DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption

Link received from Anonymous
Sunday, 2 February 2014 10:13 p.m.

Anonymous says:
Good old DIA — hear no evil see no evil. As they’ve demonstrated time and time again when regulating gambling in New Zealand they (the DIA) will bend over backwards not to connect the dots or attempt to expose the rich and powerful who place themselves at the top of companies and trusts. In this case it seems DIA accept the view that as Intralot NZ’s parent company chairman was not directly responsible for a contract with the NZ Government, then corruption accusations did not warrant termination or at least a briefing to their Minister. The chairman may not have personally written or negotiated the contract with New Zealand but he sure as hell benefitted from it — unbelievable.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 02/02/2014
Gambling watchdog’s ‘scary’ link to Greek firm
By Tony Wall – Dominion Post
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) entered into a contract with a firm to run a gambling monitoring system despite concerns about corruption and bribery allegations engulfing the Greek chairman of its parent company. Documents obtained by the Sunday Star-Times under the Official Information Act reveal the department sought advice on whether it could terminate its contract with Intralot NZ if the chairman of its parent company, Socrates Kokkalis, was ever convicted. The answer was no. Kokkalis was subsequently cleared of the allegations and has not been convicted of any crime.

The department went on to sign a $35m contract with Intralot to build an electronic monitoring system (EMS) for New Zealand’s gaming machines. Despite Kokkalis’ name continuing to crop up in corruption reports in Europe, Internal Affairs later awarded Intralot a contract to build and maintain an Integrated Gambling Platform (IGP) to administer and enforce all casino and non-casino gambling regulation — without doing any further probity checks. New Zealand is the only place in the world where Intralot is involved in the regulation of the gambling industry. The department has spent $6.6m on the IGP so far.

Internal Affairs confirmed to the Star-Times the IGP contains private information, including police and credit agency checks, on more than 16,000 people involved in the gaming industry, and Intralot staff in Greece have access to it. The Community Gaming Association described that as “scary”.
Read more

For more, enter *dia*, *pokies*, *orfu* or *quivooy* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management

16 responses to “DIA signed up Intralot amid concerns about bribery and corruption

  1. Martin Legge

    Intralot NZ was likely only set up by the Greek parent company to secure and manage the contract once it was named as the successful tenderer by DIA.

    In NZ, every person managing or exercising significant influence over the affairs of a pokie trust, a pokie venue or a service provider (private companies) to both those groups, is required to undergo significant police checks, financial checks etc. That info obviously goes to Intralot. So when Bribery and Corruption allegations surface naming the Chairman of that company one could reasonably assume DIA would have conducted a most thorough investigation to protect the integrity, fairness and perception of Gambling within NZ. Instead what do we get from DIA, a few legal reports resulting in the view that the Chairman is sufficiently removed from the contract and the millions it generates for the company there is nothing for NZers to be concerned about. How lazy and how convenient – no need to act!!

    With DIA’s admission that it lacks investigation capability, reports of lost files, never ending investigations that drag on for years only to result in failure and the recent need to call in another Govt agency to assist it with its most basic function, I suggest we should all be very concerned !!!

    PS: Some very good local NZ IT Companies tendered for the business but missed out to the Greeks.

  2. “Oddjob, I want you to remove something. SomeTHING, numbskull. These files, take them and put them alongside Jimmy Hoffa. No they be found there, that’s the farnarkling point.”

  3. Why are we surprised? Even concerned? Isn’t this a typical action of the DIA? Why would it want a squeaky clean operator which might finger some malfeasance or three already in the system. That would never do. Best just operate as always, bury all skeletons tightly within the system, safe in the knowledge they are beyond touch. You can understand them seeking an operation with a similar culture to their own. Certainly now with their new Minister, it will be a doddle.

  4. Martin Legge

    DIA’s new Minister Peter Dunne was the Govt Revenue Minister before he was dumped. He was wined and dined by TTCF, loves the pokies and the liquor industry. In public as we will see this year he is the reliable voice of reasonableness, the man who wants all party drugs banned while ignoring the damage from the industries that back his party – not bad for a middle of the road family type of guy!!!

  5. Russell Garbutt

    Peter Dunne is a little man in every sense of the word. Sacked because of this interesting relationship with the young reporter, and nothing other than a weasel. The DIA is in good hands being led by a fool and populated by fools. Pompous and self-opinionated. Not one redeeming feature that I can think of, but vital to Donkey Jonkey.

  6. Martin Legge

    Maarten Quivooy tells us we have nothing to fear because DIA has worked well with Intralot for 8 years now and have found nothing wrong! Lest we all forget, it was Maarten Quivooy, a Senior Manager at the Dept of Labour (at the time of the Pike River disaster), part of a team so heavily criticised by the Commission of Enquiry into Pike River deaths regarding the gap between the glossy written action plans and what was actually occurring at the Pike River Mine.

    Before the Commission released its finding, Quivooy and others were all moved to other Departments and out of harms way. It would appear he is now using his questionable talents to cover for another Govt Department’s woeful performance!!!

  7. Quivooy
    Hobbies: displacement activities, duckshoving, bowling.
    Has an outstanding collection of art works around the themes of Nelson’s telescope, and eye patches, including a complete set of Franklin Munter replicas.

  8. Anonymous

    Sort of related. Corruption and the mind-boggling disbelief of how people get away with such vast amounts (except the above which is clearly perpetrated by like-minded individuals for like-minded interests).

    A man who charmed and pressured fellow Seventh Day Adventist Dunedin church members out of more than $850,000 in a Nigerian oil scam has been jailed for four years.

    So let’s work that out – how many Seventh Day Adventist members does it require:

    10 ….. $85,500 each
    15 …….. $55,000 each
    20 ………. $42,500 each
    50 ………… $17,000 each
    100 …………… $8,500 each
    500 …………….. $1,700 each
    1000 ………………… $850 each

    Baffling.

    {More here. -Eds}

  9. Martin Legge

    An ex DIA investigator contacted me late in 2012 to warn me (they are one of many) about Maarten Quivooy. He claimed that serious questions were being asked about the content of Quivooy’s CV after he (Quivooy) snatched the top gambling job at DIA while he was the Safety Manager at Labour Dept at the time of the Pike River tragedy and in the midst of the Commission of Inquiry into the tragedy.

    Given Quivooy had little or no knowledge of the complexities of the gambling industry it is not surprising that, according to the ex investigator, the incumbent head of gambling, Mike Hill was very upset and may have started the questioning process.

    As a Whistleblower, as far as I was concerned, I’d been given assurance by Mike Hill, Debbie Despard and even DIA Minister Nathan Guy that all matters raised as part of our cooperation would be thoroughly investigated and that included the revelations about illegality going on between ORFU, Harness Racing and TTCF Management and trustees involving millions of dollars.

    Mike Hill even went so far as to officially brief his Minister and state that on the evidence he had seen from us, validated by documents, there appeared to be sufficient evidence to immediately proceed to cancel TTCF’s Gambling Operators licence. Of course this briefing was right at the time United Future’s Peter Dunne (Govt Revenue minister) was also contacting the DIA regarding TTCF.

    A short time later Quivooy replaced Hill and the inquiry went nowhere – politically shut down in the face of so much evidence. I can only conclude that such lack of DIA action was ordered by Peter Dunne and that this Government have backed him shutting down not only DIA but the Office of the Auditor General and more recently the SFO.

    Mike Hill may have been upset but not for long because he left DIA for the Ministry of Health – another of Peter Dunne’s portfolios.

    The Pike River victims and their families should demand answers as to what happened to all the bureaucrats responsible for mine safety at Pike River and why was it so easy for them to leave and secure other top govt jobs in the midst of such a serious inquiry.

    • It worries me that clever people in the workplace don’t take a stand on the workplace standards imposed on them — would you lie for your employer? Damned sure I wouldn’t, would rather live in the gutter than be under that kind of duress. Yeah yeah, typically people are terrified or uncomfortable at least in case they lose their jobs or fail on the career ladder, or not be able to feed the kids or pay the mortgage. But hey, isn’t the clean-up of your government department – to undermine and overthrow vile internal corruption – very significant if not more important than personal fear of no pay packet? Where at DIA are the spines!?!? We know there are good people still there. What can we do to help? The last thing anyone needs to be is subserviant to the bent Minister Peter Dunne. Martin may say I’m crazy even suggesting rebellion. But I’ve never abided by bent superiors, ever.

      • I think when a person takes on the responsibility of breeding, personal responsibility for other people, it’s a whole different thing from being morally OK about choosing to lose one’s job over a principle. The way I see it, I can choose to make sacrifices that hurt me, but I do not have the same right to make sacrifices that hurt those who depend on me.
        For anyone who has the same attitude towards dependents as I have, this puts limits on what they feel they can do about corruption and headless-chookery and dangerous work conditions. When they see that those who do take the risk achieve nothing, because nobody further up the ladder is prepared to do the right thing, it puts the choice – dependants or confronting wrongs – further towards shutting up and paying the mortgage.

        • In my short life so far I’ve had dependents from 1994 until late 2013 and never have my defiant actions in workplaces to try and clean things up ever affected those dependents. It’s all relative and maybe we were more fortunately placed and disciplined to do public good as a family principle whatever the wage or salary situation was or wasn’t. Depends on the nature of the employment and many other things but we were motivated to improve the lot of others through our actions in the workplace!

  10. Elizabeth

    Link received.

    Socrates Kokkalis, the Greek CEO of Intralot NZ’s parent company, is at the centre of a major flap over a sensitive gaming contract

    ### http://www.casino.org February 06, 2014
    Intralot CEO Kokkalis at Centre of New Zealand DIA Contract Questions
    By Samantha Beckett
    New reports regarding New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) having entered into a contract with Intralot NZ are causing quite a stir globally. As background, Intralot NZ – which is a subsidiary of a Greek parent company that supplies integrated gaming, sports betting management and transaction processing systems to worldwide Internet betting sites – was brought on board to create monitoring systems for the country’s gambling equipment in and out of casinos.
    There was just one little snafu: Intralot’s own Greek chairman, Socrates Kokkalis, was knee-deep in a bevy of alleged corruption and bribery scandals dating back decades. The $35-million DIA contract calls for Intralot to create electronic monitoring systems (EMS) for use on New Zealand’s gaming machines.
    In an odd twist, it appears that the DIA was fully aware of the unproven allegations, and had even tried to determine if they could renege on their contract with Intralot should Kokkalis ever be convicted; they were informed they could not, legally speaking, but went ahead with the contract regardless.

    Read more: http://www.casino.org/news/intralot-ceo-kokkalis-at-center-of-new-zealand-dia-contract-questions

  11. All sounds about right for the DIA and its people. Let the ‘grifters’ roll. The racing and rugby folk might get taken to the cleaners for a change.

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