Commentary!
Friday, September 25, 2015 at 4:00PM
Bill Barclay

Readers will surely agree that there is considerable deviation between the respective claims in the two previous posts. I believe that I have laid my cards on the table, and that it is now up to Laurna and the Council Executive cohort to prove that I am wrong.

I am not the slightest bit impressed or convinced by the claim that the figures that Laurna has supplied are “audited.” I don’t believe that there has been a satisfactory or credible audit of TCDC staff numbers, or termination settlements conducted over the last ten years that I have been involved with TCDC politics.

It is widely understood, both within, and outside the TCDC establishment that these figures have been fiddled, or distorted by nefarious means over the years. Various ruses have been used with which most readers will understand and be familiar. It generally involves designation of staff who are clearly performing staff duties over time as consultants, contractors and along with various ‘hanger’s on’ are recorded in ways other than those that record ‘approved’ staff numbers.

I challenge the Chief Executive to have a full and independent staff audit conducted by a qualified national accounting firm.  And let such an audit investigate fully all of the severance payments that have been made since October 2010 for whatever reason. The Report of such an investigation can easily provide aggregated data so as to avoid any suggestion of infringing confidentiality.

That should not be too difficult, and such a Report should be presented directly to Council without interference by either Mayor or staff.

If I am wrong in my claims, other than in detail, then I am perfectly willing to withdraw, apologise for having caused unnecessary concern, and undertake to avoid any such claims in the future without seeking confirmation of the veracity of my information through the Communications Manager.

Should the opposite be the case, then I would expect nothing less than a full accounting to rate-payers, together with an apology by all concerned for the manner in this information has been disguised in the past. Perhaps the Auditor General may even be persuaded to publicly recognise the inadequacy of the procedures he/she has followed in the past to verify information provided by councils on these matters.

No reply had been received to my email as at 4pm today, but I understand the contents of Laurna’s email to me were posted on the TCDC Intranet early yesterday in an effort to refute my claims. It has also been reported to me that the exchange has been the subject of much debate, if not consternation within the Castle.

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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