Oh dear me the Inquiry team is compromised already

Summary and recommendations — Office of the Auditor-General New Zealand

I was reading the names selected for the whitewash inquiry into the goings on in the $50 million contract debacle at HBDHB and I thought one name was familiar.

It turns out it is very familiar and for all the wrong reasons.

David Clarke himself has been subject to an investigation by the Auditor-General back in 2005 when issues were raised by the Hon Murray McCully MP about the contracting policies and procedures of the Ministry of Health.

Between June 2001 and February 2005, the Ministry entered into 60 contracts with Allen and Clarke Policy and Regulatory Specialists Limited (Allen & Clarke). The total value of all contracts was around $1,362,000 excluding GST, with 32 of the contracts being for $10,000 or less. Only 4 of the contracts involved a contestable process. The other 56 contracts were awarded on a “sole provider” basis.

Allen and Clarke were at this time, both the principals were working for the Ministry on 3-year fixed term contracts. One of the principals – Mr Allen – was working only 30 hours a week, and used his spare time to work on the contracts. A ninth contract was awarded on 16 January 2002, the day before Mr Allen left the Ministry’s employment.

The Auditor-General slammed the Ministry of Health over the way it awarded contracts worth nearly $1.5 million to the consultancy firm of two former employees.

An investigation has revealed the ministry awarded the pair 60 contracts, most of which should have been tendered out but never were. The report criticised the ministry for not following a proper tender process.

Clearly we can see now that the whitewash inquiry is hopelessly compromised.

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