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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 September, 2004, 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
Holyrood findings: Your views
Lord Fraser in the courtroom
Lord Fraser has published his report into the management of the hugely over-budget Scottish Parliament project.

In it, the Tory peer said massive increases in costs and delays flowed from a number of decisions taken at a relatively early stage "which were fundamentally wrong or wholly misleading".

He also agreed with evidence suggesting the architect, Enric Miralles, did not take costs seriously but he stressed that the late First Minister Donald Dewar did not mislead MSPs.

Lord Fraser said he has found "no single villain" but "a series of systematic failures".

You sent us your views on his findings, here is a selection.


The construction industry couldn't believe their luck when this bunch of clowns asked for a new building.they are laughing all the way to the bank with taxpayer's money.
jim cameron, scotland

They they they! The people to blame could be those that voted for and likely will continue to vote for those that perpetrated this robbery on the Scottish people. In short, the outrage seems not to be only about the money, but how they ,would have liked to see that money spent. There seems to be no limit to how you'll spend other people's money. As long as that is the collective will of the population allows such malfeasance to exist it will do so.
John Paxton, Phoenix, USA, ( ex scot)

Firstly, and most importantly, we now have a world-class building which has cost a meagre 100 per person in Scotland, so let's stop the moaning and get on with improving the country as a whole. However, the whole mess was started when the project was controlled by London. Yes, the MSPs are also to blame, but let's not lose sight of the fact that Westminster should have waited and consulted with the Scottish Parliament before rubber-stamping the building project in the first place. Also, in response to an earlier comment, the English taxpayer is contributing nothing to this building, so let's not start another argument over supposed subsidies and cloud this discussion yet more.
David, Scotland

No cover up? Then why did David Steel admit there were two sets of minutes? A complete sham. It's a pity the inquiry wasn't run by Margo McDonald - she'd have sorted it out!
Jeremy Robson, Scotland

The Fraser Inquiry is just one more whitewash in a long line of them. He concludes that there were systematic failures but no villains? So who made the mistakes that led to the failures? It's the same old story - the establishment busy protecting each other's backs.
Bill Scott, Scotland

Glad to see Dewar has been vindicated. Fraser criticised him for rushing ahead when he should have left it to the parliament. Can you imagine what a mess those daft MSPs would have made of it if choosing the site and design had been left to them. They'd still be in the Mound bickering about Calton Hill. The HPG were a bunch of lightweights but the real villains were the poor faceless civil servants - unmasked and exposed as the arrogant and duplicitous bunch they are. Our new Parliament has delivered a great thing: it's finally made these bureaucrats accountable.
Sandy Mutch, Scotland

Another waste of money on a building that is a complete waste of money. There may be no "single villain" but it shows that they aren't fit to run a whelk stall let alone a country.
John, England

What people don't understand is that the need for vision, beauty and aesthetics is as much a need for a nation as new hospitals and schools. Through its aesthetic a nation defines itself to itself and to the world. To set itself apart Scotland needs visionary and daring people like Enric Miralles and Donald Dewar. We have produced a beautiful visionary building that represents a new Scotland. To the penny-pinching niggardly small-minded MSPs who cannot match up to the building's ambition and daring: please stop dragging Scotland back down to mediocrity, it is your small-mindedness that has been holding Scotland back for the last 300 years. Enjoy the building, celebrate its grace, arise to the challenge of your future.
Kenny Macleod, Scotland

Yet another joke enquiry, where no one is blamed, and no one is held accountable. Is there a point in any of these inquiries, when, clearly, they are designed to let the perpetrators of waste and mismanagement off of any responsibility? The enquiry was just another waste of money, on top of that already spent on this pointless parliament building. No wonder the English laugh at the idea of the Scots managing their own finances!
Victoria, London, England

The individuals at the centre of this enquiry should be made accountable. There was never any real need for a building of this scale and certainly not one that has cost as much as this. No project in the private sector would ever be allowed to run so embarrassingly over budget as this has. Unfortunately those in charge were permitted to throw good money after bad...all at the expense of the taxpayer.
Alan, Glasgow, Scotland

Lessons must be learnt? The M74 extension has just doubled in price to 1bn and no one has turned a shovel! A monumental financial disaster is about to forced on us again. Do these morons never learn?
John Dunn, Glasgow

What a farce. They must think the nation zips up at the back. Are we really stupid enough to believe that no single civil servant made a mistake for which they should be disciplined? In any other walk of life, job, company etc. if you make a mistake you get sacked - why is that not the case for these people? Can they do no wrong? No wonder the turnout is so poor at elections - we're losing faith in the political system - transparency and accountability should never be 'recommendations', they should be mandatory. These people will continue to take us for mugs for as long as we pay their fat salaries and pretty pensions. We're a laughing stock and so is the ugliest building I've ever clapped eyes on.
Kenny, Edinburgh, Scotland

I'm not surprised no-one's to blame for the final cost of Holyrood. Lucky for Scotland that it's the English tax-payer who's paying for it.
Pete, England

What a surprise nobody will loose their job following what can only be described as a major management failure. In any other industry I have worked in heads would have rolled for such incompetence. Such a pity that Greg Dyke was not available to be these scapegoat for this piece of nonsense.
John Irving, Scotland

As the Scottish parliament and government demonstrated such poor management of the building project, can we have any confidence that the rest of the government management is any better?
godfrey, scotland

Such incompetence in handling resources beggars belief. No doubt the mandarins will pass to another elevated job with vastly over-rated salaries I bet you their time spent on this project will not be recorded on their C.V. or am I being just cynical?
Alex. Cunningham, Scotland

My five-year-old took one look at the building and asked if Barney Rubble and Fred Flinstone lived in it. Out of the mouth of babes ...
Katherine, Scotland, UK

Oh dear, here we go again, I think we are in danger of running out of white-wash, so much is used in recent times, one thing in common though (the labour party}I hope we will learn lessons and vote with our feet, show Just who is boss?.
mairi macleod, Scotland

The new building was not needed, as there were plenty of suitable buildings lying unused in just about every town and city in Scotland. The MSPs wanted something brand new - they should have been made to pay for it themselves. Too many people seem to delight in spending other folk's money. None more so than that shower of under worked & overpaid collection of garbage at Holyrood.
Ian, Scotland

Firstly I find it short-sighted and offensive that some have chosen to comment on the waste of English taxpayers money on a Scottish building. I could wax lyrical for hours on similar such ventures and political misdemeanours south of the Border that equally come from my taxes. Views such as these only serve to suggest that independence would solve this argument entirely. In general I believe the inquiry has identified the culprits, (sometimes people, sometimes systems), but like most, I believe accountability is the key and learning for the future is vital. The building itself is quite exquisite and I for one, am far more concerned on the quality of debate, decision and powers within than the building itself which I am sure with the controversy generated by it, will generate more than enough revenue and income to compensate for years to come.
Sheila Brown, Scotland

Lord Fraser's line "no single villain of the piece" raises the suspicion that we are dealing with another establishment whitewash.
Malcolm, Scotland

How much did the Millennium Dome cost the UK taxpayer? And it was only ever designed to be a temporary structure. If we have any kind of value for money then this parliament will stand for decades to come and allow MSPs to get on with doing something useful in a suitable environment. Sacking those at the top only works when there is someone with more common sense to take their place.
fiona, scotland

By profession a project manager in the oil industry, I am astonished at the complete lack of project management demonstrated in this debacle. However, it is not unique; look at the West Coast rail upgrade and virtually every other major public works to see similar events. Is it that we as a nation are incapable of delivering a project or is it that the mandarins, bureaucrats and politicians interfere in the process and don't allow the professionals to manage? It is a given in capital intensive projects, that late changes have a disproportionate effect on both the schedule and the final cost. The single most important aspect of any project is clear definition of the objectives, how big, how many, to what standard, at what cost etc. Then set up the contracts to reflect the imperatives of the project. Following on from identifying your objectives and setting out the contract strategy a major priority of project management is to set drop dead dates for design freeze (change) and then refuse all changes after that date. It might make you unpopular as a project manager but you then stand a chance of delivery on budget and schedule. I believe that one of the current success stories is T5 at Heathrow, if not the largest then one of the largest civil engineering projects in the UK, on time and budget. The main difference is that it is being built for a commercial organisation, and I presume that they have followed the fundamentals laid out above.
Nick Baker, France

I hope Richard Evans was equally "angry, indignant and outraged" at the cost of the Dome, the new British Library, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link and Portcullis House. Devolution should mean better government for the whole of the UK. Let's move on and make it work.
William McLaren, Ireland

Another Lord, another inquiry, another conflicting report, another "systematic failure", another "no one to blame", another "Whitewash", another government incompetence and failure skilfully brushed under the carpet and another day goes by with the government goes on telling half truths, spinning, dodging, manipulating and deceiving the public.
Mandy H, Slough UK

What a lot of hot air.
Frank McFadyen, Ayrshire

So I still fail to grasp where the 430m went. Where is the break down of who was paid what? Surely they have invoices for every last penny spent?
B Chalmers, Scotland

Why was there no cap on the spending? Why did no one do anything when it reached 200m? Who made a fortune? Why is no one deemed responsible? You can't blame everything on processes, people carry them out. And finally, why is the building such an eyesore? It's aesthetically disturbing and ruins the foot of the Royal Mile, its horrible. It looks like it has handgun templates stuck all over its horrible malshaped incongruous grey exterior.
Andrew, Edinburgh, Scotland

It's entirely right that a devolved Scotland should have its own parliament building. It's also entirely right that that building should be of high quality, should add to the architectural excellence of the area and be a building that all Scots can be proud of. The big mistake here was to involve politicians, they are just not clever people and time and again demonstrate their uselessness. Any business that under forecast its budget by a factor of 10 would be bankrupt and its managers out of a job. Thank God that UK plc is not yet entirely run by these useless individuals, whose purpose (at least to me) is unclear.
kevin, london, UK

Whitewash as a Scottish taxpayer i am totally disgusted, how can there be no one to blame, it's time that MSPs remembered that they are there to serve us not the other way around shame
Frankie, scotland

Disgusting! How can a line be drawn?! The Scottish people have no confidence in Scottish politicians and civil service. They are a joke and they have made us a joke by misleading us and wasting money that could have re-worked scottish education, health, housing etc for the better. The final kick in the teeth? Who got sacked? Who got their salary cut? hmmm We need a new leader ...preferably a leader who is dynamic and has a vision and the drive to make change....it's a pity there is no one who captures the Scottish public's imagination in the existing parties.
Andrew, Glasgow

Is any politician in the UK held responsible for anything? First Kelly, then Iraq intelligence (or lack of), now Holyrood. This is a disgrace!
Kenneth Lockie, Baltimore, USA (originally from Glasgow)

Have you actually seen it in person? It doesn't convey anything about Scotland what so ever and looks like a poor approximation of an Escher drawing with weird corridors and strange windows, and an upturned boat... 450m for that? Pathetic.
Slopey, Aberdeen

There is a very simple solution to all this, all MSPs and the civil servants involved should take a 50% cut in salary until the 391,000,000 overspend has been recouped. Those who have "retired" should have to live on a state pension. Henry McLeish should have to give up his first minister's pension (I know he wasn't blamed by Fraser but he annoys me)
Ian , Scotland

The inquiry was a waste of time! We all know the blame lies with the person whose signature resides on the blank cheque. Bit of a joke and the only ones who are laughing are the construction company. Being an ex-pat Scot and having been a resident of Edinburgh it was 'tradition' to spit on the Heart of Midlothian on the Royal Mile. I think the latest tradition will be to scratch the new parliament building and see if it's really made of gold!
Craig, England

Lord Fraser's report basically says that the project went way over budget because it cost more than everyone thought it would - well worth the spend on the inquiry then! Try to drive into Edinburgh from Fife or go north of Edinburgh at the weekend and you cannot - there is gridlock - another bridge is needed - it will never happen - the other roads are at gridlock.There is no motorway down the east coast of the country.

A main A&E department at Kirkclady has been closed which means unless you wait four hours on any day you will not be seen. The parliament will take up most of their time debating dead and dying 19th Century industries such as fishing because that is the extent of their mandate - Scottish Parliament!! What a joke - it has and will achieve nothing.
Peter, Fife

None of this belly-aching is going to change a thing so let's celebrate a new, exciting building for Scotland - there will be teething troubles, of course, but let's not get them out of proportion.
Derek Blyth, UK

I think that we need to move on and make the most of the parliament building from now on. We can't get the money back and the reality is that a lot of civil servants and others who were "responsible" for the mistakes have since retired or moved jobs.

I would hate to think that we will look back in a year or two and identify mistakes that are being committed now. We need to prevent theft and vandalism from the building and abolishing waiter service in the MSPs' canteen wouldn't go amiss either...
David, Scotland

This monument to the egos of third rate politicians should have been halted when it first became clear the budgets and timescales were unattainable. We, the public, will be expected to foot the bill, whilst these overpaid "regional councillors" will be slapping one another on the back.

If any of them had a shred of decency, they would award themselves a pay cut until this defecit is cleared. How many hospitals could be funded with this money? They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Tom Speirs, Scotland

A simple question, who is actually paying for all this? The people of Scotland, in which case I'm very sorry for them, or the UK tax payer, in which case I'm angry, indignant and outraged that my hard earned cash is going into something completely irrelevant to the average Englishman.
Richard Evans, England

The outcry about price shouldn't be about the 450m but about the measly 40m proffered in the first place. Westminster spent that on providing offices for the MPs, so why shouldn't we spend that and 10 times more if necessary to get a spectacular building that would be the envy of the world....not that this one is, great but not spectacular.

Let's draw a line under the sand regards the price of the parliament. It's an amazing building, it's here, accept it, glory in it, sell it on postcards in movies on TV. Make it a 'must' place to visit. Make it earn its keep for the nation.
Brian Hill, Laos

Miralles's vision of the Scottish Parliament as "the visual embodiment of exciting constitutional change", will forever be dominated by its astronomical cost, the 430million cost has since been deeply etched onto the collective memory of Scotland in a way that can never be removed, nor should it be.

The inquiry findings show that reason was in retreat for some considerable time and amazingly, still, shows no sign of return. Perhaps if the priorities of the Scottish Parliament had lain with listening to the will of the people rather than a vanity project, the parliament would have long ago been filled with representatives of the people of Scotland working on their behalf for constitutional change and improving Scotland for the future.
Mairi, UK

They have spent all this money on the parliament and our primary school can't get its leaking roof fixed at a cost of 13,000. This money could have been better spent on the schools.
Rosina Attwood, Scotland

Ronnie Bateman, Kilsyth,

Unfortunately the people involved in allowing this fiasco to carry on in such an uncontrolled profligate manner for such a long time have no real incentive to look too hard at costs as they are never going themselves to suffer financially - they can just keep drawing on the taxpayer. Just like central government really.
Jorg, UK

"No single villain but a series of systematic failures" - doesn't that sound familiar (Butler report)? Haven't these wordings become a prototype of government inquiries? One is sure to have a feeling that wasting more money on these, so called, inquiries to find the cause of a previous waste goes nowhere, as the reports of these inquiries seem to be predefined (maybe even dictated over the phone from Downing Street press office).
Rakesh, London, UK

It's all very well relying on advice from advisers, but if you're in the top job, you should carry the can for something that goes wrong. If the politicians don't understand the process, they should be asking challenging questions of their advisers. I don't work my butt off to pay taxes to keep ignoramuses in luxury.
Lindsay, Scotland

Surprise! Surprise! Another inquiry where no one person is to blame. This building will prove to be an expensive white elephant for the people of Scotland. Does the end justify the means? I think not. This building is not for the likes of us.
Mick, Scotland

It doesn't surprise me. Fraser has shown a number of people to be incompetent. The people who should have been asking the questions didn't and the people who should have been coming forward with unpalatable messages of costs and risks, either bottled it, or were blissfully unaware of them.

MSPs had their heads buried so far in the sand that the contractors couldn't have avoided kicking them in the pockets, even if they had wanted to.

As for security features being an add-on - all politicians need to wake up to the fact they are targets and security needs to be at the very top of their requirements. I hope they don't learn the hard way.
Paul Campbell, Scotland

Whilst I think Lord Fraser reached broadly the right conclusions, it is not nearly hard-hitting enough. And it is certainly not all the fault of civil servants; some key politicians and others involved with this whole fiasco (those that are still alive) should really be asking whether they can continue to take public money whilst providing such a shoddy return on the money we as taxpayers spend. I single out three for special comment: - Ms Doig, seemingly completely out of her depth; - Lord Steel, the word 'complacent' could have been invented for him; - Ms Wark, an arrogant and entirely unconvincing witness before the inquiry.
Bill Cameron, Scotland

As long as everyone in government really learns from the mistakes by putting in place structures that prevent this happening again it will be okay. Let's get on and enjoy the marvellous building and trust that the MSPs can do proper business in it to make us all proud.
Heather Peacock, Scotland

A see Lord Fraser blames the incompetence of civil servants for the spiralling costs and undisclosure issues. This is typical of ministers and senior management, best to blame the faceless civil service machine than to identify one minister, who actually has the sole responsibility.

Having been a civil servant for over seven years, from my experience, civil servants are extremely professional and the briefing provided to ministers is overwhelmingly accurate and full. Point the finger Lord Fraser, don't let your inquiry be another thing for the Scottish people to lose faith in!
Kenny, UK

With regards to comments on the parliament costing 40m, there is no way you can build a football stadium for that amount of money, never mind a building designed to celebrate Scotland's devolution and growing ability to look after herself.

With regards to the inquiry, it would be easy to blame the dead and I am glad that Lord Fraser has not. The inquiry was not a waste of money - the media demonised this building from day one and caused public outcry. There would have been more outrage had there never been an inquiry. Surely it is best to learn from the past and understand that it was not our MSPs that deliberately misled us, it was the civil servants who were underskilled or unable to do their job properly.
Alison, Edinburgh

The inquiry was a waste of money, the building was a monumental waste of money and all to pander to the egos of our great and good. Third world levels of corruption and ineptitude abound.
John MacNeil Duncan, Mexico

So really what's new? Virtually every major defence and government IT project runs late and vastly over budget. Our health service, education systems, transport infrastructure cost far more per head and deliver less than anywhere in Europe. Grandiose government dreams and promises actioned (one couldn't dare say managed) by a secretive and largely unaccountable civil service have for 50 years given Britain the worst value for money of any government in the western world. Until the method of government and particularly its primary instruments of implementation are made much more transparent and accountable then I'm afraid that this will just be the latest instalment of an ongoing saga.
John Galpin, UK

There should be no resignations. There should be sackings. Too many public servants taking the large salaries and index-linked pensions then admitting they are not up to the job when things go wrong. Doig for one. George Reid is kidding himself if he thinks a line is now drawn under this. The Scottish people are extremely unhappy over this. We must be the only country in the world to spend a king's ransom on a palace and then fill it with half-wits. write to your local half-wit and demand sackings.
John Dunn, Glasgow

I think it was Donald Dewer's insane rush to have something built before the election that made the fiasco inevitable. How he personally was allowed to dictate so much is unbelievable. This should never have been allowed. I think if he were alive today he'd be forced to resign in disgrace.
Colin, UK

Lord Fraser's comments fail to get to the heart of this matter. Namely, that Scotland needs full fiscal autonomy and independence to foster a sense of responsibility over public spending. So long as we continue to receive "pocket money" from Westminster our politicians will continue to spend irresponsibly.
Stephen Mackintosh, Edinburgh

I feel that Lord Fraser has failed to point to the fundamental flaw in the management of the project which is that the civil service had taken on the role of project managers and cost consultants without any experience or professional knowledge. Would Lord Fraser be happy to have a civil servant carry out a major operation on himself after a two-day course?
Robets, Scotland

Being a Scottish ex-pat I am endlessly embarrassed about this debacle. If anyone in the private sector was responsible for such an overspend they would be singled out and sacked. When it comes to public servants once again the incompetent escape with impunity.
Richard, England

"To teach those involved such shocking waste a severe lesson, I have ordered the entire building burned to the ground and a new one put up at the proper price" to paraphrase (roughly) The Goons in 1955ish... has nobody ever learned since then???? With such incompetence making my country a complete laughing stock, it would not surprise me some politician/civil servant/whatever actually suggested this. Bring back the Millennium Dome.. at least this one doesn't leak or flood from the basement.
Stephen Innes, UK

"Government funded inquiry into incompetence finds no-one to blame" - what a surprise. I think an inquiry into why the MSPs felt they deserved even a 40m building would be more useful - a self-serving elite spending taxpayers' money on their new toys.
Reid Sommerville, Berkshire

All in all a well balanced finding and a well judged report. The civil servants involved in the catalogue of errors that have subsequently been found should be asked to resign from their positions or the Scottish Parliament should start disciplinary proceedings against them.
John Baxter, Scotland

If the politicians really were in the dark about the costs it's only because they chose not to turn the lights on. But just like getting rid of Saddam the end justifies the means, and so it continues.....
Martin Woodward, UK

I think Lord Fraser has reached the right conclusion. The inquiry will be a waste of time and money only if lessons are not learnt and action is not taken. I think the civil servants looked very amateurish in the recorded extracts of the inquiry. Ms Doig I remember being specifically poor at her attempts to explain her actions! I shudder to think how much she is paid? The inquiry has given us a clear insight into how incompetence is tolerated and hidden in the depths of our government.....God help us!
Mike, Ayrshire, UK

Not hard-hitting enough! I hope and trust that Scottish civil servants will read the report and radically change their working practices. The mismanagement of the whole project from day one is shocking and almost unbelievable.
Saftar, Scotland

So Donald Dewar and Jack McConnell (supported by Tony Blair) tell us that a state of the art public building will be built for 40m and we are expected to believe that no-one misled us. Incredible! Either our politicians are amongst the most stupid of mankind or they think that we are stupid. 40m may be enough to build a giant supermarket on the outskirts of town but it is simply beyond belief to say that Dewar and McConnell were not intelligent enough to realise at the time that this figure was complete nonsense. Yet again the public is let down by our government, MSPs and the media. It's a pity that too few people care about issues when they come to vote. Otherwise we might get rid of this sorry excuse for a government.
Colin Kinghorn, Scotland





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