjoe

I understand about the large burden of responsiblity, but people like Gordon Brown can walk away after making so many mistakes and nio one says jack about it! He walks away and onto pastures new as does any PM. The people I am talking about are on their own, and have to make individual decisions based on their skills to do the job. They may not impact on the many, but if they make a mistake it can be game over, or career over.There responsiblity to the individual is far higher than any PM's. I am talking about NHS employees like Doctors and Surgeons and engineers. If jobs should be graded accordingly then in my opinion these are the people who should be on the big money. Bigger money than even our sports stars are on.

Stewart Williams

The amount does not take into account the agency will take a cut. Then the Contractor will have to pay his own tax and NI. The council have no responsibility for any employer NI, Tax, Pension, training etc.

He was contracted to do specific role with a fixed term contract. The council could not find anyone else and working it out seems like the best way to me. Also, they can terminate the contract with no redundancy, redeployment or the unions getting annoyed.

Isn't this the way most other companies work as well by getting short term contractors/temps to fill gaps

Andy

Wasn't this the time when Labour were in charge??? I recently received a newsletter from Labour stating what they had achieved in Wolverhampton. What a joke. Its about time these idiots were booted out of power

attilla the critic

For a council that is trying to save money it does a pretty good job of wasting vaste amounts. perhaps someone should try and explain the concept of 'saving' as it seems totally alien to them at the moment, another classic example of why council workers get flack for working for the council,whats that well known phrase with 'a brewery' in it!!

Mike

Why don't they 1. Discover who was responsible for the decision and sack that person for gross incompetence. and 2. Tell Mr Rennie that he must pay back at least half of the amount IF he wishes to contuinue with any form of employment with W'ton MBC and 3. Get a new head of HR who can ensure that this type of incompetence does not happen again.