Annex A. Scope of Work
Scope of investigation
A number of issues have been raised in the media and in parliament and the scope of our review will seek to address these, including:
- Original tender process
- Consideration paid to HIE for CML
- Evidence of access to finance provided by Natural Retreats
- Structure of original transaction, and HIE due diligence
- Clarify bidder company relationships
- Monitoring oversight by HIE for the operational contract
- Process in place
- Action taken by officials at key decision points
- Accountability of HIE Accountable Officer/Board
- Investment in infrastructure
- HIE announced in 2014 that £6m was to be invested by Natural Retreats. Of this £6m, £4m was a loan from HIE to Natural Retreats which was not taken up.
- HIE's additional investment over the contract period is reported to be £3.4m. What was the rationale for this in light of the anticipated private sector investment?
- Operational contract
- Management fees and other intercompany charges (e.g. administration fees) – how did HIE assure itself that these were reasonable on signing the contract?
- Clarification of which nature of fees paid by HIE throughout
- In 2016 a new business plan for NAIL was approved – what due diligence was undertaken by HIE at this point?
- Administration in 2018
- HIE's conduct of the transaction to take the Cairngorm services back in house. HIE were sole bidder and paid £462k. What due diligence was undertaken to ensure reasonable?
- Status of company and personal guarantees in favour of HIE and whether they provide any mitigation
- Contingent liabilities/budgetary pressures emerging from transaction.