A British company put in charge of a multimillion pound project to supply Turkish universities with technical equipment was in a position to influence business in its own favour, public spending watchdogs found.
The Overseas Development Administration agreed to provide more than Pounds 23 million in 1991 in support of the Pounds 66 million scheme managed by TecQuipment Ltd.
But the company had "significant overlapping roles" since while managing the project it was both competing to supply equipment and acting as adviser to the Turkish higher education council in the evaluation of tenders, the House of Commons public accounts committee has observed.
A report says the committee was "disturbed that so many conflicts of interest should have arisen on this one project. To the extent that it was supported by the aid programme, such conflicts give rise to potential dangers for the taxpayer, not only in terms of value for money but of propriety in the use of public money".