Sherlock Holmes and the Missing Commercial Directors (Part 2)

(Read part 1 here).

We were about to set off for Whitehall and the Cabinet Office building in our quest to discover the fate of the 12 missing senior commercial executives, apparently recruited last year but not listed on Cabinet Office documents. Our Hanson Cab awaited, but as we stood in the London fog outside 221b Baker Street, one of the Baker Street Irregulars, the gang of street urchins that acted as Holmes’ eyes and ears in London, came running up to us.

“Sir, sir! Look what I’ve got! It’s the Crown Commercial Service Annual Report”!

Sure enough, the somewhat smudged and tattered set of papers he waved at us was indeed that document. Holmes gave the lad sixpence and we rushed back inside to our rooms to peruse the report.

“Let us see. Ah! Here we are, page 48. A table of staff grades – 16 staff at SCS2! Well, we know that the core CCS business has nothing like 16 staff at that level. Good heavens Holmes, we could name those who actually work in the core business. Matt, Carl …  half a dozen at most. So the rest must be the missing commercial recruits. The mystery is solved. But that does not explain why they are considered to be CCS staff rather than under the Chief Commercial Officer in Cabinet Office”?

“I think there may be a number of possible reasons, Watson. It means that the enemies of Cabinet Office can’t see how many senior staff are in that organisation, and how it has grown despite government austerity, as CCS is a separate trading fund”.

“Very clever”.

“Indeed, Watson. It also means CCS does not have to declare the exact salaries either, which the Cabinet Office does.  And of course it means that those posts can be funded by the supplier levies charged by CCS to its suppliers to fund its operations. So even though most of them have nothing to do really with the CSS core business, the suppliers are paying for them!  Intelligent thinking – or somewhat devious, some might say”.

I thought for a moment. “But what will be done when all the senior procurement folk from around the Departments come under Cabinet Office as the new Government Commercial Organisation? You can’t have all of them paid for by CCS, can you?

“That’s a good question, Watson. Most unlike you. I do not know”.

With that, Holmes suddenly gasped.

“But wait, Watson. What is this? Look, on page 50 of the CCS report there is a table showing new recruits to CCS. And it claims that there were NO new SCS2 recruits in 2015/16! So our disappeared commercial directors cannot be amongst the 16 listed here”.

“How can this be, Holmes?”

Holmes thought deeply. Then he took out his opium pipe, and spent several hours in a deep and thoughtful trance. Finally, he then payed Bruch’s Violin Concerto No 1 from start to finish.

“Well, Holmes, what is the answer”, I asked, becoming a little impatient, not to say bored and hungry.

“Watson”, he said. “I’m afraid I have no f*****g clue. It’s going to have to be a Freedom of Information request I’m afraid.  Let’s go and have a pint”.

Voices (2)

  1. Effwhitt:

    Having shared a Glenlivet and a Montecristo IV with Mycroft last evening, he suggested that “recruited” does not necessarily mean employed thereafter. But rather that they may then have been placed elsewhere to act as “sleepers” until the glorious awakening of the GCO when they will rise to take full power from the central host.

    But then he was very very drunk…

    1. Peter Smith:

      Indeed, Mycroft as always may have hit the nail on the head. We have emerging intelligence that last year’s cohort may indeed have been recruited for various departments. In which case not much of a mystery really, and Sherlock can go home to bed and Mrs Hudson. Not necessarily together, although I always had my suspicions.

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