Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, October 02, 2009

More On The 200 Audit (Part 1)

I wrote the following BLOG just over a week ago but I did not have the opportunity to post it. I will show you in Part 2 what I was writing on Friday:


Well, the 400 Building audit is only half-way done so what do you expect?

It's like the movie, Groundhog Day. We've seen the delay play itself out meeting after meeting, extending the time and the costs before taxpayers learn what went wrong , and what went right, with this project.

Or perhaps, it is more like the movie Saving Private Valentinis. After all, he was the Councillor who was involved in the project from start to finish and its biggest defender. If it turns out to be a mess, then he takes the blow and just before an election too.

So many audit stories all of a sudden too:
  • "Audited statements for 2007 and 2008 by the operator of Windsor Airport were not turned over to the city's external auditor KPMG until after the accounting firm raised concerns Thursday during the city's audit committee meeting."
  • "YQG claims of making a profit based on their books is different compared to findings of outside audited statements"
  • The City's 2008 audited statements have been delayed considerably
  • The 400 Building audit is delayed again for at least 60-90 days, partially because of that darn CUPE strike (yes, I know that the City's inside auditor is dealing with all of this garbage!) so that we might not get the fianl report until early 2010.
  • "But the real issue remains Dunbar's report. Halberstadt says that Andrew Roman, a Toronto lawyer, has been asked to complete a briefing on Dunbar's findings for the next audit meeting.

    "We have instructed him to prepare a detailed memo with regard to the pros and cons of releasing it," said Halberstadt. "He's going to do that and we will make a decision at our next meeting."

The real issue that Councillor Halberstadt seems to be missing is getting the final report out. Did the Councillor forget that Mr. Roman has already answered the question before so there is nothing left to decide except when Mr. Dunbar's report will be released:

Remember that the Dunbar audit was turned over to the former CAO in December 2006. He has resigned and thus we cannot learn from him what happened if he chooses not to answer any questions about the subject unless there is a legal process in place to force him to do so or unless he vounteers.

How do you like this statement from Edgar which is so true but a real disgrace:

  • Mayor Eddie Francis, chairman of the YQG board, countered Friday the delay should not be a surprise to anyone"

It does not matter to Edgar it seems that his fellow Board member, Councillor Dilkens, told us that the Airport Board has

  • "been clueless over YQG audited statements of the last two years being incomplete and withheld."

Then we have the Mayor telling us this as he wants Councillors Halberstadt and Marra removed as members of the Audit Committee:

  • "Two audit committee members are city councillors, prompting Mayor Eddie Francis to call the audit process "politicized."

    "It's taken up a lot of time and effort," he said.

    "The audit committee's there to serve as an independent function, as an independent oversight of the affairs of the corporation."

Edgar said on Eh-channel that he thinks other investigations into other City activities are politically motivated and are wasting resources. Frankly, I have NO idea what he is talking about on this issue. What else is being examined that we do not know about that is taking up so much Audit time?

How did the audit which is a normal activity all of a sudden become "politicized" and who is making it such. Hardly Councillors Marra and Halberstadt. They are looing like fools letting the process go on and on and on!

Also he wants Max Zalev out too since he is on Enwin but Max wants Councillors on it because they bring the municipal perspective.

Funny, I have not heard these complaints before when the Audit Committee was invisible on WUC as an example or not taking action on the 400 Building. Is it now political because of Councillor "Mayor in Waiting" and Councillor "Your Arrogance Has no bounds" who cannot be controlled since it is getting to re-election time

This is all of course utter nonesense but nothing more that the beginning of a demand to depoliticize the Committee and appoint "unbiased" citizens to the Committee after a very long vettign process of course. Just like with the WEDC CEO process.

Ho, Ho, Ho...the Star even gets in on the subject. You think they are supporting taxpayers. Hardly. They are helping Edgar stall things off:
  • "If the audit committee is unwilling to immediately release the Dunbar audit, the committee should be immediately dissolved and a separate investigation launched to explain how a group of officials who are responsible for ensuring transparency and accountability, instead seem to be accomplishing the opposite.

That should last until waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay after the next municipal election!

So what is this all about? What is the real story behind this? We know it is the old Edgar stall game but why?

As I BLOGGED before, it has nothing to do with the 400 Building but everything to do with the Arena. "11 Boxes As A Stalling Device"

With the 400 Audit going on forever, there is not time now to do an audit on that monumnet until after the election. No scandals if any can be made apparent until our new Mayor and Council have been put into office and then it is too late:
  • "Have we all been played again? Was it was the stall and distract tactic once again. If so, I am so tired of it. I have been telling you about it, dear reader, with respect to the border file for so long so it should not come as a surprise to you if this happened all over again.

    Do you really think that there is anything substantially different in the Dunbar audit than there is in what was disclosed yesterday in the 200 Building audit i.e. Part One of the 400 Building audit? I would doubt it. My guess as well is that Mr. Dunbar probably saw most of what was in the 11 boxes of documents that surprisingly made an appearance that stalled off disclosure of the Audit Report until the City auditor was able to look at the materials.

    What is the difference after all between not having an audit come out in a timely fashion because all of a sudden 11 boxes are mysteriously produced and using full tunneling/Greenlinks to stall off the building of the road to the border until the Province has the money to do it...

    The really shocking revelation as far as he ought to be concerned is that no business case was presented to justify the project in the first place.

    'Prior to the project approval, we expected to find in place a comprehensive business case analysis for a supportable, validated, investment decision. It was anticipated that the business case documentation itself would have set out clear objectives, scope, expected outcomes, critical success factors, risk assessment and risk mitigating measures, an environmental assessment, strategic alignments. The expected business plan would have clearly analysed costs and benefits of the project to Council for decision-making purposes...'

    However, in Windsor, there are more things around than meet the eye. Nothing is as plain as it seems in this City for whatever reason.

    Just consider that the final draft of the Dunbar report was given to the CAO sometime in late 2006. That means most of the work had probably been completed by the fall of 2006. Now sit back and think, what else was taking place in the fall of 2006 that was historic for Windsor. What project could have meant the end of the careers of certain politicians in Windsor if it had not been started?

    Oh I think that you are almost there. It was a design/build project as well, just like the 400 Building. It was started before there was a signed contract. As part of the justification on price, certain other City buildings were to be sold. It was all rush, rush, rush and significant mistakes were made that will now cost us money. Of course, the extra costs will not be shown as part of the project because it is finished, including financing costs that will be charged to General Revenues. It is claimed as well that it was built on budget. And one more amusing point, just like the 400 Building, there is a huge issue with respect to parking.

    Now you know. I’m talking about the East End Arena. If the audit on the 400 Building had come out in the fall of 2006, someone could have asked questions about whether the arena was being constructed in a manner that was more satisfactory than the 400 Building fiasco. Wasn’t our last Municipal Election in the mid-November, 2006? Can you imagine as well the outcry that well could have cost some people their political careers. It might have meant that Project Ice Track would have been built instead in Tecumseh."

    Now the issue is delaying the audit on the Arena for an eternity or perhaps never having one in the first place because of the politicizing of the process."

So sit back and relax. This is politics too but we are deemed to be too stupid as mere citizens to understand it.

The Eminence Greasie is laughing again!