Friday, December 05, 2008

This simply has to stop.

Approximately three or four weeks ago, under the Freedom of Information Act, I asked the Audit Commission if they had ever employed a Mrs Veronica Moore ( The wife of the ex-Chief Executive of Redcar And Cleveland Borough Council Colin Moore) either as an employee of the Audit Commission or in her capacity as a consultant? I then asked that if they had, had she ever done any work for the Commission regarding Redcar And Cleveland Borough Council and if so, what were the dates?

They replied a short while later refusing to confirm or deny that she had, stating that this information was protected under the Data Protection Act. Take a look at this first link

Strange? Here was the Audit Commission refusing to confirm or deny whether Mrs Moore, in any capacity, had been employed by them and yet here on this site for Fairlight Consultancy, Mrs Moore herself gives details of her own employment history where it states quite clearly, that she has worked for the Audit Commission?

I sent the link to the Audit Commission and put it to them that their excuse for not giving me the information that I had asked for held no water at all. I re-submitted my request.

A short time later, I received a reply from a Mr Shipsey at the Audit Commission who told me that just because Mrs Moores details had appeared on this site for a firm of consultants that she had worked for, it did not mean to say that it was correct or that it had been put onto the site by her or with her authorisation? He insinuated that the information could have been put onto this site by someone else without her knowledge! he then claimed that he wanted to know why I wanted the information and said that my request was based more in curiosity than it was in public interest. Once again, even though Mrs Moore had already admitted publicly herself that she had worked for the commission, the Commission hid behind the Data Protection Act and refused to give me the information.

I quite liked the line where Mr Shipsey said that I was asking more "out of curiosity than in public interest". So I pointed a few things out to him.

I told him that it had already come to light that Mrs Moore was pushing the inclusion of a 5GP surgery as part of the Coatham Enclosure Scheme as a non executive board member of the local PCT as her husband, who had taken the unprecedented step of taking the planning department of the council under his direct control, was pushing all aspects of the Coatham Enclosure Scheme from within the council.

I pointed out that shortly after we made this public, Mrs Moore resigned her position as non executive board member of the PCT.

I then pointed out to Mr Shipsey, that it had come to light and been featured in Private Eye magazine, that senior officers of this council, including Colin Moore, had surpressed a final financial Audit report that showed that this council were not a four star authority and then colluded with a certain individual/s with the Commission to replace it with another 'final' report, that miraculously showed that our council was a four star authority.

I pointed out that not only had both versions of this final document been put onto the Private Eye Website, the Serious Fraud Office had sent me a letter stating that this should be investigated by the Police possibly assisited by the CPS and that this letter had formed part of a large dossier that had been complied and sent to the District Auditor and that had resulted in the council being downgraded to a two star authority.

I told him that despite his remarks, my request for information, in view of what has already taken place between officers of the council and the Audit Commission alone, was based far more in public interest than it ever was in simple curiosity.
I then sent him this next link...

Lo and behold, here is another site where Mrs Moore had given details of her employment history to the public and once more, she states that she had worked for the Audit Commission. I put it to Mr Shipsey that his excuse was looking even more ridiculous than it had done the first time and I re-submitted my FOI request.

That was over a week ago and I still haven't had even an acknowledgement from Mr Shipsey.

It is clear for all to see, that the Audit Commission are trying to conceal the truth. Truth that has already been admitted publicly by Mrs Moore herself. Once again the question now has to be why? Why are the Audit Commission refusing to admit what Mrs Moore herself has admitted, namely that she has worked for the Audit Commission. There can only be one possible answer and that is that she has undertaken work for the Audit Commission regarding Redcar And Cleveland Borough Council and probably whilst her husband was in charge of the council?

In view of what has already come to light regarding the supression and replacement of the final financial report, the Audit Commission are obvioulsy reluctant to draw any more attention to the fact that what has possibly taken place, is at the very least, a conflict of interests.

It is clear to see, in the light of the shocking levels of collusion and whitewash that have already been demonstrated, that an independent investigation into all aspects of this council has to take place.

Only then, as in Harringey, will the truth of what has taken place, ever fully be known

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