The Gloss-Over Glossary

During the festive lull Verity has been doing some extensive research and careful negotiating on a forthcoming exclusive so we are grateful in the interim for the ongoing investigations of Mr.John Brace which are forensically examined on his blog.
So Brace yourself (geddit?) for further revelations or should that be redactions as Mr.Brace goes to the places where everyone else loses the will to live.

First of all we are eternally grateful that he responded to our request  for a guide to the BIG Fund/ISUS/Working Neighbourhood investigation. As he says : “Well where to start?….”

Seems to us it’s the usual stonewalling shenanigans and “anomalies” and a much delayed report prepared by Council beancounters Grant Thornton – which apparently can’t be released yet because it’s either with the police or with the Council or has been lost in transit.

Or possibly – as once memorably happened with that Special Charging Policy Committee report  – shoved at the back of a filing cabinet for 12 years in the hope that everyone involved dies in the interim.

Talking of which it was Mr.Brace’s lobbying which brought about the publication of hundreds of pages of appendices associated with the Independent Review .Somehow it seems unbelievable that 2 years ago this forthcoming week that Anna Klonowski’s report was published to a horrified public.

OK nobody knew what they were horrified about in the actual report because it needed someone from GCHQ to decode it first – but the  BASEBALL BATS – ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON  headlines on Northwest Tonight certainly hinted at the fact that perhaps this report was about something more than “an accounting error”.

Mr.Brace’s illuminating commentaries on some of the aforementioned appendices can be found HERE :

We also understand that former Wirral Council Director of Law advised Mr.Brace that both the report and it’s appendices had to be subject to extensive redactions so as to protect to junior staff from any retribution from more senior staff for speaking out.
To which we can only say : a) we think that’s complete bollocks  and b) shouldn’t the Council  have been acting to protect junior staff rather than protecting dishonest,incompetent bullies?

Of course the irony being that Norman was eventually hoist by his own petard – notwithstanding the usual  haul of public money he managed to wangle on his way out.

We all now know that the political elite and their officer cronies can and still do act with impunity – as the recent £48,000 “hurt feelings ” award testifies.

Meanwhile we are compelled to ask as to why the fallout from these reports continues to have such a negative impact on Wirral Council? – Is it because they came tantalizingly close to the truth and that many people know that behind the redactions, evasions and cover ups there lies a pernicious world of entitled and protected worthies and expendable minions?

Might we suggest further that these reports are the festering sore under the “open and transparent” plaster.

And every mother knows that if you don’t lance the poison the wound will never heal, especially when it is continually being picked at and prodded and probed.

So in an anticipation of the forthcoming Grant Thornton BIG Fund/ISUS/Working Neighbourhoods magnum opus Wirral Leaks are issuing a cut out and keep handy glossary of the terms you are likely to encounter behind the inevitable redactions and the impenetrable language of auditors :

Confidentiality  – aka cover up. Matters that are in the public interest can’t be discussed because they’re “confidential”. Confidentiality does not apply to anyone below a senior management grade or whistleblowers as frankly the latter  forego all such privileges for “letting the side down”

Commercial confidentiality – see above with the addition that it circumvents the public from  discovering the full extent of alleged financial mismanagement or whether there are any embarrassing conflicts of interest between Council officials and their business partners.

Due process – a process that is overlong,overdue,overcomplicated and always,always on Wirral Council’s terms.

Due legal process – see above the only difference being that if legal get involved you automatically double the timescale and the cost and the cock-ups (see case law : Jarndyce v Jarndyce)

Legal opinion – payment is made to get the opinion you want.If it’s not what you want you apply a legal exemption

Legal exemption – Applied when a legal expert has given something the once over and given the following legal opinion : ” Looks like you’ve fucked up again. I’d keep schtum if I were you.”

Unlawful – To discuss the circumstances surrounding the six-figure payments made to 2  Wirral Council employees on the eve of the publication of the Independent Review is “Unlawful” and yet the cover up of £736,000 worth of discriminatory charges which both employees were heavily implicated in is “Not Unlawful” – Go figure.

Anomalies – Wrongdoing made deliberately ambiguous.

Robust – A word used repeatedly and somewhat like Lady W’s girdle – intended to provide sound support but more often used to smooth out the embarrassing and unsightly.

No Case To Answer – There is a case to answer but hey they’ve got enough on us to bury us all twice over -can’t we just bung them a few quid instead?

4 thoughts on “The Gloss-Over Glossary

  1. Just to correct one small point, I’ve had the redacted hundreds of pages of the AKA report for about two years, so long I can’t remember how I got them.

    Yes I did publish them recently, as I felt the answers given at the public Improvement Board meeting in November against publication didn’t apply to the redacted version. Many of the redacted appendices had already been published unredacted elsewhere, which made redaction in respect of many of them a thoroughly pointless exercise.

    Bill Norman’s comments were when I asked a question at a full Council meeting about publishing the key which married up names to the codes used in the AKA report eg Employee 31. He was happy with Wirral Council employees at Head of Service level and above being named but not “low level employees” as he feared that they could face career repercussions.

  2. Anomalies is a many splendoured word covering

    £105,000 lop-sided positive balance sheet in Budgets (ie liabilities deliberately omitted)
    £1.2 m figure left in Balance sheet Working Capital when its value is NIL
    £60k debtor left in balance sheet BUT it is worthless as being held with one’s own insolvent company
    £60K net liability described as being of that class “insolvent…but not insolvent”
    £41k Corporation Tax liability omitted as it would turn cashflow negative
    Whacky Budget that among others does not include VAT quarterly payments
    Employees masquerading as independent accountants to submit accounts and business plans
    Falsified accounts submitted-false as to numbers and as to period

    The anomaly word is buttressed for in all cases above the BIG grant was awarded.

    I could continue but like the Orthodox Church that seeks not to define GOD, but to say what He is not,

    NOT True and Fair
    NOT clever
    NOT honest

  3. Check please kind readers the FOI made by nigel hobro regarding data on costs per start-ups which officers gave Regeneration committee back in Sept 2008. in order to extend the wirralbiz contract.

    Boring unless you treat it as a Game of “HUNT THE LIE”

  4. And we have noiw a triangulation, lke playing Battleships with FOI guesses and titbits of conversations, upon the clear, undeniable fact that a database governing ISUS-nearly £3m of outgoings- was not supplied to Grant Thornton for the duration of their investigation November to March 2013, nor at any time subsequent to January 2014 DESPITE their asking for one. Instead they were sent together with the Department of Local Government and Communities on a wild goose chase to National archives then to Warrington HQ of A4e in October 2013 whilst all the time Invest Wirral possessed the same critical data which surfaced in January 2014.

    So REALLY USEFUL INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATORS get misled cos a pet investigator has already been used, which pet was wilfully blind.

    Persons need to be punished. Perhaps the mystery of the file sent to the police throws extra light on this dim corner. The person concerned who was given disastrous advice whilst that advice was deliberately over-charged to WBC did ask for a copy of the file from the two senior Invest Wirral employees. their answer throughout the summer of 2012 in several interviews was thayt they did not have itr and could not obtain it. However when the dam broke in September 2012 and Mr Timmins / Burgess ordered the independent investigation (Dave Garry’s having been trashed) the client added to my letter to Mr Burgess , a repeated requewst for his file. Within days we were told the file isa waiting foir you at Finance building. It was there all the time within the grasp of Invest Wirral. the file itself is a clear example of fraud, agreed in forensic detail with Grant Thornton. The collateral damage to the client so tossed aside by Invest Wirral- a share of £50k!! which in itself ties back to a building owned by WBC. Caveat Emptor quando Wirraliensis Burghiensis or summat like that.

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