No benefit to workers from Remploy assets

The former Remploy factory in Leven (picture by Neil Doig)
The former Remploy factory in Leven (picture by Neil Doig)

Remploy’s assets may have been given away with little benefit to the taxpayer – or the workforce axed from Leven and Cowdenbeath.

Local MPs Lindsay Roy and Gordon Brown believe this could be the case, after a letter to Mr Roy from the National Audit Office (NAO).

He intends to meet with the head of the National Audit Office (NAO), Sir Amyas Morse, over what happened to the assets of Remploy in Leven and Cowdenbeath, after the factories were closed last year with around 65 combined job losses.

The largely disabled workforce had manufactured high-quality lifejackets and other marine safety aids.

Mr Roy had asked for a “robust investigation” – however, while Sir Amyas admitted there was a lack of documentation on intellectual property rights, he did not think this was the result of impropriety.

While Remploy did negotiate over ownership of these rights, the buyer did agree to take on accompanying liabilities, he added.

Sir Amyas did not feel there was sufficient evidence of wrongdoing to merit a more extensive investigation at this time.

Mr Brown and Mr Roy said the response was unsatisfactory and the investigation had to go deeper.

Mr Roy added: “We need answers to some very simple and straightforward questions.

“What happened to the ‘agreement’ on shared intellectual property rights between Remploy and its biggest customer?

“How much money did Remploy receive for the purchase of these rights and what happened to its other assets?

“Who from Remploy negotiated the ‘preferential deal’ with the customer?”