TL;DR (Too Long;Didn’t Read)
The Enquirer has discovered council spending on properties hidden in Payments to Suppliers payment card data. These purchases fit the same pattern as the £111,000,000 AP1 ‘spot purchase’ purchase of properties previously reported. Who is concealing these transactions and why?
No! Wrong! No no no!
We made a mistake in our work the other day and the Payments to Suppliers data does not show that properties have been purchased using Council payment cards.
The reason we thought this was the case is partly because we should have known better and partly because of the inconsistencies in the way that Payments to Suppliers data is published on the Council website.
Below you can see just a few of the files we have to work with and the different ways that they are named. And that in addition to there being no consistency in file naming the contents of files can vary too.
Have a look for yourself in the screen shot of a small proportion of the files below.
See what we mean? In short, it’s a data nightmare. But we should still have known better and apologise for this complete and utter cock-up.
On the bright side we have queried our database of all Payments to Suppliers data for the last ten years which has brought up some interesting results which we shall share with you later this morning.
Those responsible for the previous error have now been put in charge of counting all the votes at the next Tower Hamlets elections in May where they can do no harm.