PAC Lessons from Greensill Capital - the Public Accounts Committee of which I am Deputy Chair held an inquiry session on Greensill Capital, questioning former Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Drawing on Committee’s previous report on Strategic Suppliers and the National Audit Office’s forthcoming report on Lessons from Greensill Capital, the inquiry will consider:
1) Influence and transparency in the government’s commercial functions;
2) Protections for suppliers to government and government contractors, including the role of supply chain finance and Government’s implementation of the PAC’s recommendations in its report on Strategic Suppliers;
3) The operation of the Covid 19 financial support packages for business, in particular Greensill Capital’s involvement in the schemes.
The video is a short extract from the start of the inquiry. David Cameron was absolutely convinced that supply chain finance in the middle of the pandemic was the way to get money to small businesses quickly to enable them to survive.
However, I pointed out that Government on a departmental basis pays most—in the high 90%s—of its bills in 30 days, and in the high 70%s in five days.
As Permanent Secretary Sir Tom Scholar said in the PAC session held on Thursday 22 April 2021, there shouldn’t be a need for supply chain finance in the public sector.
From the questioning, it is clear that David Cameron did not ask sufficiently probing questions about the state Greensill finances and in particular the amount of money that was lent to companies that were not able to repay it.
Watch the full session:
The oral transcript with David Cameron’s evidence is linked below: