Ombudsman Replies (3)
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 at 2:17PM
Bill Barclay

Having slept on it overnight, I have come to the conclusion that (2) is a bit of a 'cop-out,' so I have decided to pursue it through to a conclusion.

Here is my response sent today:

Dear Messrs Pohl/Ilott

Thank you. I note the position that you have taken in regard to this complaint and in particular your suggestion that it may be more appropriately directed at the Office of the Auditor General. I will consider this, but in the meantime am concerned at your suggestion that “my interest in the subject matter is no greater than that of the public generally.”

It seems to me unrealistically restrictive if I am prevented as a ratepayer from raising the apparent misuse of power involving the application of Council decisions. Surely as a rate-payer I have a legitimate interest in the proper administration of my Council, along with every other rate-payer, regardless of my status as a member of the public, generally.

I raised the issue regarding the absence of influence on my complaint by other applicants for the funding in good faith. It was therefore disappointing to note that you chose to use this as a reason to decline to take the matter further.

It is true that there is a question surrounding the disposition of the $22,000 that should attract the attention of the Auditor General, but it is really a question of scale. It certainly did not constitute my major concern - that related to the manner in which the decision of Council was apparently manipulated and interpreted unilaterally by a particular staff member contrary to the intent and actual wording of the Council Resolution.

Accordingly, it seems to me incumbent on you to investigate my complaint, and should you establish substance, to use your powers to bring this failure to the attention of the Council and its employees. I don’t seek further consequences other than to ensure that the results of your investigation are publicised in such a manner that may assist to restore confidence amongst rate-payers – the incident having now become widely known in the community with resulting concern.  

It is for these reasons that I respectfully ask that you reconsider your position, and take steps to investigate my complaint dated 15 May 2014.         

 We will see where that goes!



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