Before he joined East Kent Housing (EKH), Mark Anderson (pictured) former Director of Property, had according to his Linkedin page, seventeen jobs between 1985 and June 2016.
One of these seventeen jobs he held was Interim Executive Director of Assets & Regeneration for Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO), between Apr 2011 and Feb 2013.
In 2012 is when the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower begun, Mr Anderson was in the thick of the negotiations to bring on board the Architects – Studio E.
At the beginning of this month the Grenfell Enquiry part 2 began hearing evidence from Studio E. On the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of March 2020, the transcripts show Mark Anderson’s name was mentioned on twelve occasions over the 3 days.
In short the inquiry heard that Studio E (see page 17) – the architect for the building – manipulated its fees to avoid the contract being put out to open tender.
Studio E proposed to Mark Anderson, the director of assets and regeneration at the TMO, “a 50% deferment of all stage D fees to keep the total stage D fee below £174k”.
Studio E’s architect told the inquiry:
“I understood that this limit was the maximum contract value permissible under EU procurement regulations, above which KCTMO would have to follow a compliant procurement process in selecting consultants. Such a process might involve advertising and tendering the opportunity publicly or using consultants from an approved framework list.”
So in short, no tender occurred and no due diligence was done on Studio E. Had due diligence been done they would have discovered none of the Studio E architects had experience of over-cladding projects.
“We are working closely with our customers to identify, investigate and resolve any issues across the estate and consult with them on all associated costs.”
Further issues regarding maintenance, repairs and overcharging continued to emerge via tenants in June 2014, Sept 2014, Oct 2014 and Dec 2014. By April 2015, when Mr Anderson moved on, Circle Housing admitted contractors had been overcharging for repairs at its properties as part of a £220m contract.
In July 2016 Mark Anderson rocks up at EKH as Interim Director of Property, between July 2016 – Nov 2016. In Nov 2016 Mr Anderson is given the job of Director of Property at EKH with Deborah Upton’s blessing no doubt, as they had previously worked together at Circle.
Mr Anderson has in just these three positions – set out above – been in part been responsible for allowing substantial overcharging to happening twice on his watch. And once to potentially flout the EU Procurement rules which may well havecost 72 lives.
The Inquiry, like the Police Investigation, will determine Mark Anderson’s fate.
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