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Computer boss cost taxpayers £340,413

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

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.

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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.

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