Fall on sword hoped for

South Waikato News - - OPINION -

Well done David Hall for your ar­rant let­ter in try­ing to de­fend your po­si­tion by sug­gest­ing that the coun­cil man­aged to get 150 projects right.

That’s ex­actly what you and your staff are paid to do.

The two ma­jor events you man­aged to get en­tirely wrong were the up­grade of the sew­er­age plant and the man­age­ment of the con­tract for waste han­dling. As to the for­mer, what is all this non­sense about over-run­ning an es­ti­mate?

As I un­der­stand it, you em­ploy a reg­is­tered en­gi­neer, a le­gal re­quire­ment for lo­cal bod­ies, and it was his re­spon­si­bil­ity to man­age that project.

Ini­tially an es­ti­mate for the sup­ply, in­stal­la­tion and com­mis­sion­ing of the new plant could have been ob­tained from the sup­plier, and this would be ac­cept­able for the coun­cil to de­bate and ap­prove. A legally bind­ing writ­ten quo­ta­tion should then be ob­tained from the sup­plier. Any over-run at the end of the project would have then been to his ac­count.

This should be the stan­dard pro­ce­dure for all projects, no need for guessti­mates.

As for the mis-man­age­ment of the waste han­dling con­tract, this is en­tirely in your court Mr Hall. Is there any chance that you might do the honourable thing and fall on your sword?

As for the mayor dis­miss­ing you or any­one else for in­com­pe­tence; he is an elected mem­ber of coun­cil and un­for­tu­nately doesn’t have the author­ity to do this, con­trary to what peo­ple might be­lieve.

For­tu­nately the whole mat­ter of the struc­ture and ad­min­is­tra­tion of lo­cal coun­cils is be­ing de­bated by cen­tral Gov­ern­ment with a view to mak­ing them op­er­ate in a more busi­ness-like and ef­fi­cient man­ner. It can’t hap­pen soon enough.

F Law­ton (Re­tired Char­tered and Reg­is­tered En­gi­neer)

Toko­roa known to us all. Do these correspondents have any ba­sis in real life for these al­le­ga­tions? If so then they should make a for­mal com­plaint to the coun­cil or to the ap­pro­pri­ate au­thor­i­ties. If not, are they fa­mil­iar with the word ‘‘defama­tion’’?

Mean­while, in re­gards to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of a cer­tain con­tract, the coun­cil’s ten­der doc­u­ments in­clude the state­ment ‘‘the low­est or any ten­der will not nec­es­sar­ily be ac­cepted’’. This pro­viso is rou­tinely used in no­tices of ten­der to pro­tect or­gan­i­sa­tions from ac­tion by un­suc­cess­ful ten­der­ers. The coun­cil’s lawyers have ad­dressed coun­cil­lors and ad­vised us to ap­peal against what is con­sid­ered the sur­pris­ing de­ci­sion of a judge to award dam­ages to our un­suc­cess­ful ten­derer de­spite our in­clu­sion of the usual pro­viso re­serv­ing the right not to ac­cept this or any par­tic­u­lar ten­der. Cr Adri­enne Bell


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