Wirral Leaks Weekly Dispatch #2

Spot the deliberate mistake ! After this week’s prolific output a further Wirral Leaks post may seem like too much of a bad thing . It’s barely a month into 2018 and we’ve already had to concede that the announcement of our retirement was somewhat premature. But then as Wilde said : “To be premature is to be perfect” !

The thought of our departure to foreign shores has obviously stirred many Wirralians into action as we’ve been sent stories simply too good to pass up on (and what’s even better – where much of the work has already been done) .What’s more we have already noticed that campaigning for the May 2018 local elections has already started in earnest. But perhaps more than anything that explains our renewed impetus is further shocking information which has come our way and which needs exposing . Furthermore we guarantee the mainstream media will not touch it – but we’re keeping our powder dry on that one for now. However we’re left shaking our head in disbelief at the claims that are being made (and more importantly the damning evidence to back it up) . Meanwhile with the agreement with Her Ladyship  and support from Eldritch and Verity let’s all together plough on into oblivion ……….

Holiday Hypocrisy

Whilst we’re grateful that someone sent us the John Brace video posting of this week’s Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee meeting we faced a dilemma as we didn’t know who’s face deserved a slap more as they gazed over to Brace to make sure he captured their reactions to Cllr Steve Foulkes’ contribution to the Mersey tunnel toll debate – Cllr Jerry ‘The Mouse’ Williams , Cllr Ron ‘ Rude’ Abbey or Foulkesy himself . Truth be told (an alien concept for some of the parties concerned) but it was no contest really – Foulkesy every time .

Watch in disgust from 12 :00 as Foulkesy turns to our beloved Mr Brace , tries to take the moral high ground and resorts to his non existent ‘conscience’ .Whilst professing to respect Tory Cllr Les Rowlands he then proceeds to slag him off for planning a holiday to coincide with this particular meeting. Now we might know his political allegiances but we don’t profess to know Cllr Rowland’s personal proclivities but we’d like to think his holiday won’t result in allegations of  racist abuse.Just sayin’

Sorrento Shame : Holidaymakers claim they faced ‘racist abuse’ from ex – Wirral Mayoress

Self Serve 

We understand that internal vacancies at Wirral Council are accessed by ‘Self Serve’. You really couldn’t make this shit up! Why do they bother with such bureaucratic machinations when it would appear that cronyism/nepotism/favouritism is still the main route to promotion we can only hazard a guess. Unfortunately we can’t report on this particular aspect further as it would appear that another feature of Wirral Council’s modus operandi – the culture of fear – is still very much in operation.

Road to Hell

If the Merseytravel Committee video was infuriating the John Brace footage of the Audit and Risk Management Committee sent us into paroxysms of rage and fury. Witness how the utterly pathetic ex- Tory leader and Foulkesy’s ‘kindred’ Cllr Jeff Green meekly raises the issue of bringing the £multi-million highways contract back in house like Uriah Heep with a serious Woodbines habit. The Nigel Farage sound-a-like says something along the lines of : ” Bein’ ever so ‘umble . Can we have a bit of case study. I’m not ‘solutioneering’ (!) I just want to know that the decision to bring the highways contract back in house wasn’t written on the ‘back of  a fagpacket’, if you would so please, kind sir”.

Observe and despair from 8:25

Why so coy Cllr Green ? You know that the decision was made behind closed doors using Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy Pip’ Davies’ special ‘delegated powers’ and with Frank Field’s personal approval. They obviously want to minimise suspicion about unlawful compensation pay-offs to the Wirralgate complainants – so what’s the next best thing ? A token bung and then a cosy job for life for keeping their gobs shut.  But then you knew that didn’t you Cllr Green ?- shame you didn’t have the balls to say it. Incidental dark comedic value is to be had from the ever oleaginous senior officer David Armstrong who promises a short report and ingratiating interim Monitoring Officer Philip McCourt who says that the commissioning of highways contract is a ‘live project’ and that report would be a ‘ partial measure’ – ain’t that the truth ! Then suddenly  Cllr Ron ‘Rude’ Abbey has a “Don’t Mention The War” moment and can’t help himself saying something completely bogus about discussing TUPE ( Transfer of Undertakings – Protection of Employment) regulations . Which ,is of course, as ARMC and us know is what this is all about : ” Listen guys, we can’t give you a massive pay out you wanted without raising serious questions so we’ll give you the next best thing and you can be responsible for Wirral’s highways . Let’s face it you can’t do a worse job than Colas / BAM Nuttall ” 

As this image and comment proves :

image1 (4)

Dear Wirraleaks,

The attached photo shows a stretch of Mere Farm Road which was “repaired” by the Wirral Council contractors 6 months ago.

They clearly did such a magnificent and cost effective job that it needs much more repairing now.

When will they learn that doing a decent job first time round is more cost effective or do they just love throwing public money away to private sector mates ????

In response all we can say is  – buy cheap, pay twice!

All Wrapped Up

In the case of this particular Freedom of Information request all we can say is have Wirralgate tape, pay through the nose.

Full details :Wrap around FOI

Screenshot_20180130-101108

All wrapped in cosily in a symbiotic security blanket. Snug as a mug with a bug (that’s a reference to the Wirralgate recording obvs)

Patience is a Virtue 

Dear Mr Robinson

I received this assurance from you on 19th December 2016

On 19 December 2016 at 11:42, Robinson, Eric <ericrobinson@wirral.gov.uk> wrote:

Dear Dr Smith

Thank you for your email below.Officers are considering the matters you have raised in your emails and I will respond to you fully in January.

Regards

Eric Robinson

Chief Executive

Wirral Council

Tel : 0151 691 8589

Email : ericrobinson@wirral.gov.uk

You did not specify ‘responding to me fully’, by January 2017. 

However January 2018 has now passed, and I can only surmise that your ‘Officers’ have been completely occupied with Wirral Council’s 2016/2017 ongoing catalogue of disasters.

For your convenience, I attach a reply I sent to Cllr Walter Smith, who contacted me in May 2017 as you hadn’t, with his view of the ‘Most Improved Wirral Council’ (the absolute definition of an oxymoron given the events of 2016/2017)

Patience is a virtue. I look forward to receiving your ‘full response’ as assured.

Yours sincerely

Dr Robert B Smith FCMI

Eric ‘Feeble’ Robinson is increasingly making Howard Hughes seem outgoing and gregarious. A local government patsy drowning in a mire of his own incompetence and other people’s corruption.  Hey, Stressed Eric! – you really should have spoken to your predecessor before you took up post. Oh – but wait a minute your political paymasters didn’t allow it did they? Protecting themselves and setting you up to fail as you didn’t know what you were letting yourself in for. Oh but you know now don’t you? And you chose the side of the people who pay your obscene salary. We sincerely hope and pray that one day you will regret that choice. In fact we’re working on it day and night – you may have noticed.

Meet the Talent

Without any fanfare – we wonder why? – Dave Fergus is the man who has taken over running Wirral Evolutions from Chris Beyga the disgraced former Managing Director of this arms-length Wirral Council experiment that went horribly wrong mainly because Beyga (aka Rosa Klebb) thought she was running her own personal fiefdom.

Meet the Talent

You will note from his profile above (can somebody please provide a translation of local government BS? ) that there is absolutely no mention of disability rights. Just the person you want running a service where apparently the thick as mince managers think that somehow they’re doing a favour to the people who actually pay their wages. We’re wondering whether we’ll  get a comment on this latest appointment from Wirral Evolutions ‘ Independent’ Chair and professional disability rights ‘champion’ Carey Bamber or ‘Non -Executive Director’ Cllr Phil ‘Power Boy’ Pip’ Davies? We’re not holding our breath.

Crime Report

We note that this week Mayor Joe Anderson was taken in for questioning ‘under caution’ by Merseyside Police in relation to the fraud probe concerning Liverpool City Council CEO Ged Fitzgerald and others . Power Boy Pip, Stressed Eric and others will no doubt be observing developments with interest – as will we !

Proceed with caution

Holiday Hypocrisy Part 2

And finally we understand that someone is taking a particular interest in Wirral Leaks from their undeserved winter break in the Dominican Republic. Answers on a postcard please…….

 

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Bye Bye Beyga !

Chris Beyga Fugly

Who’s smiling now? – We are. The ‘dark days’ of Beyga are over!

You people are not making our semi -retirement easy are you? But then a semi is always a bit of an anti-climax isn’t it?

We did say we had unfinished business and we suspect that the powers that be have taken advantage of the fact that we’re out of the way in sunnier climes to try and sneak out of another long running scandal.

No chance! Thanks to the leak below we are confident we can draw a line under the Chris Beyga case. Regular readers will know that Beyga was the Managing Director ( ha!ha!ha!) of pretend Wirral Council backed company Wirral Evolutions (Charles Darwin would be turning in his grave as far as the management of this service is concerned as it would appear to be the ‘survival of the unfittest’ ). And what’s more as far as we’re concerned this was just another ploy to deprive vulnerable people of essential services via pseudo-outsourcing.  Before you read our latest leak here’s what we wrote last September – and once again it would appear we were spot on with our predictions and it would appear that indeed Beyga is a gonna !.

 ” It is great to see so many people here as we move from a public service to a commercial entity” we asked the question “What could possibly go wrong?…….”

The answer to our question would appear to be  : ” The same as usual”
For those who don’t know what ‘Wirral Evolutions’ is – although we all pay for it –  it is a  : ” Local Authority Trading Company (LAC) bringing together nine key day centre and daytime services from across the area to continue to offer high-quality care for people with long term and learning disabilities” 
Whilst those in charge at Wirral Council are relentlessly and recklessly pursuing the ‘public services/assets are best held in private hands’ model, let’s see how that works in practice with a couple of examples.
Firstly, a Wirral Council manager with a penchant for awards ceremonies and expensive shoes ends up being the Chief Executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (Paula Basnett) .
Secondly, a rather more dowdy persona is made ‘Managing Director’ ( ha! ha!ha!) of a pretend company called ‘Wirral Evolutions’ ( Chris Beyga)
Other than power crazed empire building using public assets and public money what do they both have in common ?
That’s right the “The ‘N’ Word”. Needless to say the dirty ‘N’ word in this case is nepotism.
What we can’t understand is how Wirral Council are prepared to pump public assets into both enterprises whilst throwing public accountability out of the window.
However we have to give a round of applause to Wirral Council for keeping a lid on the Chris Beyga , ahem, situation using their timeworn strategy – ‘If it’s unmentionable , it’s manageable‘ – but then they can’t let their bogus flagship ‘commercial entity’ hit the rocks can they?
We’ve known since July that Beyga has been conspicuous by her absence. No doubt tending the flowerbeds (but not at Dale Farm). As one of our sources writes  : ” She also has always blanked the union but as soon as this happened she joined it.”
Let’s hope Unison (for it is they) give Beyga the same kind of support they give to the rank and file who come to them when they’re being victimised by their managers. If so Beyga’s a gonna.
Perhaps ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions , Carey Bamber can clarify for us exactly what is going on just as she did with the ‘open and transparent’ (yeah, whatever)  appointment of Beyga as ‘ Managing Director’ . Or perhaps she just lives up to her name – ‘ Carey’ – an imitation of caring. Or even better Cllr Adrian Jones can tell us what he knows about the allegations that were made against Beyga before she was appointed MD?
Meanwhile all we know is that it doesn’t Beyga belief – it’s just business as usual!
 https://wirralleaks.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/wirral-evolutions-origin-of-the-specious/
  

Now read this leak and cheer! :

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Oh dear , you can’t – because someone has asked us to remove it . Which makes us realise why we decamped in the first place. If people want things to change on Wirral they need to be brave , own their opinions and realise PUBLIC SERVANTS are there to serve them!

We particularly look forward to comments on latest developments from ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions, Carey Bamber, and  bullying- Beyga enabler Cllr Adrian Jones . Meanwhile we have one request :

Beyga &amp; hodkinson

Hey Beyga ! – can you take this waste of space with you?

The Never-ending Story

what you allow 3

Now if there’s one area of council business we receive more complaints about than any other it’s social services (be it children’s or adult services and particularly the transition between the two). Of course this might be expected. It’s an important component of public services and is a difficult area of work as it involves the most vulnerable people in our community and the involvement of statutory services is often required at times of crisis and distress.

With the push towards more integrated working with the NHS , includes moves to create an All-Age Disability Service – which we hear is not going down too well with staff as it it as seen as another way of undermining professional expertise and status of social workers – we are left to pity the poor carers and service users out there who find themselves all at sea trying to deal with what are now called ‘care navigators’ .

Earlier this week at the Wirral Council Cabinet meeting we had councillors  Christine Spriggs, Chris Jones and Phil Davies extolling the virtues of integrated working and how it would prevent carers telling their ‘story’  over and over again in an attempt to acquire a service to which they are legally entitled. Needless to say Cllr Bernie Mooney waded in to blame everything on Tory cuts but reassured everyone she had written to everyone she could think of to protest about how unfair it all was. This included a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May. You can imagine the consternation in 10 Downing Street can’t you? as a special adviser whispers in the PM’s ear : “Psst ! Theresa – you’d better drop the Brexit negotiations and forget about that bit of bother you’ve got with Priti and Boris and Damian and Michael and whoever the next errant Tory is – Cllr Bernie Mooney is on the warpath and you wouldn’t like it when she gets angry!”

So what we’d like to do here is to provide a case study which is typical of the many complaints we receive from carers and which suggest the problems that Wirral Council have are not just about money it is, as ever ,about the CULTURE  of Wirral Council.  How about they look more closely at why they can’t recruit and retain quality staff and have to spend a fortune on consultants and agency staff.   Talking of which we hear a social services big hitter may soon be on their way out……we’ll bring you more when we get it.

Meanwhile read this never-ending story and weep :

I could fill a book about this but, in short, my severely autistic and learning-disabled son (aged 19) and I have just lost our second second social worker in 15 months.

Last August (2016) I got a call out of the blue from our social worker to say “I am going on secondment and I won’t be seeing you again.” 3 weeks earlier she had said, without prompting, that she would be “right beside you” for at least another year, as my son went through his last year at school and made crucial preparations for college and work placements. When I objected she said “Here’s the number of my immediate boss. Take up your concerns with him.” I kept phoning, over a good two weeks, only to get voice-mail. I left a message that wasn’t picked up, etc. Eventually it turns out that her immediate boss had already been on “indefinite sick leave” for quite a time already, something she must have known when she suggested I ring him.

My son still asks what happened to this social worker and wonders why she didn’t say goodbye.

A new social worker arrived from another borough in Sept 2016. (As did another person to replace the person who was on indefinite sick leave.) In January, the second of these two people gave a week’s notice and went back to South Wales, clearly defeated by Wirral Council’s complete inability to organise. . .anything. Our new social worker kept saying to me “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.” I have tried for a year now to get my son’s respite dates guaranteed to me in writing by Wirral Social Services. I have been in contact with the MP about it, and she has tried repeatedly to be in contact with them. They are usually on voice-mail, or don’t respond to emails, hers or mine. I still have no written guarantee.

The social worker, after lots of meetings/phonecalls with me, assured me at the start of June that my son’s two work placements would start this September. September came: no work placements. It turns out that the work placements hadn’t received the necessary paperwork from the social worker to enable my son to start work; Social Worker insisted that they had the necessary paperwork. Then she and I and the work placement people (Wirral Evolutions) have a meeting in which it is agreed that my son needs one-to-one support at both of the placements. “Don’t worry, I’ll get these sorted” social worker tells me. This was at the end of September. Yesterday (November 3rd), having heard nothing, I phoned the social worker to ask what the delay is. I get a person on the phone who says “Social Worker doesn’t work for Wirral Council anymore. She left 2 weeks ago. Who are you?” This person was, apparently, a receptionist, someone I’d never dealt with before, left with the task of telling x number of people that they have been abandoned.

Wirral Council/Wirral Social Services are grossly incompetent. They are rude. They have no regard for their clients and their clients’ families. They don’t even show the most basic courtesies or consideration. In due course, I daresay I’ll get a call from whoever the replacement social worker is, and the replacement will say “We need to work with each other on the basis of trust.”

Basically, it is the same thing over and over and over: incompetence, very poor communication (with me, but also with other agencies and between themselves), rudeness, poor or non-existent note-taking, people leaving at short notice and with no proper explanation, etc etc. It just goes on and on.

When the Klonowski enquiry produced its damning report, I briefly hoped that the people found to be grossly incompetent (and, in some cases, corrupt) would be removed. Disheartening, to say the least, to see people like Steve Foulkes still in place. Where is the accountability? There simply is none.

It beggars belief that Wirral Council has not been placed in special measures. I daresay the reasons behind that are political. The Tories asking for it are being hypocritical because part of the problem is chronic underfunding from central govt but I do think that being placed in special measures would be the best thing. The only thing, actually, that would give people like me and my son the chance at least of a semi-decent service. I know special measures are not a panacea but they would be our best chance.

Apparently the new person to whom my son and I have been allotted is going to be in contact “in due course.” Big deal. The “leader” of the “integrated” (!) team for disabilities at Wirral Social Services since January is someone who clearly does not lead. When I told him at that point (no-one had told us the previous man had left, I found out by chance) that Wirral Social Services is a shambles, he replied with “But that’s just your opinion.”  No-one with a shred of conscience can stay working with these people for any length of time: they either go off sick, having had some kind of breakdown, or they are “let go.” The people there for any significant length of time are, almost by definition, dead wood.

When my son is going to get his work placements is anyone’s guess. Ever? SW who has just gone was saying to me most of the past 12 months “It’s very important that your son gets a 5-day week”. .. I know, I had never suggested otherwise!”

Wirral Evolutions : Origin of the Specious

Stop Following Me

Public services in private hands is NOT the way to go

When Chris  Beyga , Acting Managing Director of Wirral Evolutions , declared at its launch : ” It is great to see so many people here as we move from a public service to a commercial entity” we asked the question “What could possibly go wrong?…….”
 
The answer to our question would appear to be  : ” The same as usual”
For those who don’t know what ‘Wirral Evolutions’ is – although we all pay for it –  it is a  : ” Local Authority Trading Company (LAC) bringing together nine key day centre and daytime services from across the area to continue to offer high-quality care for people with long term and learning disabilities” 
Beast

Feed the beast!

Whilst those in charge at Wirral Council are relentlessly and recklessly pursuing the ‘public services/assets are best held in private hands’ model, let’s see how that works in practice with a couple of examples.
Firstly, a Wirral Council manager with a penchant for awards ceremonies and expensive shoes ends up being the Chief Executive of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce (Paula Basnett) .
Secondly, a rather more dowdy persona is made ‘Managing Director’ ( ha! ha!ha!) of a pretend company called ‘Wirral Evolutions’ ( Chris Beyga)
Other than power crazed empire building using public assets and public money what do they both have in common ?
That’s right the “The ‘N’ Word”. Needless to say the dirty ‘N’ word in this case is nepotism.
What we can’t understand is how Wirral Council are prepared to pump public assets into both enterprises whilst throwing public accountability out of the window.
However we have to give a round of applause to Wirral Council for keeping a lid on the Chris Beyga , ahem, situation using their timeworn strategy – ‘If it’s unmentionable , it’s manageable‘ – but then they can’t let their bogus flagship ‘commercial entity’ hit the rocks can they?
We’ve known since July that Beyga has been conspicuous by her absence. No doubt tending the flowerbeds (but not at Dale Farm). As one of our sources writes  : ” She also has always blanked the union but as soon as this happened she joined it.”
Let’s hope Unison (for it is they) give Beyga the same kind of support they give to the rank and file who come to them when they’re being victimised by their managers. If so Beyga’s a gonna.
Perhaps ‘ Independent Chair’ of Wirral Evolutions , Carey Bamber can clarify for us exactly what is going on just as she did with the ‘open and transparent’ (yeah, whatever)  appointment of Beyga as ‘ Managing Director’ . Or perhaps she just lives up to her name – ‘ Carey’ – an imitation of caring. Or even better Cllr Adrian Jones can tell us what he knows about the allegations that were made against Beyga before she was appointed MD?
Meanwhile all we know is that it doesn’t Beyga belief – it’s just business as usual!
 Bamberbitch 011

 

Say ALO , Wave Goodbye

alo-pip

Power Boy Pip’s public services philosophy – not so much arm’s length as throwing them to the dogs and/or Wirral Chamber of Commerce

We are grateful to another contributor with inside knowledge and an enquiring mind. ‘Retired WBC Officer’ writes to us with the following observations:

Hi Guys
 
Reading Granty in the WG (Wirral Globe)  today led me to the following……….
 
 
 
I was struck by …………..
“A core aim of the team will be to encourage new businesses to set up shop in Wirral, and Cllr Davies believes the borough’s thriving visitor economy, maritime sector and reputation as a leading manufacturing hub will be among its key draws.
 
The company will also champion Wirral assets including the Wirral Waters regeneration zone, Hamilton Square, Woodside, Birkenhead town centre and the revamped Hoylake Golf Resort.
 
Cllr Davies adds: “I’m confident that these plans will enhance the opportunities on offer in areas like Wirral Waters. Obviously we work very closely with Peel and Wirral Waters is an enterprise zone so hopefully we’ll be able to promote that more effectively with these plans in place.
 
“There are a myriad of regeneration opportunities in the borough and I think this new company will be an excellent delivery vehicle to more effectively promote them.”
 
ALOs the new way forward?  Google the recent history.
Soon only the top brass will be employed at local authority,everyone else privatised.
We advise our readers to check out the above the links and we’d be grateful if someone   can tell us exactly what Wirral Council ‘leader’ Cllr Phil ‘ Power Boy Pip’ Davies means when he says:“Risks can be mitigated by looking ahead and using business intelligence and expertise out there in Wirral to ensure that we act in a timely and appropriate way.”
We tried Google Translate but they messaged us back to say they don’t do BS.
However whilst we know that Arms-Length Organisations (ALOs) are not-for-profit companies and, by establishing them, councils retain a discrete degree of control through funding agreements and boardroom influence we think they’re merely a staging post to full privatisation.  So say ALO and you can wave goodbye to public services! We are appalled (but not surprised) that a Labour council would embrace the move towards them quite so enthusiastically.  However we certainly understand why the current Wirral Council  administration would – as whilst they retain a measure of control over services the public accountability would be greatly diminished. And as we know they’re not great fans of any form of scrutiny or accountability.
‘Retired WBC Officer’ is absolutely right when they say that ‘ Soon only the top brass will be employed at local authority,everyone else privatised.’  Indeed it has been Wirral Council’s long stated intention to become a ‘Strategic Commissioning Hub’ . Talk about being hidden in plain sight!
 
What we deeply resent at Leaky Towers is those being paid handsomely for dismantling public services are usually the same municipal mercenaries sitting in waiting to benefit from the deliberately underfunded demise ( see also the NHS).
If you want to know why bullying thrives in organisations such as Wirral Council you need to look no further than the self serving mediocrities making a good living overseeing the destruction of underfunded public services and woe betide any one who questions them!
Notwithstanding the fact that one of the reasons Liverpool’s Director of Social Services Samih Kalakeche  recently resigned included the desire to go travelling – oh to have that luxury!-  we give him kudos for acknowledging that the way things are going social care may not exist soon if we don’t defend our public services.
Therefore might we humbly suggest on Wirral that politicians of all parties , council employees , unions and council taxpayers join together in saying ALOs are not the way to go. And yes – that particularly includes Wirral Evolutions…………….

Re:Evolutions

 Companies House 003
We’ve had some interesting feedback on our Wirral De-Evolution story
Not sure that even we can publish most of it as the responses were less than complimentary about some of the main protagonists behind this Darwinian DASS endeavour.
The comment that DASS Director Graham  Hodgepodge ” never comes out of his glass box and really seriously needs to grow a pair!” was probably the least critical comment we received.
However it seems that as ever there are more questions than answers when it comes to Wirral Council (and they wonder why there are so many Freedom of Information requests).
Here are a few questions we’ve been asked and in the name of public interest we’d be grateful if any of our readers could help clarify the following queries:
So how is this going to work then? How can all the senior staff on this project continue to work for the Council? 
Oh wait, here’s an idea. Why don’t we all get handsomely paid off or even better pensioned off, then finish on the Friday and start again on the Monday with the Social Enterprise on even more money.
I would also like to know if these jobs were advertised?
How are the Council going to get around the OJEU regulations for commissioning? Surely there is a conflict of interest!
Did you know the Finance Director of Wirral Evolutions is someone called Sandra Thomas ?- don’t you think it might be worth finding out whether she was involved in the cover up of financial abuse of disabled people by DASS ?.