Tag Archives: Audit and Risk FAIL

Delta : Latest Outage #Tainui #DegradedUnsafeNetwork

Otago Daily Times Published on Nov 16, 2016

“Standard safety protection operated immediately ensuring that the downed line was de-energised and electrically safe.” –Delta [PR]

### ODT Online Wed, 16 Nov 2016
Power restored in Tainui
By Vaughan Elder
Power has been restored to 430 customers in the Dunedin suburb of Tainui after it was cut this morning when a line came down. The outage happened at 9.10am after a power line fell on Cavell St near the intersection with Magdala St. […] Despite the line leaving scorch marks on the ground, the Delta spokesman said the line coming down presented “no danger to the public”.
Read more

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Alert To Future Posts:
Delta is riddled by massive HEALTH AND SAFETY problems, perpetuated by a Sick and Dysfunctional executive culture (CEO, and ELT silos), resulting in a preyed-upon, demoralised, risktaking ‘make-do’ workforce.

The risks to individual lines staff are Ginormous. ‘Fatal conditions’ abound. Corporate care ensuring the physical and mental wellbeing and safety of staff is almost completely lacking. The risks to life are exponentially Unacceptable.

What’s needed ?
Independent senior industry experts (plural) prepared to Scrutinise Delta and Talk Out Loud : to see to immediate replacement of the inexperienced ‘make-worse’ CEO Grady Cameron – and to swiftly empower thoroughly coordinated, highly risk averse and analytical professional work teams to prioritise and carry out network upgrades and replacements.

But what about the money….. there is none. The cost of bringing the electricity network up to compliance standard is Astronomical. A different model of ownership and operation is required –potentially, an opportunity, the Community could assume ownership of the network. Hopefully, ODT can explore the options by looking at other successful models – and which have No Ability to ‘strip and burn’ the asset.

Various sources inside Delta tell us the company has brought in an ex staffer as ‘Consultant’. They are paying him $5000 a day…. to skim the surface, was it. But really, Delta is setting up a new company ‘within Delta’ to replace the dangerous poles (at a Very Slow rate) – the work will be contracted out to the usual culprits. More soon.

Related? The NZ Companies Office notes:
‘DELTA NETWORKS LIMITED – Approved Name Reservation’

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vaughan-elder-odt-files-1Wed, 16 Nov 2016
Valpy Rosebowl winner
Otago Daily Times reporter Vaughan Elder has been named the newspaper’s 2016 Valpy Rosebowl Trophy winner. […] The award, for editorial excellence, is presented annually on the anniversary of the November 15, 1861, publication of the first issue of the ODT, New Zealand’s oldest daily newspaper.
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Certainly, Vaughan Elder and the other journalists at ODT are holding their end up with timely coverage of the unfolding Delta ‘dangerous poles’ situation. However, the poles – although highly visible and a useful tool to raise Community awareness – are actually the least of it in terms of danger to Delta lines crew and the Community.

Lots to come out in the next days from sources inside and outside Delta.

All the while the Dunedin City Councillors sit on their hands, without a peep about COST TO RATEPAYERS AND RESIDENTS.

Remember, through the glass darkly, Mayor Cull made a song and dance before the local body elections about having reduced the council’s debt by some small millions; crowing his success with “straightening out council companies”.

This was ‘reinforced’ by [fleeing] Richard Thomson ‘at the end of his last meeting as chairman of the council’s finance committee’, informing us the council’s debt at the end of June had dropped to $217.25 million. ‘This was $30.6 million below budget and well below its target of $230 million by 2021.’

Ahem, ticking the third box of authoritative commentary, on 7 October Graham Crombie rolled up to tell us DCHL’s profit was up 57% and ‘debt across the companies and the council has reduced by $16.8 million to $581 million’. Oh dear, All progress lost and squandered now as Delta borrows $30M to replace the odd pole here and there, with god knows what other spending to be made in the vain hope of compliance.

Dear Daaave : Win some, Lose squillions more.

Otago Daily Times Published on Sep 2, 2016
Dunedin mayoral candidate Dave Cull
The clock is ticking as Dunedin mayoral candidate Dave Cull gets 30 seconds to explain why he should be mayor.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Image: odt.co.nz – Vaughan Elder, tweaked by whatifdunedin

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Filed under Aurora Energy, Business, Delta, Dunedin, Economics, Events, Infrastructure, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Stadiums

Report from the University Landscape Trenches : Financial shoring collapsing, trouble brewing

Received from Rhodes
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 at 9:14 p.m.

Saturday’s ODT had an interesting article about delays on the troubled University of Otago landscaping project. This article is the canary in the University construction goldmine, as there are other even much larger disputes brewing on current University projects that certainly will become a goldmine for the contractors, to the detriment of the University’s financial health.

uoo-landscaping-20160508_135933Hoarding, University of Otago

Mr Mackay said the complications on the landscaping included “replacing old water, sewage and drainage pipes”. What he did not say is that this work was meant to have been done two summers ago, BEFORE the academic year, but due to the project management, it was not. However, this landscaping project is small beer, there are much bigger problems looming.

The University, in their biggest ever project, at the 11th hour, on the “advice” of a contractor, Fletcher Construction, who we understand did not even finally submit a bid, told the University they could save a few hundred thousand on the $100 million project by deleting the need for a cost control schedule…. that would have severely limited what the contractors could charge for changes and extra work. In a monumental display of incompetence, the University stopped production of the schedule – which was already underway and had to be part paid for anyway and put the drawings and specifications out to tender without a schedule. If the drawings were 100% complete and the University wasn’t to change its mind that would be OK, but the Pope is more likely to preach at Canterbury Cathedral than this happening. Of course, the drawings are woefully incomplete, and the arguments and changes have started. Watch out for Someone from the University Property Services division, in about a year, to be in full dissembling mode about the delays, and how, “even though it’s six months late, it’s still on budget”. If that is the case, the budget has massive doses of incompetency cover built into it !

An additional problem that’s about to come home to roost in the University and Otago Polytechnic’s coffers is insistence, by University Property Services, on the use of “Early Contractor Involvement” (ECI). (Someone at University Property Services has never met a new construction euphemism he did not use or a project delay that he could not justify). Both the University and Polytech on recent large projects have engaged in tender processes where there is no fixed sum, because the documents are far from complete, and the current fashion du jour is to have “early contractor involvement” where the builders are paid to be involved in the design phase, to provide “constructability” expertise. Basically the builders make a submission to say what nice people they are, and advise percentage site overhead and profit margins they would build the project for. The rest of the cost, about 85-90%, is just guesswork. (“Provisional Sums”). This process allows the “tender evaluation team” (mainly the Architect and the University) to choose who they want, without regard to price, because the weighting for “non-price attributes” is a lot more than 50% of the total weighting.

On both the University commerce building project, just started by Naylor Love, and the Polytechnic Hostel project (also won by Naylor Love), this was the process. Both projects are around $20 million all up. Significantly, the architect on both projects was Mason & Wales. There were a number of other consultants in the design teams. The politest way to put the next point is that there appeared to be “confusion” about the proposed early contractor involvement process from the team. It was thought, inexplicably, that this wonderful new system of selecting builders without worrying about price meant not only did they get to choose ones with very high margins who wouldn’t cause problems when the inevitable design problems arose, some consultants also thought that they could charge full fees and offload all of the detailing onto the builder…. which of course did not happen. Builders, in the South Island anyway, do not employ armies of CAD operators who can document bespoke large projects. That is what designers are for…. In both cases, the successful Naylor Love bid was hundreds of thousands of dollars more expensive than lower bids. Also in the case of both bids, the University and the Polytech paid a premium of around $500-600,000 to have the “ECI/ constructability” experience of Naylor Love…. only to find that the advice received was NOT what was expected…. the Polytech project has been now costed by Naylor Love and is $1.5-2.0 million over budget, and the “expert” constructability / ECI advice that the Polytech effectively paid $600,000 for is…. wait for it…. to make the building smaller. Hmmm, expensive and brief advice! Best not tell the Humanities students ! The other unsuccessful contractors may well feel aggrieved about how this process played out, as before they were even allowed to provide a proposal they had to prove their capability and experience to do the work, so in theory all tenderers were equally capable, and there was no logical reason for the favouritism to Naylor Love…. but were there other reasons ? There appears no meaningful financial oversight, the project teams seem a law unto themselves, and the suspicion is that both institutions’ funds are being spent in a very free and easy fashion.

[ends]

Related Posts and Comments:
18.7.16 Misero-mercenary at U of O
1.7.16 No one wants to work for U of O
25.9.15 University calling Property Services
28.3.15 University of Otago landscaping
24.7.13 University: Leith flood protection scheme and landscaping
31.5.13 University of Otago development plans
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17.11.10 Leith Lindsay Flood Protection Scheme
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Finance, Media, New Zealand, Otago Polytechnic, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Travesty, University of Otago