WhistleBlowing Statement (short form)
I have realised that the issues I raised within the grievance I launched during my Employment within Emerging Markets IT (28 November 2008) have far wider reaching implications than I originally thought. I feel compelled to raise these outside the Barclays entity, which has not only failed to address them, but has repeatedly tried to, if not conceal, downplay these issues. This is the reason why I am issuing a Whistle Blowing Statement today.
The circumstances leading to the development of my Whistle Blowing statement are as follows:
I was a permanent Associate Director within Emerging Markets IT (EMIT), working under the supervision of Simon Garland (SG), Project Director and Head of the new products team within EMIT. My role was that of senior business analyst on the EM Lehman Integration project (LIP) Team. From the outset I was asked to work in a way which contradicted 9 years of experience in the field systems analysis and integration. Simply put given the huge amount of work required to integrate EM systems across the EMMEA, ASIA/PAC and Americas, the underlying analysis on which I was tasked, was bypassed and no meaningful deliveries towards integration took place.
I witnessed extreme pressure to complete the integration deliveries in any shape or fashion before February. Project governance and any professional integrity were sacrificed at every stage to demonstrate unrealistic/ inaccessible levels of success.
I found working in this environment was compromising my professional standards and ethic. I initially tried to carry out the analysis following best practice, but was then faced with management’s rejection of my initiative, direction and findings. They were constantly trying to undermine any professional analysis and superimpose results obtained in a fashion that would not stand scrutiny with the sole purpose of meeting the integration deadlines. Senior Management acted outside the bounds of normal analysis guidelines, outside the scope of their role and not in a professional fashion or with integrity.
My suspicions to the underlying motives were initially confirmed at the Town House internal presentation. On this occasion, senior members of staff informed the Bank’ s staff that the integration was going well and that it was not only well under way, but nearly completed, which contradicted my colleagues and own interpretation of experiencing the integration project first hand. The Integration success was presented as fact by senior members of staff, which was clearly contradicting the experience of the Lehman’s Integration project team.
Massive profits were released on the basis of a completed integration by Barclays Capital (BC) of the Lehman’s business (including IT systems). In my capacity as a systems analyst working on the Lehman Integration Project team, I cannot understand what this statement is based on and can only interpret this as management trying to ‘window dress’ the actual results.
Statement of events
My initial understanding of my work responsibilities was to complete an integration of the Lehman’s systems with Barclays Capital focusing on the Emerging Market technology space. Project plans where shown to me, which were based on a Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 phases. My understanding was that;
- Day 1 was the date of purchase of Lehman’s.
- Day 2 the date when the intermediate integration was completed by trying to achieve short term goals as quickly as possible. This was very much a theoretical rather than a functional completion, since a lot further work and analysis would be required.
- Day 3 the date of complete integration, this represented agreement on what core systems would be used and how they would be fully integrated into the Bank.
It is my belief that the the scope of Day 2 deliveries was continuously modified by management to be able to report unrealistic progress to senior management. This was achieved by constantly reviewing the complexity of work items and then re-drafting the Day 2 plan to reflect this. This approach is commonly called Time Boxing and is used on smaller projects when delivery dates our of a priority concern to the stake holders. Typical of a Time Boxing project to facilitate this approach the integration project was centralised around senior management having analysis constantly feeding back through senior members of staff placed within the project teams which deliver the work. Protocols covering normal work practices were not followed, no project plan, not strategy, project work was constantly referred to as not been signed off. I observed this approach not only within EM but also within Credit IT as a whole. By redrafting high level work items, and moving pieces of work between the Day 2 and Day 3 completion dates, the level of integration was reported in such a way that it could be interpreted as being completed, given that most of bigger pieces of systems integration the work had been pushed back to Day 3 work phases.
It is my belief that a meaningful completion was never fully achieved during the time boxed period up to the profit announcements made in February and that work pieces of it were moved to Day 3 because they could not be achieved within the required time frame. In other words integration work was being conveniently represented in this non industry standard format so that integration of the Banks systems could exist in different stages of completeness but still be represented as completed to interested parties external to BC.
Internal broadcasts by Bob Diamond and colleagues before Christmas contained communications concerning highly qualitative statements, stating first that the integration was nearly complete then later complete before Christmas. The qualitative assignment of completion contrasted with the way the integration work was actually being managed. Watching the broadcasts I was aware that even the preliminary analysis was not completed (see email correspondence) and that real project work was meant to be just beginning. I have provided emails which demonstrate the background of what was happening at my level. I have also provided an index of names of people I was exposed to during my time there and various documents which highlight to fair degree what was happening.
Impact on me
I witnessed time again attempts by senior members of EM staff to hide the inappropriate way the integration work was being handled professionally. An Orwellian working culture developed based on pretending not to see things or ask questions. Any attempt to highlight this behaviour was treated with contempt by senior members of staff and colleagues. The more I questioned the way the project was being handled, the more ostracised I was made to feel by the Project Director, Line Manager, Head of Department and colleagues on the project. Believing that my integrity was compromised, I was left with no choice but to raise an official complaint after following normal internal complaints which were then used as a platform of criticism of my own abilities.
As a direct consequence of raising these issues I believe I have been discriminated against by BC, and as a consequence put at risk, under the consultation process put down by BC. I was further disadvantaged in relation to other members of staff my professional rating me the lowest possible rating.