Phil Kitchin keeps up his good work in exposing government wrongdoing and waste. His latest is on a $3 million TPK contract:
The sloppiness of a $3 million contract to help Maori businesses earn export dollars is revealed in documents showing consultants received hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money – for targets they couldn’t prove they had met. Phil Kitchin reports.
The debacle over the suspended Tekau Plus project has drawn an admission from Te Puni Kokiri chief executive Leith Comer that the government agency has a “big lesson” to learn.
The project has been frozen and Mr Comer now concedes the contract was extraordinarily loose and wishy washy.
Project bosses repeatedly relied on management cliches about “outputs”, “establishing soft network clusters” and “bigger picture value propositions” when they were pressed for proof that goals were being achieved.
That should ring warning bells.
At one stage those running the Tekau project refused to provide details, claiming commercial sensitivity – even though they were spending taxpayer money and the government department that gave it to them wanted to know how it was being used.
And that should have rung even bigger warning bells.
A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, obtained by The Dominion Post, shows that in one three-month period taxpayers forked out $60,000 for project consultants to analyse seven media stories, eight economic updates, a business awards list, a 13-page essay and reports on an education programme.
Now repeat after me – there is no waste in Government. Yeah Right.
In another three-month period consultants received $33,000 for analysis and research including “developing a strategy for a clear strategy forward” and “ensuring offshore studies add value”.
Developing a strategy for a strategy – they must have been pissing themselves with laughter when they wrote that response.
THE leadup to the Tekau project being suspended began in October last year – two years after it began and after two-thirds of the $3 million in funds had been spent.
So it begin in October 2007.
The one bright light there is that TPK at least realised they were being fobbed off and kept going back asking for proof of outputs. However they should have acted far more quickly in terminating funding, in my opinion.Tags: government spending, Phil Kitchin, TPK