Brown report

@FrancesCook and others tweeting on the release of the Ernst Young report on Len Brown and Bevan Chuang…

Len Brown received 9 complimentary hotel rooms which he didn’t declare, worth $6130. 64 undeclared hotel upgrades, worth $32888.

No expenses incurred by council that related to the mayor’s relationship with Bevan Chuang.

Report notes they were unable to identify the council security guard who allegedly interrupted Len Brown and Bevan Chuang having sex.

The mayor used his council provided phone to make 1375 calls and texts to Chuang between 19 nov 2010 and 21 Oct 2013.

No wonder he tried to suppress this information.

NZ Herald reports Len Brown received complimentary hotel rooms

The mayor received nine complimentary hotel rooms valued at about $6130 during his affair with Bevan Chuang, a report has found.

He also received free hotel upgrades that were not declared as gifts, Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said.

The review found mayor Mr Brown didn’t show any improper favourable treatment towards Ms Chuang, including the reference he provided for her job at Auckland Art Gallery.

There were some instances where council policies weren’t met, such as the amount Mr Brown reimbursed for his personal mobile use and transportation when he was out of town.

More tweets:

The cost of the review will be in excess of $100,000 #lenbrown… More than 1million emails reviewed

Len Brown at very least can’t now take part in any decision making re SkyCity Convn Centre (which he previously pledged “total” support for)
@DFisherJourno
I’m having a hard time seeing how Len Brown can stay on. #FreeStuff #HotelRooms

sthnjeff
So Len, about that “Full disclosure” you previously made

List of hotels:

Tweets:

$39,018.50 undeclared gifts by Mayor Len Brown, but chief exec Doug McKay says there’s no punishment, up to individuals to declare.

Medie release from Len Brown:

News Release

13 December 2013

Statement from Mayor Len Brown in response to Ernst & Young report

“I welcome the findings of a report from accountancy firm Ernst & Young into the use of council resources in the mayoral office.

“The report confirms my assurances to the Chief Executive that I did not misuse council resources in connection to Bevan Chuang, and nor did she receive preferential treatment in relation to her engagement as an employee of Auckland Art Gallery.

“The report includes details in relation to my, and my family’s, private use of accommodation that are not within the scope of the investigation but that I need to address.  

“The report notes that over a three-year period I, and my family, stayed privately in hotels in central Auckland on a number of occasions. The arrangements for these hotels were made privately in most cases, and in all cases payment was made privately.

“My reason for staying in the central city is that I often work until late in the evening – attending meetings, functions or civic events – and I start work early the next morning, often for media interviews or breakfast events. A significant number of these rooms were also booked and used privately by me and my family.

“I was not charged for nine of these hotel rooms, including one occasion in relation to Ms Chuang.

“As the report notes, I never used council resources for private accommodation or in relation to Ms Chuang, and I do not hold a council credit card.

“However, I accept that as Mayor I am subject to a higher standard of public accountability, and in this context I should not have accepted the free rooms offered to me, and should have disclosed this fact when I was asked about it in October.

“This was an error of judgement and I apologise to the people of Auckland.

“I remain totally focussed on the issues that matter most to Aucklanders, including improving our transport system, tackling Auckland’s housing crisis and continuing to invest in our future.”

“…should have disclosed this fact when I was asked about it in October” means Brown lied?

Chief Executive statement: EY Independent Review

Friday, 13 December 2013, 3:44 pm
Press Release: Auckland Council

Chief Executive statement: EY Independent Review

Doug McKay

Chief Executive, Auckland Council

13 December 2013

The EY report released today summarises the findings of their review into the use of council resources and any improper preferential employment treatment, as it relates to the Mayor’s relationship with Ms Bevan Chuang. I commissioned EY to undertake the review to address concerns that had been raised.

This has been an exhaustive and comprehensive review. It addresses the issues that had been raised and I am satisfied that EY has delivered a robust and thorough report.

EY was asked to examine:

• any use of council resources within the Office of the Mayor, in respect of the Mayor’s relationship with Ms Chuang, that contravenes council policies;

• any improper preferential treatment in relation to Ms Chuang’s engagement as an employee, contractor or an advisor within the Auckland Council Group; and

• any other issues that the reviewers or Chief Executive considers relate to, or arise out of, the above matters.

The review covered the period from the council’s amalgamation on 1 November 2010 to the commissioning of the review on 21 October 2013. EY’s findings are based on a factual and evidence-based review of the Mayor’s use of council resources as it relates to council policies and processes and, where appropriate, external obligations. EY has conclusively addressed the terms of reference of the review.

EY found that the Mayor did not inappropriately use council resources to support the relationship with Ms Chuang. EY examined the use of council phones, credit cards, expense claims, gifts, mayoral car use and travel. Any use, where it existed, was generally within the permitted guidelines and policies. EY did not find any expense claims funded by council to purchase gifts, accommodation, meals or entertainment as they relate to Ms Chuang.

Arising out of the review, EY found that there were some instances where the relevant council policies were not fully met, or the use of resources raised questions. These include, the amount the Mayor reimbursed to council for costs incurred for personal mobile usage, the Mayoral driver used for private family transportation when the Mayor was overseas, and the payment by council of a portion of a modest overseas dinner that was arguably private.

EY found the Mayor received nine complimentary hotel rooms that have not been registered as gifts or disclosed in his completed annual Declaration of Interests. EY reports the value of the complimentary rooms based on rates provided by the hotels is $6,130. They also found the Mayor received hotel upgrades which have not been registered as gifts or disclosed in the Declaration of Interests. There were 64 instances valued by the hotels at $32,888.50.

EY did not identify any improper preferential treatment in relation to Ms Chuang’s employment, contracting or advisory roles within the council group.

During the course of EY’s review, I was asked about the Mayor’s trip to Hong Kong undertaken in January 2013. The Mayor was a guest of the Hong Kong Government and all costs for flights, accommodation and hotel meal expenses were funded by the Hong Kong Government. The Mayor did not claim any expenses. No staff or support services, such as a translator, accompanied the Mayor.

I am now satisfied that the EY’s report has addressed the concerns raised with me. I would like to thank EY for completing this review and all the parties that assisted them. 

Full review (PDF)

Brown will be interviewed by John Campbell tonight on Campbell Live.

Len Brown received complimentary hotel rooms and upgrades worth more than $38k during his affair with Bevan Chuang. Do you think he should now step down as Auckland Mayor? Tonight, a one-on-one interview.
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