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Further to the "Ouch" post

Following on the outburst of sound and fury at the 25 March Council Meeting when Leach sought to vilify me for having the audacity to question aspects of the LTP through the Auditor General, I sought information from CFO Baker regarding the occasions to which he and Leach referred in stating that I was "wasting the time of Council."

I requested for dates and subject matter. I received the following reply from Steve Baker today in the following terms:

"In relation to your letter to the OAG I have not had the opportunity to calculate an approximate cost, nor have I firmed up the hours invested by all those involved.

I have scheduled the work closer to the next Council meeting. As you can imagine I am a little preoccupied with the consultation process of the Ten year Plan at present

As an indication, but indication only, I spent at least two days preparing for Audit NZ (reviewing your letter to OAG and the questions raised in it, much of which I later presented to you at our meeting on the subject 11 February 2015 + 3/4 day meeting with Audit NZ + follow up questions - need to check diary for hours

Audit Director ?? at least one day with me including travel time + prep work for our meeting + collation of results and formal reporting to OAG - total hours unknown at this stage

OAG time?? Tasks would have included initial reply to yourself; scoping and tasking work package with Audit NZ; consideration of report from Audit NZ post interviews with myself; follow up questions if any? Collation of information received on the concerns raised and determination of course of action to take the response to yourself However I am unsure of the hours invested and therefore the cost until I have make contact with them.

To many unknowns at this stage to determine hours spent, and as such approximate cost I will be in touch when I have firmed up on all these unknown."

I followed up with the following:

"Thank you Steve.

Can I assume from your reply that this is the sole occasion regarding an OAG inquiry that involves expense as you have outlined in your email?

I had understood that the Mayor was referring to multiple occasions, and seek reassurance on that point."

To which I received the following:

"The Mayor is was referring to requests to the Ombudsman and perhaps others on matters I have not been involved in I will be passing that side of the request to other staff members to compile."

My reply, copied to Leach & Hammond

"Thank you –  I don’t believe the word Ombudsman was mentioned by the Mayor, and a witness is prepared to provide a supporting affidavit to that effect.

I intend to make my concerns about this turn of events known to both the Ombudsman and Auditor General forthwith"

These are the questions that I intend to put to the Auditor General:

"a) Is it appropriate for the TCDC Mayor to raise the subject of an inquiry to the Auditor General made by media or a ratepayer on the content of the Council's Long Term Plan in an open meeting,? and

b) Demand that the Chief Financial Officer name the miscreant member of the media, or ratepayer?

c) Further, that the CFO be instructed to prepare a Report to be tabled at the next Council meeting outlining the costs incurred in responding to this and any other inquiry's that may have been made by this person?

d) Does the Auditor General consider that such a process amounts to intimidation, and if so

e) Is it the function of the Auditor General to intervene in order to point out to the mayor and council the relevant sections of the Act relating to such behaviour, and whatever other action he considers appropriate in the circumstances. "

Similar questions will be forwarded to the Ombudsman who is still considering matters concerning the $20,000 Business allocation to Guru Digital that I raised with him on 15 May 2014.

 Some may consider the actions of the Mayor outrageous. I simply regard it as ludicrous, but I don't believe that he can be allowed to get away with what amounts in my view to blatant intimidation. 



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April 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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