Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sideshow Bob at it again

In his first term, Christchurch Mayor Bob parker gained a bad reputation for autocracy and cronyism, making decisions in secret and handing our council contracts to a clique of supporters. And it looks like a series of disastrous earthquakes hasn't stopped him:

Some Christchurch City councillors are alarmed that contracts worth $2.8 million have been awarded without a competitive tender process.

The council has signed off 14 contracts with various design and architecture firms to help develop the draft plan for rebuilding the city.

One of the councillors, Tim Carter, says there was no tender process, and he's alarmed at the decisions being made behind closed doors which have excluded councillors and ratepayers.

It gets worse; council authorities also seem to have exceeded their spending authority in granting these contracts. And Parker is backing them, and trying to bully the council into silence.

This is par for the course from Parker. But the voters of Christchurch should not have to put up with it. Spending restrictions and tender requirements exist for a good reason: to ensure the public gets value for money. Where they are bypassed, we can’t be sure of that. Instead, the obvious conclusion is that Parker is ripping off Christchurch ratepayers for the benefit of his mates. If he wants us not to draw that conclusion, then he needs open tenders so that we can all see that everything is above board.