Thursday, April 12, 2012

#Woolwich : #MET Corruption -Report due on Metropolitan Police contract with News International executive:

A report is published today on a contract handed by the Metropolitan Police to a former News of the World executive.

Scotland Yard paid £24,000 to former executive editor Neil Wallis’s firm Chamy Media for PR advice between 2009 and 2010.

He was arrested on suspicion of phone-hacking last July but has not been charged.

The Imdependent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) has already announced that former Metropolitan Police communications chief Dick Fedorcio has a “case to answer” over the procurement of the contract.

IPCC deputy chair Deborah Glass said when he did so on March 29: “Our investigation found that Mr Fedorcio has a case to answer in relation to his procurement of the contract for Chamy Media.

“Last week the Metropolitan Police Service proposed to initiate proceedings for gross misconduct and I agreed with that proposal.

“In light of Mr Fedorcio’s resignation today, those proceedings cannot now take place and I propose to publish our investigation report detailing our findings in the next few days.”

Earlier in March the Leveson Inquiry into press standards heard that Mr Fedorcio invited people from leading PR firms Bell Pottinger and Hanover to submit rival bids for the contract that was awarded to Mr Wallis.

Chairman Lord Justice Leveson suggested that the Met head of public affairs chose these companies because he knew they would be more expensive than the former News of the World executive, adding: “The point is, this is set up to get a result.”

Mr Fedorcio denied this, but confirmed that he initially wanted to award the contract to Mr Wallis without any competition.

Mr Wallis offered his services as a PR consultant to the Met over lunch with Mr Fedorcio in August 2009, the inquiry heard.

The Scotland Yard communications chief, whose deputy was on long-term sick leave at the time, discussed the possibility of hiring the ex-tabloid executive with then-assistant commissioner John Yates.

Mr Yates said Mr Wallis gave him “categorical assurances” that there was nothing about the News of the World phone-hacking case that could emerge later to embarrass the Metropolitan Police if he was given the job.