BusinessBusiness RecoveryIt’s the £11m question

It's the £11m question

Whatever else you could say about BDO’s investigation into MG Rover’s collapse, one thing is clear ­ the final report had better be good

A total of £11m spent, £100,000 on hotels and a good £30,000 on food and
drink, and as yet, no report to show for it.

Nor does there appear to be any end in sight, with the government saying it
wants to give the investigators time to do a full and thorough probe.

There’s no danger of them not doing that, it would appear, after almost three
years of looking.

But it is all rather bemusing. After all, has there ever been any suggestion
that the parties involved in this case were up to no good?

The Phoenix Five have had their fair share of stick. They were labelled ‘the
unacceptable face of capitalism’ after paying themselves huge amounts in a
company that was failing.

Regulators are also looking at the work that Deloitte undertook on the audit,
and the non-audit fees they earned.

But is anyone claiming that anything worse happened? It’s not exactly Robert
Maxwell we’re talking about here, is it?

The story of MG Rover is a sad one for British business. It collapsed due to
long-term neglect of our manufacturing sector and the global difficulties of the
car industry in recent decades. The UK just couldn’t compete on that scale with
the onslaught of competition from the Far East.

The story of Rover is one for the historians now, and not for the fraud
squad.
The government says it has had 16 investigators working on the issue,
downloading thousands of documents to look at. What for?

There must be more than a suspicion now that the government has constructed a
haystack in search of a needle.

Alex Hawkes is the News Editor of Accountancy Age

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