Tamesis denies any PDC account mishandling

Property and investment PR specialist Tamesis is embroiled in a row with the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after being criticised in a report on financial mismanagement at former client Plymouth Development Corporation (PDC).

Property and investment PR specialist Tamesis is embroiled in a row

with the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after being

criticised in a report on financial mismanagement at former client

Plymouth Development Corporation (PDC).



The Committee relied on evidence presented by the PDC’s auditors, which

was passed on to it by the National Audit Office.



The Committee’s report, published on 19 March, was scathing in its

comments on former PDC chief executive John Collinson (revealing that he

had claimed pounds 9,200 in expenses he was not entitled to). It was

also severely critical of PDC’s relationship with Tamesis, which managed

the corporation’s marketing and PR with subsidiary MSP between April

1994 and January 1996 at a cost of pounds 1.2 million.



The report criticised the handling of the account saying the PR contract

was awarded without competitive tender, that invoices were not detailed

enough and that the two agencies had overcharged to the tune of pounds

122, 584.



Tamesis says it was not allowed to address the points during the

investigation and says that it can show that it won the work in a

four-way pitch, and the contract was for a fixed fee.



Tamesis partner Tony Danaher says that the amounts that appeared to be

above the fixed fee contract were in fact claims for refunds for items

the PDC wrongly asked suppliers to invoice Tamesis for.



He also rejects a claim that Tamesis had sent three staff members to a

prize-giving ceremony in the US. In fact, says Danaher, only one Tamesis

press officer attended the event.



Committee chairman Robert Sheldon (Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne) told

PR Week: ’We didn’t take evidence as the report was published on the day

the House rose. ’There was a feeling on the committee that it had to get

this through. If there is a problem Tamesis should contact the clerk of

the committee.’



Danaher said he intends to do so, adding: ’This was just quango

bashing.’



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