Procurement Card Data: The Council make themselves look worse than muppets

They make themselves look worse than muppets, much worse, when there is no need.

The way they have treated their procurement card data is nothing short of shocking, well it’s worse than that. Whoever has overall responsibility for this portfolio really does require a very strong talking to, as it does not show Folkestone & Hythe District Council at their best.

We know officers are so much better than this.

If any member of the Shepway Vox Team treated data how Folkestone & Hythe District Council have treated their data, and presented it to the public; well they’d be strong words and re-training, lots and lots of re-training.

It’s clear the Council’s procurement card data has been manipulated. It’s clear those charged with oversight of the data, don’t really understand data, nor do they want the public to understand the Council’s data. Perhaps they don’t give a damn about looking professional, or how the outside world views their responsibilities towards data.

This week the council republished its 2019/20 Procurement Data. It also publish one month’s worth of data for April 2022 only. April 2022 should be for the quarter (May & June 2022 as well), but alas that seems beyond the powers of the council.

Below is evidence the Council cannot prepare data in a way which makes it consistent. All the data in image 1 below is for April 2022 only – we’ve taken the first ten lines of the data only.

And here is their procurement data for Q4, Jan – March 2022. We’ve shown only the first ten lines of the data in image 2.

Well the first difference is in image 1, there are seven columns. In image 2 there are eight. Then the dates are different, plus they are in an entirely different column. and formatted differently. Also data which should be in Q3 Oct – Dec 2021 is in the Q4 data when it should not be.

In image 1 there is no transaction description, in image 2, there is.

Moving onto image 3 which is data for Q1 – 2019/20, you can see there is no transaction description. Also there is data from Q4, 2018/19.

It’s clear, whoever was tasked with this job did not do it very well. The data as presented by Folkestone & Hythe District Council does not present them, or their data in the best light possible.

If it is beyond those who are responsible for presenting the data consistently, then perhaps it would be wise and sensible to outsource the work to a company, who could do the job much better than our council.

One has to wonder, if the Council cannot get these simple things right, what else can’t they get right?

Is it any wonder they are finding it hard to recruit staff, when it is clear to those who could be minded to apply, can see Folkestone & Hythe District Council can’t even get the simple things right.

The best thing for them to do, is take down the data, make it uniform, then place it back into the public domain, with an explanation, as to why this was down. This is all set out in the Transparency Code 2015, should they care to look. If not they can continue looking worse than muppets.

The Shepway Vox Team

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2 Comments on Procurement Card Data: The Council make themselves look worse than muppets

  1. As a shop window to the world, this data and other data Folkestone & Hythe DC publish does not shine them in a positive light.

    As a data scientist/analyst, I’d sack those with overall responsibility and re-train those who were coal facing.

    There is an irony, as the Parliamentary MP is Damian Collins, who made us all too well aware of the power of disinformation. It appears from the evidence, available to all, Folkestone & Hythe DC wish to allow their poor data practices to be shared with the world and disinformation to be spread.

    It would be wise to rip it up and start again, as is suggested by the authors.

  2. For them to take down their data then place it back in the public domain would be tantamount to them acknowledging they are incompetent so don’t hold your breath .
    All this happening whilst Nero Monk sits in his ivory tower and FHDC burn

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