A National Business Award given to Cirrus Communications Systems in 2009 – just before its owner Peverel confessed to the Office of Fair Trading that it was running a price-fixing cartel – will not be removed.
The decision has been taken by UBM, the business magazine publisher that runs the awards.
“Cirrus Communication Systems was awarded the Employer of the Year Award in 2009, based on a criteria that recognises the best employee strategy that attracts, retains and develops talent,” said a UBM spokesman.
“Therefore the National Business Awards will not be removing the award.”
Curiously, 15 per cent of the marks given in the award to Cirrus Communications Systems were for “ethics”. The full criteria are listed below, with Carlex providing a commentary on a company that so richly deserved to be noticed.
Employer of the Year Award 2009 (with amendments, 2013)
Winner: Cirrus Communication Systems
Categories used for the award:
- Growth 10% – well, pretty pointless to have a cartel without growing the business.
- Innovation 15% – the judges were generous. Stooges for Cirrus Communications routinely bid 15 per cent more than Cirrus, which was quickly spotted and does not suggest inexhaustible imagination.
- Staff engagement 20% – Cirrus staff seem to have been motivated, although a couple have been in touch with Carlex to repent.
- Customer service 15% – the hoodwinking of customers was not without fault: the authorities – and MPs – were deluged with complaints before Peverel fessed up. The cartel could have been more subtle, some may have felt.
- Leadership 15% – full marks here for suckering the OFT into offering a leniency deal; for keeping the whole scandal quiet and for obtaining an extraordinarily protracted OFT investigation.
- Ethics 15% – the vocabulary of irony is quite insufficient to do justice to this category.
- Financial performance 10% – another full marks here, with Peverel offering a paltry £100,000 in compensation – sorry, ‘goodwill’ – the cartel was basically successful and without penalty for those involved.