Monday, 18 February 2019

FORENSIC AUDIT: NALCOR IGNORED BIG EARLY WARNING SIGNS

The Uncle Gnarley Blog has posted two commentaries on the second Forensic Audit Report of Grant Thornton released today by the Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project. Both articles were prepared by Ron Penney, David Vardy and Des Sullivan who have standing at the Inquiry on behalf of the Concerned Citizens Coalition. 

This piece contains  the key findings of the Forensic Audit. Also posted is a lengthier and more thorough examination of the Report entitled “Evidence of Malfeasance?: A Review of the Forensic Audit Report into the Muskrat Falls Project (Phase II)”.  It is availble now at the Link.  - Des Sullivan

HIGHLIGHTS OF SECOND FORENSIC AUDIT REPORT

As was the case with Phase One of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry, the construction phase of the Inquiry has commenced with the release today of the forensic audit conducted by Grant Thornton.

The audit sets the stage for the examination of witnesses crucial to the understanding of how the project went so badly wrong.

SECOND FORENSIC AUDIT REPORT: EVIDENCE OF MALFEASANCE?

EVIDENCE OF MALFEASANCE?: A REVIEW OF THE FORENSIC AUDIT REPORT INTO THE MUSKRAT FALLS PROJECT (PHASE II)

The second Forensic Audit Report prepared by the accounting firm of Grant Thornton has now been released to the public. It will constitute the major focus of Phase II, the “Construction Phase”, of the Commission of Inquiry into the Muskrat Falls Project (MFP).

This Report builds on the main conclusions of the first one released in September 2018, prior to the beginning of public hearings presided over by Judge Richard LeBlanc. It concluded that, at the time of sanction, a “combination of…potential misstatements may have resulted in the Interconnected Island Option (the Muskrat Falls project) no longer being considered the least cost option at the time of sanctioning.” In other words, had the Cumulative Present Worth (CPW) – the present value methodology used to compare the Isolated Island and the Interconnected Island options – been  objectively assessed, the Muskrat Falls Project was probably not then, or ever, “least-cost”.


What had GT uncovered in order to come to that conclusion?

Thursday, 14 February 2019

EVERY TOWN SHOULD VOTE A BARD (suggests the Bard of Pynn's Brook)


POET LAUREATES
(Poet Laureate appointee in St. John’s)

Every town should vote a bard
To rhyme events in its backyard,
To laud in lines the district scene
And entertain the tourist keen:

Poet Laureates sot in every bay
And hamlet pitched along the way,
To praise aloud the quaint and saint
And Council deeds heroic paint.

Monday, 11 February 2019

POLL CLEAR AS MUD BUT LIKELY CANCELS SPRING ELECTION


Is anyone surprised that the latest MQO Poll places both the Liberals (44%) and the Tories (42%) in (possibly) a statistical tie? While neophyte PC Party leader Ches Crosbie has had an uninspiring start, which — for the Tories — aligns well with a non-performing Government, why would the public be in anything but a “show me” mood? 


The Premier's approval numbers testify to the legitimacy of the questions. MQO gives Ball’s leadership a “relatively steady… mean score of 5.2 [on a 10 point scale] this quarter”. Crosbie, in spite of his inability to light any fires, oversees a jump in support of 7% as the NDP races to the status of non-entity. 


MQO comments that declining support for the NDP reflects in the Tories' gain, but that is tantamount to suggesting change in the chemistry of oil and water. More likely, a pervasive leadership vacuum is adding room for fluctuation in the popularity of the two traditional Parties, it being left to both mainstream and social media to set the public agenda based on whatever passes as news.

Friday, 8 February 2019

MF COALITION TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING FEBUARY 13


Notice of General Meeting of the Muskrat Falls Concerned Citizens Coalition (MFCCC). Where? The Holiday Inn, 180 Portugal Cove Road, St. John’s (Salon A&B). When? 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 13th. Also live stream via Facebook and Twitter. 

David Vardy will make a Presentation. Ron Penney, Des Sullivan and Coalition lawyer, Geoff Budden, will also discuss the Muskrat Falls project and bring Coalition members, and the public, up to date on preparations for the Second Phase of the Public Inquiry.

Monday, 4 February 2019

THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG


Guest Post by Ron Penney
The Tail Wagging The Dog: 
Reflections on Phase 1 of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry

The Muskrat Falls Inquiry has competed Phase 1 of the hearings, which focused on the events leading up to the sanction of the project on December 17th, 2012.

We hadn’t fully understood before the depths of hatred and contempt towards us arising out of our early warnings about the dangers of the path that we were on.

A senior federal public servant told us in 2011 that the tolerance for dissent in Newfoundland and Labrador was very low and that proved to be the case. So much for the notion that “dissent is the highest form of patriotism”. We were treated as unpatriotic because we opposed what has been turned out to be the worst public policy decision ever made in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Monday, 28 January 2019

"ANONYMOUS ENGINEER" IDENTIFIES DEVICE USED TO LOW-BALL ESTIMATE

EDITOR'S NOTE: The author of today's article is the whistleblower, dubbed the "Anonymous Engineer", who disclosed – on this Blog - falsification of the estimates for the Muskrat Falls project. That was January 30, 2017 . His comments were recorded in a post entitled Muskrat Cost Estimates "A Complete Falsification". A second post called Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates provided significant additional details of low-balling which ultimately were used to justify the Sanction of a project that has become a scourge on the Province's economy. His alarming assertions have been supported with revelations which emerged from Phase I of the Commission of Inquiry. This article attempts to shed light on an issue that is likely to be assessed during Phase II, often referred to as the Construction Phase. — Des Sullivan


Guest Post by the "Anonymous Engineer"
Impact of Labour Productivity on 
"Base Estimate" for the Muskrat Falls Project 

It is almost two years to the month since I spoke with the host of the Uncle Gnarley Blog, Des Sullivan, and subsequently with Anthony Germain of the CBC Morning Show. At that time I revealed that  the estimates on which the Muskrat Falls project was approved were low balled and falsified. I am confident that those statements were heard at the political level and that they might have influenced the Government's decision to  commence the Inquiry which, of course, I have been monitoring.