This painting of Birchington didn’t get finished as I had to get back to Ramsgate for School’s Out, ‘fraid to say I rushed at it a bit at the end.
There is a letter from PwC to The DfT doing the rounds at the moment, it’s in the form of a pdf file so a picture of the beginning and an ocr of the text underneath, as I don’t know how to post pdfs on social media apart from leaving people to download the file.
Dpartment for Transport
Great Minster House
33 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 4DR
For the attention of **** and ***
26 March 2015
Manston Airport Review
Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP (“PwC” or “we”) is pleased to have been appointed as the independent consultant to undertake a review of the documents supplied by Thanet District Council (“TDC”) and RiverOak Investment Corp LLC (“RiverOak”) to the Department for Transport (“DfT” or “you”).
We confirm that we have this week received the relevant documents relating to the Council’s decision not to take forward a Compulsory Purchase Order of the Manston Airport site with RiverOak as the indemnity partner. These documents cover the period from 4 May 2014 to 25 February 2015 and include financial information provided by RiverOak.
We have agreed a work plan with you and commenced our work. The objective is to provide DfT with a full report by Friday 22 May 2015. The report will address our scope of work and provide DfT with specific advice in relation to:
Any key considerations that TDC could have taken into account at the time, based on a review of the information provided to TDC (at the time).
Further key considerations that TDC may wish to take into account in any further CPO review, based on a review of the information provided by RiverOak to DfT.
On the basis of the findings from the above, PwC’s advice on what, if any, further work TDC may wish to undertake to help strengthen findings from any future due diligence exercise.
However, PwC is not expected to provide DfT with a view on whether TDC’s due diligence was sufficient, nor on the reasonableness or otherwise of TDC’s conclusions.
At this early stage, we can report that we have: Met with DfT for an inception meeting where we finalised scope, confirmed our work plan and reporting;
Received dossiers of documents from DfT encompassing the relevant documents from TDC and RiverOak; and Commenced our initial review of the above documents.
Our next actions will involve:
Preparing a timeline of the process between, and inclusive of, the document dates outlined above to assist our review;
Identifying any areas of difference in the dossiers of TDC and RiverOak, which you have provided to us;
Identifying documents, such as RiverOak’s CPO indemnity offer, financial information and other relevant decision documents that may require specific review by subject matter experts;
Understanding RiverOak’s readiness to commit funding to promote the CPO process, upon signing of an agreement with TDC; and
Understanding TDC’s due diligence of RiverOak’s financial status, availability of funding to cover CPO costs and business plan.
We will remain in close contact with DfT, and we will bring to your attention any questions in relation to documents received, including any information gaps which may impact our work.
What it actually means is open to interpretation I guess and will have a go later if I get time.
I guess the big revelation to come from this letter is something along the lines of; I think most people thought that PwC would either say that TDC had got it wrong and should pursue a cpo, or that TDC had acted correctly and RiverOak were an unsuitable indemnity partner.
Although the PwC letter is framed in legal language it does seem to be saying something else is what they are doing.