MG Rover investigators run up £100,000 hotel bill

Investigators into the collapse of MG Rover have spent almost £100,000 on
hotel bills and a further £30,000 on food and drink, as the cost of the enquiry
by BDO Stoy Hayward soars.

The new details of the costs of the probe, commissioned by the Department for
Trade & Industry in 2005, come from a Freedom of Information Act request by
Accountancy Age. BDO investigators have spent £95,094 on hotel costs, with a
further £29,279 on subsistence, the response says. The investigation has so far
cost £11,155,790.

Sources familiar with the Rover collapse said the figures related to the use
of ‘dozens’ of investigators who spent up to a year living in and around
Longbridge following the Rover’s collapse.

Questions were also raised over whether DBERR had ‘drove a hard enough
bargain’ with BDO or whether it had simply ‘issued a blank cheque’.

DBERR defended the costs, saying the costs did not only relate to the two
investigators – Guy Newey QC, of Maitland Chambers and Gervase MacGregor of BDO
– but to a team of between 10 and 16 people.

‘They worked on-site between June 2005 and February 2006. It was not an easy
task and complicated to unravel… required a group to access and log several
thousands of accounting records,’ a DBERR spokesman said.

DBERR has also revealed that no budget had been set for the exercise.

‘That could constrain the depth and thoroughness of the enquiry,’ the
spokesman said.

Lorely Burt, Lib Dem shadow minister for business, said the hotel bill was
shocking.‘The company investigating seems to have been living in the lap of

‘It’s lacking government control. The government has given this company a
blank cheque to spend as much taxpayers’ money as it likes. The money could have
been used very productively to benefit the Rover workers,’ she said.

David Heathcoat Amory, the Tory MP for Wells, said: ‘There has to be a
suspicion that DBERR is not pressing for a quick conclusion because of politi
cal embarrassment.’

DBERR said it had not set a deadline by which the inspection must be
completed by the investigators.

probe costs hit £10m with no end in sight

MPs want end to BDO’s inquiry
into Rover collapse

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