Audit Commission reviews lobby contract

The Audit Commission is considering invoking an anti-sleaze clause, included in its original tendering documents, to sack LLM – the lobbying firm involved in the cash for access scandal – Accountancy Age has learned.

The commission said this week it was taking legal advice on the ?due process? involved if it were to sack LLM – whose director, Neal Lawson, said he could put clients in touch with Gordon Brown. It currently retains LLM on an annual parliamentary monitoring and advisory contract.

Recognising the no-sleaze clause as part of a review, a commission spokesman said: ?It would be relevant to look at the contractual arrangements and identify any breaches.?

The clause, which was included in tendering documents sent out prior to LLM?s appointment last month, reads: ?Bidders should also indicate to the commission any recent or current ethical or professional problems or claims against the tenderer whichI call into question whether to appoint the tenderer.?

The Local Government Association said it had ?no plans? to retain LLM when its fixed-term contract, thought to be worth #6,000 a month, expires in September.

KPMG confirmed it would not be dropping LLM, which is credited for boosting the firm?s image in government circles.

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