Official Information at Dunedin City : Bev Butler maintains pressure

bev_butler [ODT Files] bw tweaked by whatifdunedin 1An Email Thread
Bev Butler’s continuing quest for information about the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust (CST) via Dunedin City Council with recourse to the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act (LGOIMA) —and with assistance of Ombudsman Sir Ron Paterson.

What if? Dunedin has archived the original emails. Minor formatting changes have been entered for the WordPress template; email addresses have been removed or deactivated.

Received from Bev Butler
Thu, 2 Jun 2016 08:52 a.m.

From: Bev Butler
To: Kristy Rusher; Sue Bidrose; Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses – Carisbrook Stadium Trust/Progress?
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 08:50:17 +1200

Dear Kristy, Sue and Sandy

It is now nearly six months since I received the response below which indicated that the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) have refused to respond to my LGOIMA request.

Given the CST is subject to LGOIMA under section 2(6) of the Act and given the CST has a statutory obligation to respond to requests for information under their agency contract with the DCC then I believe it is the DCC’s responsibility to hold the CST accountable to the statutory obligations under their contract.

It is not appropriate to refer me to the ombudsman office when it is the DCC’s and CST’s statutory responsibility to obtain that information. I was informed in 2015 by the DCC that they had recovered the documents from the CST after the CST had stored them in an undisclosed storage container – unbeknown to the DCC.

I, therefore, again request the information outlined below and trust I will receive it within the statutory timeframe.

Kind Regards
Bev

******************

From: Grace Ockwell [DCC]
To: Bev Butler
CC: Kristy Rusher
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses – Carisbrook Stadium Trust/Progress?
Date: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 23:46:43 +0000

Merry Christmas Bev,

Thank you for your email.

I have approached CST again to ask for the information to LGOIMA requests 3 and 4 below and have received no response.

Therefore, I am declining to provide the information and rely on section 17(e) of LGOIMA as despite reasonable efforts to locate it, the documents cannot be found.

As we have declined to provide you with information you have the right pursuant to section 27 of LGOIMA to have our decision reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsman who may be contacted at:

The Ombudsman
Office of the Ombudsman
PO Box 10 152
WELLINGTON 6143

Ph 0800 802 602
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
info @ombudsman.parliament.nz

Yours sincerely,

Grace Ockwell
Governance Support Officer
Civic and Legal
Dunedin City Council

******************

From: Grace Ockwell
To: Bev Butler
CC: Kristy Rusher; Sandy Graham
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses – Carisbrook Stadium Trust/Progress?
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2015 22:42:43 +0000
Hi Bev,

I will follow up and get back to you.

Kind regards

Grace

******************

From: bev Butler
Sent: Monday, 7 December 2015 11:24 a.m.
To: Grace Ockwell
Cc: Kristy Rusher; Sandy Graham
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses – Carisbrook Stadium Trust/Progress?

Dear Grace

Thank you for the response below, dated 8 October 2015.
In my LGOIMA REQUESTS 3 & 4 below it is stated that the DCC are awaiting a response from the CST.
This is now 2 months ago. Has there been any further progress in the CST’s response?

Kind Regards
Bev

******************

From: Grace Ockwell
To: Bev Butler
CC: Kristy Rusher; Sandy Graham
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses – Carisbrook Stadium Trust
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 04:56:01 +0000
Dear Bev,

Thank you for your recent emails requesting information about the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST). Your requests have been considered under the provisions of LGOIMA and the following responses are provided.

YOUR LGOIMA REQUEST 1

I request an itemised account of the tax invoice of Farry & Co dated 28/11/08 ref no. 14547 issued to the CST.

DCC Response:
Neither the Dunedin City Council (DCC) nor the CST has an itemised record of the elements of this tax invoice. This record does not exist and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA.

Bev’s Follow up:
It is my understanding that when a client paying a legal bill requests an itemised account the normal legal procedure as outlined by the Law Society is to comply with the client’s request.
In this case the client is the CST who were acting as contractor in a special agency agreement for the DCC and given the DCC paid the account for the CST then I would expect that the DCC would have a legal right to an itemised account.
Therefore:
1. Has the DCC asked Farry & Co for the itemised account?
2. Has the CST asked Farry & Co for the itemised account?
Given that the account originated from a law firm in which Malcolm Farry’s little brother Richard Farry is principal and was personally involved with the negotiations of the Service Level Deed I would expect that Richard Farry would be willing to co-operate with his brother – though not just because he is a relation, of course, but more because it is a legal requirement for a law firm to produce an itemised account when requested from a client.

DCC Further Response
The DCC has not asked Farry & Co for an itemised account. To answer your request requires the creation of a record. Neither the DCC nor CST are required to create a record (i.e. the itemised account) in response to a request from a third party.
To respond specifically to both your questions. The DCC has not asked Farry & Co to create an itemised account. The CST has not asked Farry & Co to create an itemised account.

As the document does not exist your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA.

LGOIMA REQUEST 2

I request the following:

1. A copy of the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008.
2. A copy of all letters of advice/correspondence pertaining to the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008.

DCC Response:
Responses to these questions were provided on 5 August 2015.

Bev’s follow up:
I did receive a copy of the final Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008. Thank you.
However, you may recall you asked for clarification of my use of the word “pertaining” in no. 2.
Apologies if I did not make it clearer in my response but I referenced your previous reply where you stated:
“Please note that Anderson Lloyd also searched their electronic and physical files, and while their files contained letters of advice and the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008 they did not contain the draft versions.”
So if I didn’t make it clear then I would like to further clarify my request in no.2 is for ‘the letters of advice in their (Anderson Lloyd) files’ referred to in your response.

DCC Further Response
A copy of the letter dated 18 September 2008 is attached. This is a copy of a legal opinion which has already been provided to you.

LGOIMA REQUEST 3

DCC received two legal opinions in 2008 which both stated that the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust (CST) was subject to section 2(6) of LGOIMA through their special agency relationship with DCC.

I request the following:
1. A copy of the written legal advice provided to the CST which disputed the DCC’s two legal opinions re the application of section 2(6) of LGOIMA.
2. If this legal advice provided to the CST was verbal instead of written, I request the name of the Law Firm and the name of the lawyer who provided this legal advice contradicting the DCC’s two written legal opinions.

DCC Response:
We note that the newspaper article you have referred to has not referred to legal advice, and was reported as the opinion of the CST. In response to your request, Mr Farry advises that no legal advice was requested by CST on the content of the DCC legal opinions. Therefore your request for CST’s written or verbal legal advice on DCC’s legal opinion is not held by CST as the information does not exist. Therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA.

Bev’s Follow up:
Just to clarify the newspaper article I referred to in my request stated:
“Given that it was recently reported in the media that the CST are now “fully co-operating”, I would appreciate an early reply.”
I agree this newspaper article made no reference to legal advice. My reference to the newspaper article was in reference to the statement that the CST were “fully co-operating” and as such would provide the information requested within the statutory period.
So, given that “Mr Farry has now advised that no legal advice was requested by CST on the content of the DCC legal opinions”, I now request on what authority or personal advice Mr Farry was acting when he refused to comply on numerous occasions to the lawful democratic requests under section 2(6) of LGOIMA?
Furthermore, I also request if he was acting on the authority of the CST trustees then I request a copy of the CST trustee minutes which confirm this authority.

DCC Further Response
The first part of your request (I now request on what authority…) is not a request for official information as defined by LGOIMA. The second part of your request (Furthermore, I also request…) has been referred to CST and we await a response.

LGOIMA REQUEST 4

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
In the Stop The Stadium Appeal Volume Three: Exhibits on page 216 under the Dunedin City Council 2008/2009 Draft Annual Plan and signed by Mr Jim Harland as an Exhibit Note and referred to in Mr Jim Harland’s affidavit it states:

“The Council also proposes to borrow $6.4 million for a 50-year capital maintenance fund making its total contribution $91.4 million.”

I request the documentation which shows how the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and/or the Dunedin City Council arrived at this $6.4 million figure for a 50-year capital maintenance fund.

DCC Response:
A response was provided to this question on 23 April 2015.

Bev’s Follow up:
Thank you for the response received on 23 April 2015.
However, this did not detail how the CST arrived at this figure, so I therefore request that the CST provide the detail of how they arrived at this $6.4 million figure, including the name of the company which produced this figure.

DCC Further Response
Your request has been referred to CST and we await a response.

LGOIMA REQUEST 5

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
On 20 November 2009 Hon Mr John Key was scheduled to visit Dunedin for 75 minutes.

Imagine Photographics Ltd’s invoice states the following:

PRIME MINISTERS VISIT 4 hours @ $200 hr…………..$800.00
Photos of Staff @ 1.5 hours………………………………….$300.00
2 Prints of Prime Minister @ $975 each………………$1950.00
Sub Total………………………………………………………….$3050.00
GST……………………………………………………………………$381.25
Total Due………………………………………………………….$3431.25

The Managing Director of Imagine Photographics Ltd is Darcy Schack.
I request the following:
1. Where are these two prints of the Prime Minister which cost the Dunedin ratepayers $975+GST each?
2. Why was ratepayer money spent by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust to pay a photographer $200+GST per hour for 4 hours during the PM’s 75 minute visit?
3. Why did the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) pay a photographer $200+GST per hour to take photographs of staff and where are these photographs?
4. What is the CST’s justification for spending $3431.25(incl GST) of ratepayer money when the Chairman of the CST, Mr Malcolm Farry has publicly claimed the “CST sweated over every cent spent”?

DCC Response:
DCC has requested the information in question 1 from CST. Despite reasonable efforts to locate the information it cannot be found and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(e) of LGOIMA.

Questions 2 – 4 are requests for expressions of opinion and therefore are not requests for official information under LGOIMA. DCC declines to respond.

Bev’s Follow up:
Thank you for the response to Question 1.

However, I would also like a response from CST to Questions 2, 3 and 4 as I disagree that the requests are expressions of opinion given the fact that the CST were in the role of trustees of public money and, given the CST were engaged to spend this money within the confines of their role, then I would expect it reasonable they be asked for the justification of spending the public money for this purpose. I regard it as only fair they be given the opportunity to justify this spending.
If they are unable to justify this spending then that is up to them to declare that.

DCC Further Response
Your comments are noted however I repeat that questions 2, 3 and 4 are requests for expression of opinion and therefore are not requests for information under LGOIMA. We are unable to comment further on this point.

LGOIMA REQUEST 6

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.

In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
I request a copy of the agreement referred to in the invoice from Malcolm S Farry presented to the DCC for payment via the Carisbrook Stadium Trust c/- Arrow International. The invoice number is 0700006, dated 12/11/2007 with description as follows:
“Expense recoveries for Carisbrook Stadium Trust as agreed” July 2007 $2,500, August 2007 $2,500, September 2007 $2,500, October 2007 $2,500. Subtotal $10,000, GST $1,250, TOTAL $11,250.
If there was no written agreement and the agreement was verbal, who were the parties involved with this verbal agreement?

DCC Response:
This information has previously been supplied to you. The parties to the agreement are the DCC and CST.

Bev’s Follow up:
Given that there appears to be no written agreement between the DCC and CST, is it correct to now assume that it was a verbal agreement between Mr Malcolm Farry and Mr Jim Harland and/or Mr Athol Stephens? The amount quoted above refers to only some of the payments under this agreement – the total money paid to Mr Farry under this agreement is at least $57,000.

DCC Further Response
The parties to the agreement were the DCC and CST. The DCC declines to provide this information relying on section 17(e) of LGOIMA as the document has not been located despite reasonable efforts to find it. No further comment is made.

LGOIMA REQUEST 7

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015. In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
I request the following:

1. The CST full Financial Statement for year ending 30 June 2007
2. The CST full Financial Statement for year ending 30 June 2008

DCC Response
The annual financial statements for CST for the years ending 30 June 2007 and 30 June 2008 are not held by the DCC.

Section 2(6) of LGOIMA applies only to official information which is held by CST which relates to their engagement as an independent contractor to Council for construction of the Stadium under the Service Level Deed.

The financial statements you have requested relate to all the activities of CST, which is broader than their contracting role with Council for the construction of the Stadium. The full financial statements of the CST are therefore not official information held by DCC.

Bev’s Follow up:
There are a few issues which arise from this response.
Firstly, as has been argued previously, section 2(6) does apply to the CST as the two legal opinions obtained by DCC both confirm this and also state that even before the Service Level Deed was signed the DCC had a verbal agreement with the CST. Mr Farry has now confirmed in LGOIMA response 3 that the CST did not seek legal advice on the DCC’s legal opinions so there is no legal advice which contradicts these legal opinions.
Secondly, under the CST’s own Trust Deed they have no objectives which do not relate to the stadium, so any activities other than those related to the stadium which they were engaged in are in breach of their own Trust Deed.
Furthermore, in the CST audited accounts in subsequent years it states: “The Trust was established in August 2006 to assess the feasibility of, design and construct a high quality multipurpose sporting, community and cultural venue for the benefit of the public of the Region. The Trust commenced its activities in September 2006. All development expenses are budgeted in advance and reimbursed by the Dunedin City Council.”
(As an aside, I do appreciate the difficulties the above statement produces for the CST as the statement is false because we now know not all the expenses were budgeted in advance. Mr Farry has been unable to produce the monthly budget statements and millions were spent without Council approval.)
Therefore, I again request under section 2(6) of LGOIMA and in keeping with the CST Trust Deed and the subsequent above audited statements of the CST financial statements a copy of the full financial statements of the CST for the years ending 30 June 2007 and 2008.

DCC Further Response
No view is expressed on your comments made above.

I repeat our position that the financial statements you have requested relate to all the activities of CST, which is broader than their contracting role with Council for the construction of the Stadium. The full financial statements of the CST are therefore not official information held by DCC.

This position is supported by our legal advice, a copy of which is enclosed.

LGOIMA REQUEST 8

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.

I request a copy of the contract between the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and Pulse Business Solutions.

DCC Response:
The DCC has been informed by CST that CST did not enter into a contract with Pulse Business Solutions and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA as the information does not exist and is not held by either the DCC or CST acting in their capacity as an independent contractor.

LGOIMA REQUEST 9

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.

Recently in the ODT (9/12/14), it was reported “Forsyth Barr Stadium officials are looking to solve the venue’s sound problems after confirming ticket sales for major concerts are being restricted as a short-term fix.”

Given the Carisbrook Stadium Trust was responsible for ensuring the stadium was fit for purpose, I request the name of the consultancy company commissioned to ensure the acoustics were suitable for concerts.

DCC Response:
The DCC is still in the process of resolving this request.

DCC Further Response:
The name of the consultancy company commissioned to ensure the acoustics were suitable for concerts was Aurecom.

As we have declined to provide you with information, you have the right pursuant to section 27 of LGOIMA to have our response reviewed by the Office of the Ombudsman who may be contacted at:

The Ombudsman
Office of the Ombudsman
PO Box 10 152
WELLINGTON 6143

Ph 0800 802 602
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz
info @ombudsman.parliament.nz

Yours sincerely

Grace Ockwell
Governance Support Officer
Civic and Legal
Dunedin City Council

From: bev Butler
Sent: Thursday, 1 October 2015 11:00 a.m.
To: Grace Ockwell; Sandy Graham; Kristy Rusher
Subject: RE: LGOIMA responses follow up/progress?

Thursday 1 October 2015

Yesterday I received correspondence from the Office of the Ombudsman.
However, before responding, I would like to know if there has been any progress on my email below.
Thank you.

Kind Regards
Bev

Related Post and Comments:
27.5.16 Letter from Ombudsman to Bev Butler

******************

From: Bev Butler
To: Grace Ockwell; Sandy Graham; Kristy Rusher@dcc.govt.nz
Subject: Re: LGOIMA responses follow up
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 2015 10:44:24 +1200

Monday 7 September 2015

Dear Grace, Sandy and Kristy

Thank you for the responses to my LGOIMA requests.
I now wish to follow up on some of the requests.
For clarity and convenience I will keep the same numbering system and keep them all in the same email.
For convenience I have used a blue font for my follow up.
If you would prefer I arrange it in a different way then please let me know.

The CST has been obstructive on numerous occasions even continuing this obstruction after it being reported in the ODT that they are “fully co-operating”. The CST has continuously abused the LGOIMA and often shown contempt for the Ombudsman Office so I now hope that my follow up below is treated with due respect and responded to within the statutory period. Mr Farry and his hand-picked trustees are not above the law.

Kind Regards
Bev

YOUR LGOIMA REQUEST 1

I request an itemised account of the tax invoice of Farry & Co dated 28/11/08 ref no. 14547 issued to the CST.

DCC Response:
Neither the DCC nor the CST has an itemised record of the elements of this tax invoice. This record does not exist and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA.

Bev’s Follow up:
It is my understanding that when a client paying a legal bill requests an itemised account the normal legal procedure as outlined by the Law Society is to comply with the client’s request.
In this case the client is the CST who were acting as contractor in a special agency agreement for the DCC and given the DCC paid the account for the CST then I would expect that the DCC would have a legal right to an itemised account.
Therefore:
1. Has the DCC asked Farry & Co for the itemised account?
2. Has the CST asked Farry & Co for the itemised account?
Given that the account originated from a law firm in which Malcolm Farry’s little brother Richard Farry is principal and was personally involved with the negotiations of the Service Level Deed I would expect that Richard Farry would be willing to co-operate with his brother – though not just because he is a relation, of course, but more because it is a legal requirement for a law firm to produce an itemised account when requested from a client.

LGOIMA REQUEST 2

I request the following:

1. A copy of the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008.
2. A copy of all letters of advice/correspondence pertaining to the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008.

DCC Response:
Responses to these questions were provided on 5 August 2015.

Bev’s Follow up:
I did receive a copy of the final Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008. Thank you.
However, you may recall you asked for clarification of my use of the word “pertaining” in no. 2.
Apologies if I did not make it clearer in my response but I referenced your previous reply where you stated:
“Please note that Anderson Lloyd also searched their electronic and physical files, and while their files contained letters of advice and the final signed Service Level Deed dated 21 November 2008 they did not contain the draft versions.”
So if I didn’t make it clear then I would like to further clarify my request in no.2 is for ‘the letters of advice in their (Anderson Lloyd) files’ referred to in your response.

LGOIMA REQUEST 3

DCC received two legal opinions in 2008 which both stated that the Carisbrook Stadium Charitable Trust (CST) was subject to section 2(6) of LGOIMA through their special agency relationship with DCC.

I request the following:
1. A copy of the written legal advice provided to the CST which disputed the DCC’s two legal opinions re the application of section 2(6) of LGOIMA.
2. If this legal advice provided to the CST was verbal instead of written, I request the name of the Law Firm and the name of the lawyer who provided this legal advice contradicting the DCC’s two written legal opinions.

DCC Response:
We note that the newspaper article you have referred to has not referred to legal advice, and was reported as the opinion of the CST. In response to your request, Mr Farry advises that no legal advice was requested by CST on the content of the DCC legal opinions. Therefore your request for CST’s written or verbal legal advice on DCC’s legal opinion is not held by CST as the information does not exist. Therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA.

Bev’s Follow up:
Just to clarify the newspaper article I referred to in my request stated:
“Given that it was recently reported in the media that the CST are now “fully co-operating”, I would appreciate an early reply.”
I agree this newspaper article made no reference to legal advice. My reference to the newspaper article was in reference to the statement that the CST were “fully co-operating” and as such would provide the information requested within the statutory period.
So, given that “Mr Farry has now advised that no legal advice was requested by CST on the content of the DCC legal opinions”, I now request on what authority or personal advice Mr Farry was acting when he refused to comply on numerous occasions to the lawful democratic requests under section 2(6) of LGOIMA?
Furthermore, I also request if he was acting on the authority of the CST trustees then I request a copy of the CST trustee minutes which confirm this authority.

LGOIMA REQUEST 4

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
In the Stop The Stadium Appeal Volume Three: Exhibits on page 216 under the Dunedin City Council 2008/2009 Draft Annual Plan and signed by Mr Jim Harland as an Exhibit Note and referred to in Mr Jim Harland’s affidavit it states:

“The Council also proposes to borrow $6.4 million for a 50-year capital maintenance fund making its total contribution $91.4 million.”

I request the documentation which shows how the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and/or the Dunedin City Council arrived at this $6.4 million figure for a 50-year capital maintenance fund.

DCC Response:
A response was provided to this question on 23 April 2015.

Bev’s Follow up:
Thank you for the response received on 23 April 2015.
However, this did not detail how the CST arrived at this figure, so I therefore request that the CST provide the detail of how they arrived at this $6.4 million figure, including the name of the company which produced this figure.

LGOIMA REQUEST 5

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
On 20 November 2009 Hon Mr John Key was scheduled to visit Dunedin for 75 minutes.

Imagine Photographics Ltd’s invoice states the following:

PRIME MINISTERS VISIT 4 hours @ $200 hr…………..$800.00
Photos of Staff @ 1.5 hours………………………………….$300.00
2 Prints of Prime Minister @ $975 each………………$1950.00
Sub Total………………………………………………………….$3050.00
GST……………………………………………………………………$381.25
Total Due………………………………………………………….$3431.25

The Managing Director of Imagine Photographics Ltd is Darcy Schack.
I request the following:
1. Where are these two prints of the Prime Minister which cost the Dunedin ratepayers $975+GST each?
2. Why was ratepayer money spent by the Carisbrook Stadium Trust to pay a photographer $200+GST per hour for 4 hours during the PM’s 75 minute visit?
3. Why did the Carisbrook Stadium Trust (CST) pay a photographer $200+GST per hour to take photographs of staff and where are these photographs?
4. What is the CST’s justification for spending $3431.25(incl GST) of ratepayer money when the Chairman of the CST, Mr Malcolm Farry has publicly claimed the “CST sweated over every cent spent”?

DCC Response:
DCC has requested the information in question 1 from CST. Despite reasonable efforts to locate the information it cannot be found and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(e) of LGOIMA.

Questions 2 – 4 are requests for expressions of opinion and therefore are not requests for official information under LGOIMA. DCC declines to respond.

Bev’s Follow up:
Thank you for the response to Question 1.
However, I would also like a response from CST to Questions 2, 3 and 4 as I disagree that the requests are expressions of opinion given the fact that the CST were in the role of trustees of public money and, given the CST were engaged to spend this money within the confines of their role, then I would expect it reasonable they be asked for the justification of spending the public money for this purpose. I regard it as only fair they be given the opportunity to justify this spending.
If they are unable to justify this spending then that is up to them to declare that.

LGOIMA REQUEST 6

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.

In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
I request a copy of the agreement referred to in the invoice from Malcolm S Farry presented to the DCC for payment via the Carisbrook Stadium Trust c/- Arrow International. The invoice number is 0700006, dated 12/11/2007 with description as follows:
“Expense recoveries for Carisbrook Stadium Trust as agreed” July 2007 $2,500, August 2007 $2,500, September 2007 $2,500, October 2007 $2,500. Subtotal $10,000, GST $1,250, TOTAL $11,250.
If there was no written agreement and the agreement was verbal, who were the parties involved with this verbal agreement?

DCC Response:
This information has previously been supplied to you. The parties to the agreement are the DCC and CST.

Bev’s Follow up:
Given that there appears to be no written agreement between the DCC and CST, is it correct to now assume that it was a verbal agreement between Mr Malcolm Farry and Mr Jim Harland and/or Mr Athol Stephens? The amount quoted above refers to only some of the payments under this agreement – the total money paid to Mr Farry under this agreement is at least $57,000.

LGOIMA REQUEST 7

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015. In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.
I request the following:

1. The CST full Financial Statement for year ending 30 June 2007
2. The CST full Financial Statement for year ending 30 June 2008

DCC Response:
The annual financial statements for CST for the years ending 30 June 2007 and 30 June 2008 are not held by the DCC.

Section 2(6) of LGOIMA applies only to official information which is held by CST which relates to their engagement as an independent contractor to Council for construction of the Stadium under the Service Level Deed.

The financial statements you have requested relate to all the activities of CST, which is broader than their contracting role with Council for the construction of the Stadium. The full financial statements of the CST are therefore not official information held by DCC.

Bev’s Follow up:
There are a few issues which arise from this response.
Firstly, as has been argued previously, section 2(6) does apply to the CST as the two legal opinions obtained by DCC both confirm this and also state that even before the Service Level Deed was signed the DCC had a verbal agreement with the CST. Mr Farry has now confirmed in LGOIMA response 3 that the CST did not seek legal advice on the DCC’s legal opinions so there is no legal advice which contradicts these legal opinions.
Secondly, under the CST’s own Trust Deed they have no objectives which do not relate to the stadium, so any activities other than those related to the stadium which they were engaged in are in breach of their own Trust Deed.
Furthermore, in the CST audited accounts in subsequent years it states: “The Trust was established in August 2006 to assess the feasibility of, design and construct a high quality multipurpose sporting, community and cultural venue for the benefit of the public of the Region. The Trust commenced its activities in September 2006. All development expenses are budgeted in advance and reimbursed by the Dunedin City Council.”
(As an aside, I do appreciate the difficulties the above statement produces for the CST as the statement is false because we now know not all the expenses were budgeted in advance. Mr Farry has been unable to produce the monthly budget statements and millions were spent without Council approval.)
Therefore, I again request under section 2(6) of LGOIMA and in keeping with the CST Trust Deed and the subsequent above audited statements of the CST financial statements a copy of the full financial statements of the CST for the years ending 30 June 2007 and 2008.

LGOIMA REQUEST 8

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.

I request a copy of the contract between the Carisbrook Stadium Trust and Pulse Business Solutions.

DCC Response:
The DCC has been informed by CST that CST did not enter into a contract with Pulse Business Solutions and therefore your request is declined pursuant to section 17(g) of LGOIMA as the information does not exist and is not held by either the DCC or CST acting in their capacity as an independent contractor.

LGOIMA REQUEST 9

I understand that changes to LGOIMA recently came into force on 26 March 2015.
In light of these changes, and especially the changes to s2(6) which unequivocally states that a local authority will be deemed to hold any information held by an independent contractor in its capacity as contractor, I wish to submit the following request.

Recently in the ODT (9/12/14), it was reported “Forsyth Barr Stadium officials are looking to solve the venue’s sound problems after confirming ticket sales for major concerts are being restricted as a short-term fix.”

Given the Carisbrook Stadium Trust was responsible for ensuring the stadium was fit for purpose, I request the name of the consultancy company commissioned to ensure the acoustics were suitable for concerts.

DCC Response:
The DCC is still in the process of resolving this request.

Thank you again for your patience in receiving these responses.

With kind regards,

Grace Ockwell
Governance Support Officer
Civic and Legal
Dunedin City Council

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: bev Butler [ODT Files] tweaked by whatifdunedin

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7 Comments

Filed under Business, CST, DCC, Democracy, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, LGNZ, Name, New Zealand, Ombudsman, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Sport, Stadiums

7 responses to “Official Information at Dunedin City : Bev Butler maintains pressure

  1. John Fever

    Time it was that radio people from out of town were considered traitors to 4ZB if they stayed at Farry Motels.

  2. Hype O'Thermia

    Squirm dodge obfuscate prevaricate procrastinate.

    I felt a surge of pure joy imagining reactions to receiving yet another LGOIMA request from Bev! Go girl! You’s the woman!

  3. PG

    FYI…The latest newsletter from the Office of the Ombudsman advises that Prof Ron Paterson has resigned as Ombudsman, effective from 30 June.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    The only recourse seems to be to put the whole sorry saga in front of the Ombudsman’s office in the hope that justice will prevail. Failing that one can only come to the conclusion that there has and is an orchestrated conspiracy to deny, obfuscate and conceal the truth, from said concerned citizens.

    {Moderated. Actionable. -Eds}

  5. alanbec

    Ron Paterson is the epitome of Public Service. He certainly gave DHBs a shake up as H & D Commissioner.

  6. Gurglars

    What justification can ANYONE at the DCC have for paying an account that does not detail the reason for the debit.

    A Certain well known property developer and one-time party leader, together with A.Harding, T.Shelley pioneered an action later called “Pro-Forma Invoicing” and now a statute in the New Zealand law bans this action. I suspect that in some other countries such proforma invoicing was already illegal and the perpetrators have had difficulty visiting those countries since,

    Basically, it is an act where a company charges another company for services rendered, which are in fact not rendered and in many cases the machinery for rendering such services does not exist, Think selling magazine advertising for a non-existent magazine!

    One could be forgiven for believing that few companies would fall into the trap of paying such a non-existent account, but just as an example, A. Harding an equal partner in the enterprise never worked, owned multiple valuable properties in Taupo and the Gold Coast and new Gold Rolls’ in both places. I’ll leave the reader to guess what the others did with their company profits.

    So the DCC a moribund organisation led by a member of the 152+ cars saga, driving a sporty Alfa with brand new tyres, pays accounts from various parties without proof of debt. Careless? Well they got caught with the Party leader, TS, AH scam, they allow 550,000 hits on Trade Me, they have traffic lights growing like fungi on a dead tree, why not!

    Such accounting inadequacies are of course not collusion because the accounts manager is naive, writing reports, preparing soundbites and press reports and managing diligently his twenty or so departmental managers, all beavering away on mostly useless tasks indecipherable to ratepayers.

    Collusion could not happen in the parking and traffic department because only one person knew, not enough for the magical two needed for minimum collusion. Tyres for Alfa? An unfortunate incident, A coincidence, but let’s not relitigate or else we may find someone ELSE guilty and that may trigger an insurance repayment, or a reduction in staff numbers, or pay decreases, such disasters MUST NOT be allowed to happen on the good ship- Local Gov’t DCC, Oh No.

    But no one is keeping an eye on the simple tasks, preparing a meaningful enforceable contract, managing a mudtank cleaning contract, evaluating drains and water management systems- No, No, such mundane tasks are below the paygrade of a MANAGER.

    And if you want a headsup on a few other DCC contracts that might not be professionally and efficiently monitored, try Traffic light provision, Road maintenance, Channel and Curbing for Cycleways, Staff appointments and the ubiquitous Uncle Tom Cobley and All.

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