MARKETS: THE LATEST LIE

Web ExclusiveIt’s the story that never dies! Minutes finally published in late June for a meeting that took place on 24 April reveal that the council have discovered £41k in CASH is MISSING from their Markets Service. Just like The BRISTOLIAN’s been saying all along!

But how can this be? Didn’t Mayor Cover-Up and his trusty sidekick, Sir Gus Hoyty-Toyty, publicly assure us all in 2013 that NO MONEY WAS MISSING from Markets and that the Bristolian needed to stop making unsubstantiated insinuations? !


Well, that’s now officially a load of bollocks – and not at all – according to Mayor Foot-in-Mouth’s own Audit Committee. They heard ADMISSIONS from the council’s over-promoted bog cleaner-in-chief Charlie “Gutbucket” Harding, the Chief Internal Auditors and the council’s finance boss, Peter “What Crisis?” Gillet, that, despite strenuous DENIALS stretching back over three years, at least £41k of CASH has in fact gone astray.

Not that sensitive council bosses put it quite as crudely as that. Instead they referred to “A DEBT” of £41k. Albeit a rather unusual cash “debt” that was authorised by no one and is owed by no one!

Indeed, most of us would say that this money is “unaccounted for” or “missing” or, even, “STOLEN”. But what’s some deliberately misleading SEMANTICS between senior council finance managers covering arse and councillors?

This motley collection of expert finance bosses, who have taken just three years to uncover a “debt” that was first pointed out to them by a whistleblower all that time ago, were also quick to assure councillors that the “debt” was “not thought to be the result of MISAPPROPRIATION or BAD MANAGEMENT“.

Really? So how did the cash disappear then? Did it float out of a safe and up to heaven one day? Did it spontaneously combust somewhere in St Nicks Market? Or perhaps their Market safe is a portal to another dimension and our money now lies safely beyond everyone’s reach?

These latest excuses from council bosses are RIDICULOUS. How the fuck can £41k of public money not be accounted for and it not be the fault of anyone? Do they take us all for fools?

Indeed, when pressed, the council’s USELESS pair of Chief Internal Auditors were forced to admit that they were “not able to determine what had happened to the money”! So quite how the pair of COVER-UP merchants can then state categorically that it’s nothing to do with “misappropriation or bad management” is anyone’s guess. Mainly theirs!

Mayor Cash Loss’s Tory cabinet finance chief, Geoff “Cods” Gollop, was even forced to wade in at the meeting. Blustering that “accounting systems have been changed to ensure that this situation is rectified for the future”. But what “situation” is he referring to? How exactly do you rectify an INEXPLICABLE OCCURRENCE?

At least councillors on the Audit Committee, after spending three years staring gormlessly into space listening to increasingly WILD EXPLANATIONS from finance bosses while their Markets Service was ripped off, may have finally woken up.

They’ve demanded a further report from their BENT finance chiefs by the autumn and demanded an update on the so-called “debt” for their next meeting.

But what happens next? Will anyone call the POLICE to investigate where our money is as it’s obvious our council has either no idea or is covering up what’s happened to it?

MARKET FARCES: WELCOME TO THE THIRD YEAR

The Markets FileJust two and a half years after serious issues were first raised by staff and over two years since any investigation was cynically SPIKED by council facilities boss Tony Harvey, the city council’s AUDIT COMMITTEE has finally woken up and requested a report into the crackpot finances at their Markets Service.

The committee requested the report in September although nothing appeared at their November meeting. Presumably it will appear at their meeting in January then? Unless more INEXPLICABLE DELAYS occur.

What’s the harm in a few more months of dodgy council bosses pissing about after over thirty months out in the long grass anyway? We note the report will be presented to the committee by the council’s overpromoted bog cleaner (surely senior facilities manager? Ed.) CHARLIE “DIRTBUSTER” HARDING.

Surely not the same Dirtbuster Harding we find listed as the chair of a recruitment panel for a wholly unnecessary Markets Service reorganisation devised on the back of an envelope by former Facilities boss Tony Harding back in the summer of 2012 right in the middle of a major audit investigation?

Indeed it is one and the same. Dirtbuster was even joined on this BIZARRE reorganisation and recruitment escapade by his old mate, Markets boss Steve Morris. Presumably taking some time away from DELETING £32k from his dodgy departmental accounts in the middle of the audit investigation that he didn’t bother cooperating with?

Morris, incidentally, was also at the centre of serious MISCONDUCT allegations by the very people he was interviewing. And according to our extensive files, Harding’s panel conveniently failed to reappoint any Markets Service complainants and whistleblowers to their own jobs. Who’d have guessed that?

Although the gormless duo, along with their idiot boss Harvey, later had to fork out PUBLIC MONEY in compensation to these same staff to avoid ending up at an employment tribunal and having to explain away their transparently bent recruitment process.

 It’ll be interesting to see if any of these facts make it into Dirtbuster’s independent report won’t it?

THE WHISTLEBLOWERS AND THE UNRELIABLE UNION REP

The whistleblowers at the heart of Bristol City Council’s never-ending MARKET SERVICE SCANDAL had the misfortune to be represented – for a fortunately brief time in 2012 – by a congenital idiot, Bristol Unison’s CLYTUS ‘CLIT ARSE’ WILLIAMS.

The Markets FileAn ex-public schoolboy who waltzes around the Council House in a bow-tie sucking up to managers, he brushes off the endless complaints he gets from members losing their jobs by telling them “you don’t understand the language”.

Despite being told by his whistleblowing members in markets in July 2012 not to sign off on TONY HARVEY‘s inept and mendacious restructuring plan for the service because (a) it was a load of bollocks and (b) its only purpose was to remove them from their jobs, Clit Arse, in a fine example of trade union democracy in action, signed off the plan on behalf of the unions anyway!

Consequently, two of his members, one of whom was a legally acknowledged whistleblower, LOST THEIR JOBS! While it has since turned out that the restructure was indeed a load of bollocks that’s created a service whose FINANCES ARE STILL ‘OF CONCERN’ 18 MONTHS LATER with nobody left in the department who can sort it out. What a result!

Backing bent count bosses over dues paying union members and legitimate whistleblowers is no biggie for local Labour Party member Clit Arse, though. He has form for SCREWING OVER HIS OWN UNION MEMBERS – especially the politically active ones.

in 2007 when he was chairman of Unison’s obscure national Standing Orders Committee he formally complained that a satirical cartoon of the three wise monkeys (see no evil – hear no evil – speak no evil) produced by some left-wing activist members to take the piss out of his stupid and obstructive little committee was racist and he encouraged Unison to discipline the four members responsible. This subsequently happened and the members were banned from holding office at the union.

The farcical case eventually ended up at an employment tribunal and COST UNISON OVER £800,000 while Clit Arse’s evidence given under oath was labelled – and we quote – “NOT CREDIBLE” by the tribunal’s chair.

The fall-out from the case also saw four London Unison branches fall apart and go in to special measures, leaving union members unable to fight local authority bosses and public service privatisation.

In comparison, a mere corpse and a piffling £165k-worth of unaccounted for public money is but a trifle for this particular careerist union boss…

 

DID THE BRISTOLIAN KILL A BOSS WITH A TOP SECRET SONIC DEATH RAY MACHINE?

A strange article appears in the Nazi Post regarding the death of Tony Harvey and featuring Bristol City Council’s PR boss and general odd bod ‘Dim’ Tim Borrett in various guises.

reich cloud buster
BRISTOLIAN boffins prepare their sonic death ray for action

Borrett accidentally overlooks his own council’s duty of care towards Harvey and appears to blame your caring, sharing BRISTOLIAN for Harvey’s death while painting a picture of the man as some kind of modern day saint.

Quite how The BRISTOLIAN killed Harvey is not made clear by Borrett or The Post. Can a few simple documented facts on a page kill? Or have we invented a secret sonic death ray machine?

Anyway, we’ve fisked and filleted the whole article for you.

BRISTOL City Council has defended a senior member of staff who was found dead after his department was investigated for financial irregularities and bullying.

That should actually read departments. Not only the council’s Markets Service but also their Security Services, responsible for the collection of cash across the council – which, coincidentally, Harvey ran – were under investigation. Why haven’t the council mentioned this as part of this generous mission to explain to the public?

Tony Harvey, 53, facilities manager in the markets department of Bristol City Council, was found dead at his home on January 9 this year.

The father-of-two’s department had been the subject of an internal audit following complaints from staff made to public services union Unison.

Complaints were actually first made to Harvey – who completely ignored them. Instead he started a “restructure” to remove troublesome whistleblowers – who were asking simple questions about glaringly dubious financial arrangements – from his department.

It is widely believed Mr Harvey may have taken his own life due to the pressure of allegations that were made public online, the Bristol Post understands.

It is widely believed by who? ‘Odd Bod’ Borrett by any chance? Or did Spunkface Orrett feed them that one?

A number of fact-based article, based on documentation regarding Harvey’s conduct, have appeared in The BRISTOLIAN (a newspaper). The content of these articles have never been disputed by Harvey or his employers, Bristol City Council. We also have a number of emails that show Bristol City Council was invited on numerous occasions to properly resolve the issues in the Markets Service internally. It refused.

But the council said Mr Harvey was not guilty of any mismanagement and there was no evidence of dishonest activity.

Can you be guilty of mismanagement? And as the article later points out, Harvey was never investigated, so it’s hardly surprising that mismanagement was not uncovered.

There was “no evidence of dishonest activity” because in November 2012 Harvey SPIKED any investigation that might have obtained the evidence. He preferred to leave around 20 allegations UNRESOLVED.

A spokesman said Mr Harvey was never investigated personally and was not suspended, but in fact he helped the council to resolve its accounting problems.

See! He was NEVER INVESTIGATED. So of course there was no evidence of mismanagement or dishonesty.

The “help” he provided to the council in resolving its “accounting problems” included:

  • SPIKING an investigation;
  • Starting a departmental restructure DURING an Internal Audit investigation;
  • Creating a new departmental staff structure that DID NOT COMPLY with the authority’s financial regulations;
  • Removing staff so that there was “A LACK OF RESOURCES AND EXPERTISE within the Markets operation to resolve all the outstanding issues.”

When he died in January, Harvey had been “helping” resolve accounting problems in the Markets Service for 20 months. Yet after nearly two years of this “help” the Markets Service accounts were still being described to councillors as “OF CONCERN”.

It appears complaints were first made about Mr Harvey’s department in May 2012, when a member of staff at the council contacted Unison.

No. A complaint was first made to Harvey personally in early April 2012, which he ignored.

Unison wrote a letter, seen by the Post, to Mr Harvey directly highlighting a number of concerns about financial mismanagement and bullying. But an official internal audit triggered by the letter found only a small sum of money unaccounted for. However, the audit did uncover irregularities and recommendations were made to bring it into line with council book-keeping policy.

The audit uncovered £165k of “uncollected licence fees” for 2012. About one third of the department’s yearly income. This figure is listed in a budget monitor report presented to councillors in January 2013. It is not “a small sum of money”.

It beggars belief that Harvey would not have noticed this amount of money apparently missing from a department he was monitoring and it beggars belief that he ignored a whistleblower who tried to tell him this in April 2012. And it is absolutely startling that he then removed the whistleblower from their job later that year.

And what “irregularities” were uncovered? They seem to be in bookkeeping. Usually, irregularities in bookkeeping require further investigation. This never happened. Harvey just tried to change the bookkeeping system and ignore what might have happened in the past.

Council spokesman Tim Borrett said any financial malpractice was down to a formerly “antiquated” system that had now been modernised with the full help and cooperation of Mr Harvey before his death.

Note Borrett acknowledges “malpractice” and then blames it on a ‘formerly “antiquated system”’. Systems don’t commit malpractice. People do.

In a statement released yesterday, a council spokesperson said: “He aided investigations into several allegations and managed the work to improve business operations.

He improved business systems by ignoring financial regulations, firing knowledgeable staff, ignoring whistleblowers and leaving serious investigations INCOMPLETE and allegations UNRESOLVED?

“While the limitations of the old financial practices meant that ability to reconcile and audit was inadequate by good practice standards, no evidence has been found of dishonest activity.”

That’s because Harvey stopped any investigation into wrongdoing in November 2012.

He added: “With regards to the tragic suicide of Tony Harvey, we cannot and will not speculate about the cause. To do so would be grossly irresponsible and risks more upset and harm being caused to his grieving family.

So, wait for it … Here’s the speculation about the cause:

“Suffice to say the anonymous implications made elsewhere that this somehow implies an element of guilt is simply not true.”

The BRISTOLIAN has never implied anything.

We have been upfront in naming Harvey and provided facts about his conduct that are not and  never have been disputed.

We are not anonymous. We can be contacted. We recently shrugged off soppy threats from crappy Bristol establishment solicitors Burges Salmon over defamation. So if Borrett fancies it…

He added there was no evidence that Mr Harvey should be criticised for his role in the situation, rather he “helped bring improvements to the financial management”.

Total bollocks. See above.

Mayor George Ferguson said: “It is clear that Tony was a much liked and a respected friend and colleague to many at the council.

This is a joke, right?

“He was diligent in sorting out the previous unsatisfactory financial management at the markets, for which we should all be grateful.

No he wasn’t. He spent 20 months “sorting out” markets and it still wasn’t sorted. At best he was a gross incompetent.

“He is sorely missed and our deepest sympathies have been extended to his family and all who knew him.”

Mr Harvey is thought to have taken his life on January 9. Neighbours at Hinton Drive, Oldland Common, said he appeared to be happy on the days leading up to his death.

A neighbour, who chose not to be named, said he had two daughters, but lived alone. She added that nobody had been to the house in the past three weeks.

An inquest into Mr Harvey’s death has been opened at Flax Bourton’s coroner’s court and has been closed again while further inquiries are made.

Unison chose not to comment on the matter.

MARKET FARCES: SPUNKFACE DANGLE HORROR

**** PRIVATE SECTOR TWIT DIDN’T LIFT A FINGER TO HELP HIS HUMILIATED EMPLOYEE HARVEY ****

**** EGOMANIAC BOSS COULDN’T HANDLE ‘LOSS OF FACE’ ****

Web ExclusiveMoonlighting private sector property boss, ROBERT “SPUNKFACE” ORRETT, took over line management duties for death riddle markets boss TONY HARVEY from MIKE “TAX EFFICIENT” WATTS in December 2012 soon after the markets The Markets Filewhistleblower had been successfully fired by Harvey and the humiliating audit report lay unread on Spunkface’s desk.

However, BNP Paribas employee, Spunkface was no new broom. he was more a stinking, shit-stained old mop soaked in the diseased and decaying excrement of Harvey and his useless old boss Mike “Tax Efficient” Watts.

For while Spunkface may now be publicly breaking down in tears in meetings over the grizzly fate of his employee, HE DID BUGGER-ALL to try to protect Harvey from being exposed and humiliated in the press when he had the chance.

The BRISTOLIAN understands a meeting took place with Orrett in early December 2012 to discuss the fact that a whistleblower had been proven to be unfairly removed from his job by Harvey and that all of the twenty-odd detailed allegations regarding markets finances remained “UNRESOLVED” after a pathetic six month non-investigation by the council’s rubbish Internal Audit department.

The BRISTOLIAN has been told, “Orrett basically said the investigation was over – he was resolving it by leaving it unresolved – and that what happened from now on was up to him and none of our business. He was not interested in the slightest in negotiation, discussion or any form of conciliation. He just looked down his snooty fucking nose at us.

1531867_ROBERTORRETT_CMYK
Spunkface – he might be crying now but he did NOTHING to help his employee, Harvey.

“It was clear the whistleblower had reached the end of line within the council. The council were more concerned with victimising and screwing a whistleblower than investigating their own bosses for potential fraud, theft and mismanagement of public money.

“It’s hardly surprising the whistleblower turned to the press and to the radical press at that. They’re the ones who will give scumbags like Spunkface and Harvey as good as they give in the total bastard stakes.”

And us total bastards at The BRISTOLIAN can report that once we started, early last year, rubbing the council’s nose in Harvey’s role in markets, neither Spunkface nor any other council manager bothered to contact the paper, the whistleblower or his union to attempt to resolve the situation or allege any inaccuracies in our stories (because there aren’t any).

In the ultra-macho management culture favoured by Spunkface and Harvey there’s presumably no place for compromise, climb-downs, loss of face or apology?

Spunkface, literally, preferred to let Harvey dangle than reconsider a crap decision. What a silly boy.

MARKETS: TONY HARVEY’S OLD BOSS GAVE THE GREEN LIGHT TO EXPOSE HIM IN THE PRESS!!!

**** ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER EMAIL COMES TO LIGHT ABOUT THE COUNCIL’S DERANGED MANAGEMENT OF THE MARKET SERVICE SCANDAL ****

**** UNACCOUNTABLE ‘TAX EFFICIENT’ CONSULTANT ON SIX FIGURE SALARY DROPS HARVEY IN IT AND BRAVELY RUNS AWAY! ****

Web Exclusive On 6 December 2012, Tony Harvey’s then boss, Mike “Tax efficient” Watts responded to a query from a  markets service whistleblower.

The whistlebloThe Markets Filewer was concerned that the recently published audit report into markets, which left every one of their complaints “UNRESOLVED” after six months of supposed investigation, was being ignored and buried by Watts, a highly paid consultant Service Director, and his useful idiot, Harvey who he had designated as his hatchet man.

Watts – or Capability and Performance Improvement Ltd as perhaps he should be known – was pointedly and directly asked about the whistleblower taking their complaints outside of the city council. Watts’ brusque reply was, “you are fully entitled to take up with any other authority you see fit and have been all along.”

MikeWatts
The tax efficient civil servant – “I don’t have to give a toss. Thanks for the cash and goodbye.”

So did Watts consider that the whistleblower might see the press as fit? And did this supposed human resources expert think through the potential implications of this for the staff he was responsible for and who would be in the direct line of fire?

But why would he give a toss? The greedy private sector consultant – who was not even an employee of Bristol City Council and who was paid by us council tax payers through a limited company to reduce his income tax bill – was off to take up another lucrative and unaccountable post waffling about HR for Southampton City Council!

So he wasn’t going to be around to pick up the pieces from his crap, macho man decisions was he? Talk about dropping other people in it …

WERE COUNCIL BOSSES SPOILING FOR A PUBLIC FIGHT WITH MARKETS WHISTLEBLOWER?

**** DEATH RIDDLE MARKETS BOSS PUT IN LINE OF FIRE BY SENIOR MANAGERS AND COUNCILLORS ****

The BRISTOLIAN has obtained a sensational letter from a Web ExclusiveMarkets Service whistleblower to the council’s former Monitoring Officer, Stephen McNamara sent in July 2012. The letter was also copied The Markets Fileto former strategic director Will Godfey and a handful of senior councillors responsible for financial oversight.

The letter is a formal complaint regarding suicide boss, Tony Harvey’s multiple failures in his treatment of a bona fide whistleblower and it particularly focuses on Harvey’s proposed ‘restructure’ of the markets service that he announced, in a remarkable coincidence, just days after the whistleblower came forward in 2012!

The letter explains that Harvey was undertaking this restructure of the department as a blatant means of getting the whistleblower out of their post while an investigation into serious financial irregularities in Harvey’s dodgy service had barely begun.

Remarkably, Harvey was refusing to suspend his dodgy restructure on the basis that “the [audit] investigation will not affect the review[/restructure]”. An absurd opinion. How could an investigation that would conclude with a considerable number of recommendations about the structure and practice of the department’s financial management not affect a review of the department’s structure and practice?

As The BRISTOLIAN has been told by a well-placed source, “Harvey’s restructure always looked like the act of some bent-as-hell management madman intent on sacking a whistleblower to cover up his own dodgy and incompetent management conduct rather than the cool-headed, well thought out professional restructure of a local authority department he was handsomely paid to produce.”

Stephen McNamara - another oafish decision someone else pays the price for?
Stephen McNamara – another oafish decision someone else pays the price for?

Indeed, the letter to McNamara highlights a number of major irregularities in Harvey’s restructure plan. Some proven accurate when the council later had to reach an out-of-court settlement with one of the whistleblowers due to the flaws in this very restructure.

The letter goes on to ask that Harvey’s restructure process be suspended until the financial investigation is complete and a proper, comprehensive restructure, including the recommendations from the investigation, could be produced. The whistleblower and his union even offered their wholesale help and support to such a process.

The conclusion of the letter is intriguing. Firstly it states:

You are entirely at liberty to continue on the course selected by Tony Harvey and I am at liberty to reach the conclusion that you’re not taking my complaints at all seriously and take them outside the organisation.

A clear indication that the whistleblower would make things public if necessary. They then go on to say,

My trade union representative and I are more than happy to discuss the issues raised in this letter with either yourself or Will [Godfrey] or another serious management representative that is not Tony Harvey.

A clear indication that the whistleblower was open to dialogue, discussion and negotiation. The letter concludes by saying,

I’m extremely persistent and deeply interested in the proper conduct of public affairs. I’m not going to go away and there’s certainly nobody in your authority capable of scaring me away. I’ve provided a number of reasonable ‘soft’ options worth pursuing in this letter. I would strongly encourage you to take one of them.

Alas, McNamara’s response was short, curt and dismissive. No discussion. No dialogue. No negotiation. Harvey’s dodgy process to remove a whistleblower from their job during a ‘live’ financial investigation would continue.

Unfortunately – for them – The BRISTOLIAN also does short, curt and dismissive. More effectively, many would say, than a jumped-up public sector lawyer like McNamara.

And so the die was cast. Senior council bosses proactively decided upon open conflict and a bruising public row rather than negotiation and compromise.

But did they bother to think through the implications of their decision? Did they consider the potential impact on their staff – such as Tony Harvey – on the frontline of any brutal and very public conflict? Did they consider their duty of care towards Tony Harvey?

Or was this another decision driven by sheer arrogance and the knowledge that someone else’s body could always be thrown in the way to deal with the consequences and to pay any price?

MARKET FARCES: HOW BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL’S ‘FRAUD-BUSTERS’ BELLYFLOPPED

CAN’T STAND UP TO MANAGERS – CAN’T PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWERS…

The Markets FileBack in mid-January, another meeting of the Bristol City Council’s crap Audit Committee offered up yet more shocking revelations of FINANCIAL MISMANAGEMENT AND SLEAZE in the seedy corridors of corrupt power at Shitty Hall.

The committee’s in-depth fraud reports (which have proved to be a hugely embarrassing feature of the last few meetings), have been quietly ditched. But another report catches the eye. With the unpromising title of ‘Internal Audit Compliance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards’, it reveals the extent to which our council has operated for the benefit of bent bosses and against the interests of whistleblowers.

The report identifies “a few specific areas…where currently Internal Audit arrangements do not fully conform with the public sector Internal audit standards requirements”. Or, in other words, areas where the committee and its FEEBLE INTERNAL AUDIT TEAM have screwed up.

Top of the list is, “The Chief Internal Auditor should report to an organisation level equal or higher to the corporate management team and must be sufficiently senior and Independent to be able to provide credible constructive challenge to senior management.”

So the Chief Internal Auditor should report directly to the council’s Chief Executive? This has never happened. The Chief Auditor always reports to the Head of Finance – a level below corporate management. Until recently, when he scarpered sharpish, Head of Finance was Freemason Peter Robinson, who SPIKED ANY INVESTIGATION into the Markets Service and did nothing to discourage the victimisation of a whistleblower there.

We know he also once spiked an investigation into the dubious procurement of a fleet of Mercedes vans. On that occasion he victimised – then attempted to sack – an investigator in Internal Audit who uncovered and produced a report on that particular procurement scam.

Chief Internal Auditors have been NEUTERED and left powerless for years – and it’s a fact they admit. Last year in an email to a senior trade unionist the head of Internal Audit’s fraud unit, Andea ‘Chocolate Teapot’ Hobbs, admitted that they “cannot provide any assurances as to how management will respond if a whistleblower makes him/herself known to management as a whistleblower (as happened in the circumstance I believe you are referring to).”

The “circumstance” referred to is the way that Tony Harvey and his bosses responded to whistleblowing by victimising and bullying the whistleblower out of their job – apparently under the nose of Ms Hobbs.

Let’s face it, if you’re unable to stand up to a soppy little Facilities Manager and stop them doing over a whistleblower, or to call that manager out for being unable to account for £165,000, then the idea you can provide “a credible constructive challenge to senior management” is laughable.

The reverse is true. Middle managers have been able to IGNORE Internal Auditors with impunity, stamp on whistleblowers and do whatever they like with our money for years.

What a shambles.

MARKET FARCES: HOW HARVEY OUTED WHISTLEBLOWER TO BOSS!

The Markets FileAn email from 22 May 2012 confirms Facilities Manager Tony Harvey OUTED A WHISTLEBLOWER to their boss, Markets Manager Steve ‘God Botherer’ Morris. This opened the door for Morris to start a campaign of bullying and victimisation against the whistleblower – which Harvey then did nothing to stop.

Oddly, despite outing whistleblowers being ILLEGAL, contravening council policy and being against all good practice guidelines, neither Harvey’s managers nor Internal Audit ever addressed the matter with him.

The whistleblower expressed concerns about VICTIMISATION at a meeting on 12 July 2012 with Andrea ‘Chocolate Teapot’ Hobbs, an Internal Audit manager who was allegedly investigating the markets. Internal Audit is supposed to have responsibility for whistleblowers and their welfare at the council, and should report to politicians on the Audit Committee.

Instead Hobbs attempted to outsource her responsibility for whistleblowers to the council’s Human Resources people – even emailing the whistleblower to say she had contacted H.R. for him but that whistleblowing “is something they are unfamiliar with and do not know how to deal with”! She then told the whistleblower to contact, er … Tony Harvey!

Yes, this really is how a public sector organisation deals with whistleblowers – like LOW-RENT KAFKA… Or what looks very much like an informal policy to victimise whistleblowers.

At least this time one of the bosses running this sick shadow policy topped themselves rather than a whistleblower.

MARKET FARCES: AN AUDITOR WRITES…

A FORMER INTERNAL AUDITOR GIVES THEIR OPINION ON THE SO-CALLED CITY COUNCIL ‘INVESTIGATION’ INTO THE MARKETS SERVICE…AND IT AIN’T PRETTY

The Markets FileWe have covered the FINANCIAL SCANDAL in Bristol City Council’s Markets Service for a full year.

Many in Shitty Hall attempted to gloss over the whole affair.

But then we received a LEAKED COPY of the council’s own ‘Internal Audit’ report. It made for interesting reading…

But don’t just take our word for it. We passed it on to a FORMER INTERNAL AUDITOR, and asked them to give their opinion on it.

Here is what they said:

Due to the seriousness of allegations and problems within the market, I would query whether this audit should have been carried out by the council’s own internal audit department as it may be considered that they may not be objective or independent.

For what it’s worth, the audit opinion is that “management can place no reliance” on the “weak” internal control of the market, resulting in an audit assessment of “poor – of concern”.

The auditors stated that they could not “form an opinion on the soundness and strength of the allegations or otherwise” because they were not presented with enough objective evidence.

The audit says that: (a) requested documentation was not made available and (b) there was a lack of willingness and urgency from market staff to resolve any issues. How any auditor worth their salt put up with this sort of response is beyond me. Imagine if a professional, independent, outside company had been brought in, only to be presented with a barrage of obstruction and apathy (let’s be honest – this is what it boils down to).

They would have presented a brief, damning report detailing how they had been given the run-around, declaring the market’s management and system unfit for audit and presented them with a large bill for wasting their time.

Some audit findings seem to imply that traders are being charged, ‘adjusted’ or let off on a whim, with no qualifying or traceable paperwork or adherence to any system. It is particularly telling that for some of the corrective action the auditors are suggesting that:

  1. There is a problem
  2. No one in current staffing has ability to correct the situation
  3. Suggests that a fInancial person is appointed to the task
  4. Recommends that they get instructions from the audit department (not management?) prior to implementing the corrective action.

Don’t they trust management to implement the corrective action, even after discussions and receiving the audit report along with all the “findings”?

I have been led to understand that, despite the audit laying down implementation dates for corrective action to be completed (Nov 2012 – Jan 2013) there has not been a follow- up audit to see whether the corrective action identified – and agreed – has been implemented.

“Imperative” and “urgent” are words from the executive summary, yet why still no follow-up audit?

I suppose at least the council has a piece of paper to wave under the noses of the uninitiated to tell them that the problems have been identified and corrective action – where necessary – is being implemented.