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Express & Star comment: Time to make Carillion bosses pay

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

The scathing report on the collapse of Carillion is the first step of what must be a sea change in how the Government deals with public contracts.

Many smaller companies have suffered as a result of Carillion's collapse

The Wolverhampton firm's liquidation at the start of this year left a debt pile of £900 million and a pension deficit approaching £600 million, as well as a huge amount of unfinished contracts, many of which have been left in a state of limbo.

Unsurprisingly, the joint inquiry into its demise has found a 'rotten' culture operating at the top of the business, with directors apparently mostly concerned with lining their pockets.

The firm has become the latest example of how corporate greed can destroy a business.

The consequences of Carillion's collapse are many.

Its workers and pensioners are among the hardest hit.

Up to now the collapse of the company has cost more than 2,300 former workers their jobs, including more than 300 at the headquarters in Wolverhampton

The many smaller companies that carried out work for Carillion have also suffered.

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In the Black Country work on the desperately needed Midland Metropolitan Hospital faces a lengthy delay. We do not yet know how many businesses have gone under as a result of Carillion's failings.

Over the long term, it is vital that the Government looks at its procurement processes, so this type of situation never happens again.

But it is of paramount importance that those responsible for this mess pay the penalty.

The joint report by the Work and Pensions committee and the Business Select committee has not ruled out calling for disqualifications for directors.

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Serious questions must be asked over their suitability to run businesses in the future.

The auditors must also take their fair share of responsibility for failing to take action regarding this corporate disaster in advance.

Where was the concern for the workforce? Why did bosses not consider the impact the firm's liquidation would have on its pensioners?

Carillion has been a disastrous episode that will take the business world years to recover from.

We must make sure that the consequences are felt by those who lined their pockets while presiding over such a monumental failure.

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