Tag Archives: Public servants

OIA Review: Bev’s off, thank god! #politicallyblinkered #shakethattreesomemore

Updated post
Sat, 5 Dec 2015 at 1:17 p.m.

LIES and SPIN, Bev

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 1:40 PM Wednesday Dec 2, 2015
Official Information Act review finds ‘no deliberate misuse’
By Isaac Davison – NZH political reporter
A high-level review of the Official Information Act will not uncover any widespread political interference in the release of information, its author says. The Ombudsman’s Office will release the findings from its comprehensive, year-long review next week. Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem said today that the investigation had not discovered malicious or deliberate misuse of the Act by ministers’ offices or by Government departments.

“We’ve really shaken the tree over this and haven’t been surprised by what’s fallen out,” she told a Parliamentary committee this morning.

She admitted that she had suspected political interference, but had found no hard evidence of it. Dame Beverley said people who had complained to her office could be perceiving political spin or “bad behaviour” when it did not exist, and she could not make any findings “based on hearsay”.
Read more

█ The release of the report will be Dame Beverley’s last act as Chief Ombudsman after 10 years in the role. She is being replaced by former Principal Family Court Judge Peter Boshier next week.

Gun shy ? (broken record – your 10 limp-wristed years, inter-agency OBFUSCATION, or lose your privilege, your confidence, your connections, your office budget….)

DemiLovatoVEVO Published on Oct 9, 2015
Demi Lovato – Confident (Official Video)

Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) 5.12.15 Dame Beverley [Stuff.co.nz]Sharon Murdoch, Dame Beverley December 5, 2015 [Stuff.co.nz]

Related Posts and Comments:
9.11.15 Citifleet investigation: Final police report 29.10.15
5.3.15 John Key’s NZ spying on Pacific neighbours
15.1.15 New Zealand: Salmond on abuse of democratic freedoms
16.12.14 Chief Ombudsman | OIA review
24.10.14 John Key’s Godzone and the OIA
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review
2.12.09 DScene – OIA requests about stadium endless?

█ For more, enter terms such as *audit nz*, *auditor general*, *citifleet*, *corruption*, *courthouse*, *cst*, *dcc*, *delta*, *department of internal affairs*, *dia*, *dvml*, *fraud*, *gambling*, *kaipara*, *nzru*, *oag*, *orfu*, *pokies*, *racing*, *rugby*, *sfo*, *stadium*, *ttcf* or *whistleblowers* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: nbr.co.nz – Beverley Wakem

20 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, DIA, Economics, Events, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, OAG, Ombudsman, People, Police, Politics, Project management, SFO

Tony Avery is “somebody’s” pet #gigatown lapdog

Tony Avery 3 Infrastructure and Networks General Manager Tony Avery resigned from Dunedin City Council on 28 August 2014, falling on his sword as a result of the Citifleet/Citipark fraud —something, the Council conveniently brushes under its carpet with ALL BLAME politically attaching (for insurance purposes) to the deceased former Citifleet manager Brent Bachop. Other council staff were clearly involved; one person alone does not dispose of 152+ cars, and related council assets. So Mr Avery, WENT…. But not really.
With all the scandal and corruption appearing, the Council supportively, extended “help” and salary repeatedly to Mr Avery, after initial news that he would work through to Christmas. Then, on Saturday 31 January the Council revealed that: “He would continue working fulltime, assisting [Ruth] Stokes and helping with the transition on key projects, until March 31, [Sue] Bidrose said.” (ODT 1.2.15).

But the latest DCC blinder:

“Tony Avery’s new gig (pun intended)
Helping Gigatown Dunedin secure sources of funding…”

Updated post 16.4.16
15.5.15 ODT: City readies to take advantage of Gigatown
Last month, [the Digital Community Trust] employed former Dunedin City Council infrastructure and networks general manager Tony Avery as interim project manager.

DCC Pets. Pet Projects. NO COUNCIL SHAME.
How do we define corruption, again.

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12.1.15 Traffic lights: Anzac Avenue/Frederick Street intersection
29.12.14 DCC gets QLDC talent…. the weft and warp deviously weaves
6.11.14 DCC pals up with Chorus —gigatown and telecoms cabinets
9.10.14 DCC’s Daaave at university bollard, in his twilight
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
5.6.14 DCC Transport Strategy and Riccarton Road
22.5.14 DCC Transportation Planning —ANOTHER consultation disaster
24.4.14 DCC promotes Riccarton Rd as sole heavy traffic bypass
29.10.13 DCC (EDU) invents new job! —Gigatown/Digital Office
20.11.12 DCC vs Anzide Properties decision: The road “has no legal basis”

█ For more, enter the terms *citifleet*, *sh88*, *anzide*, *cycle*, *parking* or *riccarton* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: Tony Avery tweaked by whatifdunedin

9 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Economics, Enterprise Dunedin, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics, Project management

Chief Ombudsman | OIA review

“The effective operation of the OIA is crucial to our system of open and democratic government, and this review will scrutinise how things are currently operating and set out a framework for systemic improvement where deficiencies are identified.” –Beverley Wakem, Chief Ombudsman

Beverley Wakem 1 [nbr.co.nz]### NZ Herald Online 2:11 PM Tuesday Dec 16, 2014
Government offices selected for OIA review
By Isaac Davison – NZ Herald political reporter
The Chief Ombudsman says a major review of the Official Information Act will scrutinise all 27 government ministers’ offices.
Dame Beverley Wakem today began her review of the way the public sector used the OIA, which she first announced in August.
Twelve government agencies have been selected for formal review, based on their size, number of OIA requests, complaints, and other criteria.
A further 63 agencies and all ministers’ offices have been asked to complete a detailed survey. At least one agency cited for good OIA practice would be included in the review.
The Ombudsman’s office would also seek input from past and present public servants, Opposition parties, journalists, academics and others.
Dame Beverley said the goal was to assess the quality and integrity of OIA practice in the public sector and to address any issues that were found.
Read more

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14.12.14 DIA regulates what? Not white collar crime, not with govt looking on!
24.10.14 John Key’s Godzone and the OIA
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23.9.14 John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
23.9.14 John Key PM —real or fake? and one email
2.9.14 John Key PM, plus and minus
7.12.13 Corruption in NZ Sport: Where has John Key PM been hiding ???
21.3.13 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review
9.2.10 John Key made NZ fall apart #FAIL
2.12.09 DScene – OIA requests about stadium endless?
21.11.09 Stadium: Key’s message to opponents….

█ For more, enter terms such as *corruption*, *fraud*, *whistleblowers*, *dia*, *department of internal affairs*, *stadium*, *gambling*, *auditor general*, *oag*, *audit nz*, *orfu*, *nzru*, *sfo*, *pokies*, *ttcf*, *racing* or *rugby* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

12 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Geography, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZRU, ORFU, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Sport, Stadiums

John Key’s Godzone and the OIA

Dirty Politics - Cameron Slater Nicky Hager [master - tvnz.co.nz] 1

A very experienced political journalist told me: “The whole culture of the Wellington public service towards the OIA is governed by two things – the need not to embarrass your minister or your department (putting your chances of promotion or even your job at risk ) and the need to uphold the law, which public servants are more conscious of than you might think. The result is that public servants block requests for as long as they can and delete as much as they can using whatever section of the OIA act that they can.” –David Fisher, NZ Herald

Link received Thu, 23 Oct 2014 at 8:15 p.m.

### NZ Herald Online 2:56 PM Thursday Oct 23, 2014
David Fisher: OIA a bizarre arms race
NZ Herald journalist David Fisher gave the following speech to an audience of public officials in Wellington on October 15. We republish it here to help the public understand the systematic difficulties faced by those seeking information on their behalf.

Good afternoon everyone. I am David Fisher, a reporter with the NZ Herald. I have worked as a journalist for 25 years, mainly in New Zealand but across a number of other countries.
I think there’s some value before I start in placing a context around the current situation in relation to the media and the OIA. In doing so, it should be said each of the following allegations is denied.
At the moment, there is an inquiry underway into whether a blogger gained some advantage in receiving information from the SIS for political purposes. There are also allegations of preferential treatment over the OIA involving the same blogger and the former Justice Minister.
The police are also facing allegations of trying to cover up juked stats by burying an OIA. And a former Customs lawyer has said his organisation preferred to let requests languish in the Ombudsman’s office than dealing with them.
In the 25 years I have worked as a journalist, there have never been so many questions, or such a loss of faith, all at once.
Read more

Comment by Russell Garbutt
Submitted on 2014/10/24 at 10:40 am

167968722PW011_John_Key_HolI see that the mighty NZ Police have now decided to prosecute Nicky Hager over the fact that as a journalist he will not reveal who gave him copies of the emails that implicated so many of the National Party in downright crude manipulation and God only knows what else. Even that very friendly Speaker of the House has been forced to find that Key is a devious, slippery sod by not revealing his relationship with that scumbag Cameron Slater (watch the interesting exchange at yesterday’s question time here. http://www.inthehouse.co.nz/video/34526)
Isn’t it extraordinary that the NZ Police – such an independent body of public servants – jump so quickly whenever Donkey Jonkey and his mates want action, yet they are pleading under-resourcing for really serious crimes? Remember the infamous John Banks (you know, the little forgetful coot from Auckland) cup of tea PR stunt with Key? Key lays a complaint about the recording and the cops jump immediately. Collins, Key and others are shown to be dirty manipulators in Hager’s book and the cops immediately follow up. And how many others could say that their well-documented complaints have been diligently followed? I know of a few for starters, but let’s start with the Crewe murders and the bent cops who planted evidence. Did the cops diligently pursue anyone else when Thomas was pardoned? Not even when Rochelle Crew asked them to do so. The two bent cops were praised for their integrity and diligence by the very top cop after they died.
I could go on, but the perception out there is that the cops are politically driven.

[ends]

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23.9.14 What if? swayed by celebrity, loveliness —and dirty politics
23.9.14 John Oliver on Eminem vs National #LastWeekTonight
20.9.14 Election Night
19.9.14 Chief Ombudsman Beverley Wakem to launch post-election inquiry
● 2.9.14 John Key PM, plus and minus [recent comments]
21.3.14 Public service causing “paralysis of democracy” with OIA requests
26.7.12 ‘The Public’s Right to Know’ – OIA Review

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: tvnz.co.nz – Dirty Politics: Cameron Slater, Nicky Hager; newstalkzb.co.nz (Getty) – John Key PM looking tired

28 Comments

Filed under Business, Democracy, Economics, Hot air, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Politics

Stuff: Dunedin council CEO won’t resign

Latest at Southland Times by Wilma McCorkindale:
03/09/2014 at 17:03

Dr Sue Bidrose said she would not follow two of her general managers out the door in the wake of the $1.5 million alleged fraud investigation.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/10456244/Dunedin-council-CEO-won-t-resign

Southland Times 3.9.14 Dunedin council CEO won't resign (stuff.co.nz - screenshot) 14

We all know it was never a question.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

31 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, Democracy, Economics, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

DCC Fraud: Further official information in reply to Cr Vandervis

Following on from the previous post.
DCC has established an Investigation Steering Group (membership unknown).

Received from Cr Lee Vandervis
Mon, 1 Sep 2014 at 9:51 p.m.

[begins]

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Sent: Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:09 a.m.
To: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Subject: Re: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for responding so rapidly on the 8 questions.

To clarify, have the DCC asked for the SFO to investigate the Citifleet frauds and when, or has the SFO only been briefed indirectly by Deloittes as in answer 7?

Also, are your responses public or confidential?

Cheers,
Lee

——————————

From: Sandy Graham [DCC]
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 2014 11:08:40 +1200
To: Lee Vandervis
Subject: RE: 8 x LGOIMA requests

Dear Lee

I have followed up your question of clarification about the SFO and can provide the following response:
Under the circumstances of a suspected fraud (as per the Citifleet situation at the beginning of the investigation), the normal course of events is that the SFO is informed of issues when they arise. Deloitte did this via a phone-call to the SFO on 12 June 2014, after a discussion with DCC staff at a meeting of the Investigation Steering Group. The steering group were fully aware of the fact that Deloitte was speaking with the SFO and were informed of the outcome of the call. The call to the SFO was us asking the SFO to consider an investigation.

The discussion on 12 June 2014 (which was with a case officer and with Nick Paterson, the GM Fraud and Corruption) summarised the facts and circumstances of the Citifleet issues and sought the view of the SFO.
It is then the SFO’s decision as to whether they commence their own investigation. This is based on the criteria set out on their website (copied below)

There are multiple victims (usually investors) of the suspected fraud

● The sum of money lost exceeds $2,000,000

● The alleged criminal transactions have significant legal or financial complexity beyond the resources of most other law enforcement agencies.

In the case of bribery or corruption matters, we focus on crimes involving public officials, which could undermine public confidence in the administration of laws

Based primarily on the fact that the main suspect was deceased and that the actions appeared to be those of one corrupt individual rather than fitting within the definition of bribery and corruption, the GM Fraud and Corruption decided that the best course of action was for Deloitte to complete its investigation and provide a copy of the report at the conclusion of its work. During the investigation and with permission from DCC, Deloitte provided an update on the investigation to SFO on 07 July 2014 via letter. A copy of the full report was provided on 21 August 2014. We have heard nothing back from the SFO to date.

As to confidentiality, these OIA replies are all able to be made public and as such they will be published on the website and I will be providing a copy of the information to all Councillors.

Regards
Sandy [Group Manager Corporate Services, DCC]
—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link

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30.8.14 DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts…
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27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
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23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
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7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

24 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property

DCC Fraud: Cr Vandervis states urgent need for facts and the record to be made public

Lee Vandervis + Dave Cull [photos via leevandervis.wordpress.com] BW (1)

The following correspondence is reproduced in the public interest.

Received from Lee Vandervis
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

Message: You may be interested in the following email trail, which I believe highlights a serious impediment to the cleansing process which is taking far too long at the DCC.
I am happy for you to publish.
Regards,
Cr. Lee Vandervis

[begins]

—— Forwarded Message
From: Lee Vandervis
Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 21:36:35 +1200
To: Dave Cull
Cc: Sue Bidrose, Sandy Graham, Andrew Noone, Andrew Whiley, Chris Staynes, Doug Hall, Hilary Calvert, John Bezett, Jinty MacTavish, Kate Wilson, Mayor Cull, Mike Lord, Neville Peat, Richard Thomson, David Benson-Pope, Aaron Hawkins
Conversation: Recent events
Subject: Re: Recent events

Dear Mayor Cull.

Denial is not just a large river in Egypt.
You confirm the urgent need for facts and the record to be made public.

Regards,
Cr. Vandervis

——————————

On 29/08/14 2:41 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Lee,
I do not believe that many of your claims below are borne out by the record or the facts and stand by my comments.

Dave

Sent from my iPad

——————————

[conversion code deleted from body text, punctuation restored -Eds]

On 29/08/2014, at 11:16 AM, “Lee Vandervis” wrote:

Dear Mayor Cull,

I believe that you have been long aware of my efforts to have Mr Bachop’s and other DCC departments investigated for the kinds of inappropriateness currently evident in Citifleet.
In particular you now know having read the Deloitte report, [and I believe have long known] that I have been calling for and instigated my own investigations into Citifleet vehicle disposals and contracting arrangements since at least 2011. I have been responding politically, then and since, to many business and individual requests and questions from, for example Turner’s Auctions, regarding Citifleet. Answers to many of my questions have been denied or not forthcoming, and the public right to know has been consequently frustrated. Your public claim that CEO Orders began the current investigative and restructuring process [by starting with DCHL?!] does not align with information I have, or with information and requests for investigation that I made to CEO Orders many years ago.

My understanding is that the Police were not moved to investigate Citifleet when contacted by the DCC over 3 months ago, even when the evidence was so tragically overwhelming that Deloittes were contracted by CEO Bidrose [costing us $200,000] to investigate. I am not convinced that Police requests for a further unspecified number of months of ‘no public comment’ is in the public interest, and my discussion with the Crown Solicitor was also unconvincing on this point.
You say below that ‘the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to’, yet you have the right and have read the Deloitte Citifleet Investigation Report and made numerous public comments, and I have been denied seeing it even on a ‘grey papers’ basis and am being muzzled. Your ‘operational only’ claim is generally questionable and in this case fails on all counts.
We will never know all the facts, especially if the withholding of the Deloitte report and more public muzzling continues.
In one of your media statements you say that Council have agreed not to comment until the Police have completed their belated investigation, but this is not true. Councillors have not been given the opportunity to even discuss a further number of months of no comment on Citifleet, leave alone agreed not to comment. I have certainly not agreed and do not agree.

Thank you for acknowledging my long standing demands that DCC ‘heads should roll’. My long political experience is that timely public disclosure will be necessary to ensure that the appropriate heads are dispatched, and that an embedded DCC culture of self-entitlement across many departments is permanently erased.

Regards,
Cr. Vandervis

——————————

On 28/08/14 5:30 PM, “Dave Cull” wrote:

Lee,
The investigation that the CEO has contracted Deloittes to conduct into Citifleet is an operational matter involving, among other things, employment and potentially criminal issues. From the outset the Police, Serious Fraud Office, and Dept of Internal Affairs have been kept informed.

The investigation and subsequent internal reviews were instigated within DCC.
However the investigation is not a process which you as a Councillor (or I) in our governance roles have a right to, or responsibility for, interfering in or giving direction on, except as part of a whole of Council directive.

The investigation included the question of whether the problems uncovered at Citifleet had been the subject of previous allegations or questions, and if so, whether those had been responded to appropriately by management, including CEOs. Deloittes will report back on that.

The request not to release the report and the consequential request not to comment came not from the CEO (or me) but from Police and the Crown Prosecutor. Indeed both the CEO and I feel frustrated and disappointed as you do, that the report, which was completed only a week or so ago, must now sit under wraps for a further period.

However it is important that nothing jeopardises the ability of the CEO and police to hold people to account. You often demand that ‘heads should roll’
Your claims and demands, without knowledge of the investigation findings, could do just that: put the aims of the investigation to hold people accountable at risk.

I am not suggesting Councillors do not have the right to ask questions or make requests. What we do not have a right to do is step outside our governance roles, interfere with legitimate operational matters particularly without knowing all the facts, and unilaterally jeopardize Council and ratepayer interests. If we do we should be fully held to account for that.

Dave

Dave Cull
Mayor of Dunedin
—— End of Forwarded Message

[ends]

Note: The auditors that Dunedin City Council has contracted to investigate fraud carry the name Deloitte New Zealand, or simply Deloitte. Link

Related Post and Comments:
28.8.14 DCC: Tony Avery resigns
27.8.14 DCC whitewash on serious fraud, steals democracy from citizens
26.8.14 DCC: Forensics for kids
23.8.14 DCC public finance forum 12.8.14 (ten slides)
6.8.14 DCC tightens policy + Auditor-General’s facetious comments
3.7.14 Stuff: Alleged vehicle fraud at DCC
1.7.14 DCC: Far-reaching fraud investigation Citifleet
3.6.14 DCC unit under investigation
2.5.14 DCC $tar-ship enterprise
28.4.14 DCC loses City Property manager in restructuring
7.2.12 DCC ‘money go round’ embedded

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: leevandervis.wordpress.com

23 Comments

Filed under Business, Citifleet, DCC, DCHL, Democracy, Economics, Name, New Zealand, People, Politics, Project management, Property