A senior council officer suspended from work over a controversy surrounding a £6.5million transport deal for special needs children, has quit his job.

Peter Storey, Croydon Council’s procurement manager, resigned during an investigation into the awarding of a transport contract to Olympic South Ltd.

He was responsible for recommending which companies should be awarded transport contracts.

He and another member of staff, Chris Sheppard, were suspended from work after the District Auditor found significant weaknesses in the tendering process.

The council was forced to re-tender all 13 of their transport contracts as a result.

Mr Sheppard, the transport and contract manager, is back at work.

In September last year, Olympic South Ltd was awarded a deal to ferry disabled children to and from school.

However, it emerged in January, Sutton Council’s former transport officer Michael Lawrence had advised Croydon on the contract.

He then left the authority to take up a job with Olympic South, a Merton-based cab company, shortly afterwards.

Councillors called for a full inquiry into the matter and the District Auditor raised concerns about the evaluation process.

These included failure to check whether a Contractor had appropriate insurance cover and non-compliance with the evaluation of the tenders.

Other high priority issues included interim payments made to contractors and variations of a contract made by officers who did not have appropriate delegated authority.

In October 2009 auditors expressed doubt Olympic South could continue as a going concern.

In the published accounts for the transport firm dated October 2009, auditors notes the company’s liabilities exceeded its total assets by £79,571.

Henry Bilinski, director of Olympic South, has continuously refused to comment.

Despite the controversy, Olympic South continues to transport children until April next year.

Companies can now bid for the four-year contracts with Croydon Council which will come into place in April 2011.

The council refused to comment on Mr Storey’s resignation.