Kevin Brady

Auditor-General letter slaps ComCom

Check out this substantial communication sent from the Office of the Auditor General to the Commerce Commission.

Auditor General Submission Draft ID Determination 13 March 2012

It gives the ComCom a big slap for the way they are attacking the electricity lines companies.

By way of background, the Office of the Auditor General is the most respected, and indeed the highest independent authority in NZ. We remember well the actions of Kevin Brady investigating Labour?s dishonest actions in the 2005 elections as a high water mark for the NZ Civil Service.

So this criticism from the Office of the Auditor-General is a substantial criticism of the Commission?s Mad Dog attacks, noting their misunderstanding of their role, engaging in ?duty creep”, and in need of restraint.

To quote from the letter about the Commission?s overall approach:

?At this point, we have some difficulty in understanding the expectations of the Commission because of what appears to be contradictory statements in the 2012 Draft Determination and the accompanying Draft Reasons Paper.?

The OAG accuses the ComCom of imposing unreasonable costs on Electricity distributors, that may not even make sense. See here on page 2 of the letter

?Viewed one way, these expectations could result in a much more exacting audit, with consequent cost implications. Viewed another way, such an audit may be scoped at such a high level that may not meet the Commission?s expectations.?

Check out what the OAG says about the Commerce Commission?s attempts to define extra power for itself on page 3.

?We also question if the Commissioner has the statutory authority to require auditors to state if they have a duty of care to the Commissioner in the audit report.?

The ComCom is due for a mucking out at the top, we?ve pointed out a Commissioner who needed ten months of timeout to recover from self-inflicted alcohol abuse. (Which other government roles do people get 10 months of golf and book reading to recover from their addictions?)

But clearly there is a need for political intervention to ensure the culture of the Commerce Commission is also changed.

We need an authority that promotes competition and ends anti-competitive behaviour, such as price fixing by petrol companies or supermarkets.

We need an authority that stops the shady practices by financial corporates that hurt consumers, like Credit Agricole and the failed Credit Sails financial product.

We don?t need a Commerce Commission that uses anti-commercial approaches to impose extra costs on businesses for no good reason at all.

We don?t need a Commission that is confused and contradictory in its approach to New Zealand infrastructure and public policy.

We don?t need a Commission that is power hungry and seeking to expand its role.

The Office of the Auditor General is now ringing the alarm bells ? and for good reason. This should be the signal that National needs to reform the Commission and bring them back into line.

Time for a re-make

Last I heard Clark had beggared the party so much they still had $600k debt. The selfish bitch tried to save her own skin by breaking the bank.

At least we can thank Kevin Brady for making them pay off the eight hundy they stole to win the 2005 election. that and the contributors to this video at the time.

It is time for a remake. those interested in a remake/new song and contributing please contact me via e-mail.

Meanwhile Labour hasn’t learned and done it again. This time, not a pledge card but a brochure that is largely fact free. We should demand out money back. One commenter on this blog stated when I ran the story a week before NZPA (they should pay, shouldn’t they?)

The correct figures are that the current tax is $10.03, and that the new tax amount will be $12.03 giving a total of $92.25, so an increase of $2.00. Where their figure of $13.54 comes from I can only guess, but it looks fairly simple.

They calculated the current GST as 12.5% of $90.25, which equals $11.28 (where your figure comes from I am assuming), then they are adding 2.5% to the $90.25, which equals $2.25. $11.28 + $2.25 = $13.53.

When working out the amount of GST in a price you cannot just subtract 12.5%, as the 12.5% is calculated on the amount excluding tax. The full calculation would be (90.25/112.5)*100 = 80.22. So the current GST is $10.03. A simpler method is to divide the price by 9. 90.25/9 = 10.03.

So not only do we have suspect people on brochures, we have the Labour party not able to perform correct calculations. Of course that is never a surprise.

Last night on Larry Williams NewstalkZB show The Nightwatchman said that it fitted the rules. That surely means the rules are as crooked as the politicians who made and monitor the rules.

Parliamentary Services needs to be opened up to the OIA process, and it needs to be have the rules established by people who do not directly benefit from the rules and their construct. We don’t allow conflicts of interest in other professions, so why do why do we insist upon it in politics.

Pay it back Labour, pay it back. Go tap Owen Glenn if you have to, like you did last time. Or sell some of that multi-million dollar property portfolio you have. Pay it back.

Party flunky sets up "Lobby Group"

I was reading a press release about a new "lobby group" being set up called Parents [sic] Choice '08.

They are advocating income splitting for parents. Funny I thought, a special lobby group that has only one policy. And a policy that conveniently already has a staunch advocate in UnitedFuture. Of course, things became a little clearer when I noticed the name of their "Chairman"… one Roger Ellis, spinmeister extra-ordinaire.

Apart from being an unsuccessful City Council candidate for Wellington's Northern ward, who is Roger Ellis?

Well, Roger has found himself in a little hot water before…here is what NBR said about him in 2005.

[courtesy of the NBR, sorry not online, emphasis WOBH]

[quote]Vodafone flack walks fine line
The National Business Review – 18 November 2005 : 06-02

His influence on United Future policy on telecommunications will be watched
Kate McLaughlin

Those interested in the telecommunications sector will watch the machinations of the commerce select committee – responsible for reviewing the Telecommunications Act – with particular interest over the next parliamentary term. They will particularly watch United Future's take on matters.

That is because Vodafone New Zealand's chief government lobbyist – official title "public policy manager" – is also a member of the United Future executive board.

That man is Roger Ellis, who said this week he is aware of the fine line he treads but is adamant no conflict of interest exists.

Wellington-based Mr Ellis has been Vodafone's public policy manager for the past four years and a member of the United Future board for the past two years.

In his Vodafone role he lobbies political parties, including United Future, on matters affecting Vodafone.
That being the case, a major review of the Telecommunications Act due sometime next year will see Mr Ellis lobbying United Future MP Gordon Copeland, a member of the commerce select committee. Four National and four Labour MPs also sit on the committee.

A spokesman for United Future leader Peter Dunne said Mr Dunne would not comment on the matter but said he had "full confidence in Roger's professionalism."

Mr Copeland said the only telecommunications advice he receives from Mr Ellis is when he is wearing his "Vodafone hat."

"His dealing with me when he's wearing his United Future hat is about the United Future party, so he would come to me in quite a separate capacity through a formal process of a meeting when he's lobbying for Vodafone."

On Mr Ellis' profile on United Future's website it says he holds a managerial position for a leading communications and infotainment company.

While Mr Copeland said the best way to avoid any conflict of interest is through transparency, he also said he did not believe Mr Ellis' United Future profile needed to stipulate that he worked for Vodafone.

Communications Minister David Cunliffe, the major driver behind the Telecommunications Act review, would not comment, saying it was a matter between Vodafone and United Future.

Mr Ellis said he discussed the United Future position with Vodafone before he accepted it two years ago.
"As a board member I don't offer the party advice about telecommunications policy. Policy issues such as telecommunications are not the remit of the board.

"If a telecommunications issue arose in a board context, I would declare my interest and absent myself from the discussion."

Mr Ellis said he did not see any conflict between the two roles.
"I have very good working relationships with members of all political parties. I have always worked hard to act in a professional manner and intend to continue to do that," he said. "During the two years I have been on the board of United Future no one has expressed to me any concerns or questions."[/quote]

As an aside, he subsequently stepped aside from the UnitedFuture board over this perceived conflict of interest.

Funnily enough (but not all-together surprising) is that Peter Dunne gave a ringing endorsement to Ellis in his bid for Council…
[quote]'I have had the pleasure of working with Roger Ellis over the last ten years. Most recently this has been in conjunction with the Campaign For Local Schooling, the Churton Park Community Association and the North Wellington Voluntary Service Awards Organising Committee. I have no doubt that Roger will make an intelligent, positive and very capable City Councillor for the Northern Ward'.[/quote]

No mention that the wonderful Roger Ellis was atually a board member of Peter's own party, no mention of UnitedFuturere at all in Peter's ringing endorsement of a party hack. Can Parents [sic] Choice 08 really be classed as a lobby group when the only evidence I can find of membership is one guy neck-deep in party hackery? Further how many choices can you have when you only have one policy plank and that policy plank is remarkably similar to UnitedFuture's only redeeming policy.

I wonder if they have registered to "take a position for or against" a party….since they will be campaigning clearly on a policy of UnitedFuture.?

Cop this Vodafone

Vodafone Sux, this is just a taste of what is to come.

Oh looky here, seems the Commerce Commission is already looking at roaming and Vodafone

Radio New Zealand News : Latest News : 200708060708 : Vodafone roaming proposal rejected by Commission

Vodafone attempted to set up a self regulatory model for mobile roaming services but their proposal was rejected out of hand by the ComCom just yesterday.

[quote]The director of the telecommunications branch at the Commerce Commission, Osmond Borthwick says Vodafone's model did not appear attractive for promoting competition.[/quote]

Well there's a suprise, Vodafone acting in an anti-competitive way.

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More on Vodafone and their egregious overcharging

Over at David’s the trolls are on attack, note they only attack over at David’s rather than come to my blog for a hiding. However not a one has bothered to actually debate the issue, playing me and my father for some strange reason.

They also mistake my outrage as an inability to pay the bill, which is so far from the truth it isn’t funny, they also seem to think that I expect the state to bail me out, which I most definately do not, I do however expect the Commerce Commission to investigate what to my mind is an egregious example of price gouging.

Vodafone moves to flat-rate data on roaming | The Register

Note also that Vodafone UK has this year introduced a flat rate for data in Europe; at least in the parts of Europe where Vodafone operates, of ?12 for 24 hours connectivity.

Squarely aimed at business users connecting their laptop computers when roaming, the service is intended to make billing simpler, as well as offering a cheaper option for data-heavy users. Anyone roaming to a non-Vodafone network, or exceeding the 50MB cap, will find themselves paying their normal international rate, which could confuse further; though hopefully the majority won’t suffer from either scenario.

Of course this in direct contrast to Vodafone’s answer to Darren Greenwood that the policy is the same for all of Vodafone’s customers worldwide. Now if you use that example for my 20 day trip to Australia and approximately 250Mb of data consumed, my data bill would have been $480, only ten times my usual bill and a far more acceptable pricing regime for a premium service. $7000 for the same amount of data is simply theft writ large and Vodafone are very definately having a lend of their customers.

Of course don’t expect Sonic, DiM and other socialist lickspittles to understand the complexities of the issues, they are way to busy casting aspersions on me and my father.

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Labours bright star is actually quite dim

Cunliffes troubles have just gotten worse.

His so called magic letter of apology from Vodafone, isn't.

It isn't magic and it isn't really an apology.

You can't really call it an apology especially when the Minister solicited the "apology" the very day he was copping flak in the parliament.

It would certainly appear that one of Labours bright stars is actually quite dim.?