Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TESTING THE WATERS: LIBERAL REQUEST

I make a request to the Liberal Leader, Dwight Ball yesterday requesting a list of all contracts for professional services over the past two years. I am sure that in this spirit of accountability and transparency, the Official Opposition will be eager to  provide the information.

As of 7:AM this morning, I had not received an acknowledgement of the request from either the Liberal Leader or his Director of Communication.*

For the record, here is the request:



Peter Whittle
12:02 PM (21 hours ago)

to DwightBall, petermiles, whittlep
Dwight Ball
Leader of the Official Opposition
5th Floor, East Bloc
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's,NL

Dear Mr. Ball:

In the aftermath of the debate on Bill 29, I am attempting a review of the level of transparency and accountability of public bodies that use public tax dollars for political purposes.

Does the office of the official opposition publish or disclose the expenditure of public dollars for short-term contracts and professional services. As a former Chief of Staff in the Opposition Office, I am aware that from time to time, salary blocks are used to hire temporary and short-term staff. The money used, normally comes out of the salary estimates provided to the Official Opposition to carry out it's roles and responsibilities.

Considering your eloquent defense of the public's right to know about decisions made by the government, I am sure that you will not hesitate to accede to my request.

I am requesting a list of short-term contracts and professional services issued by the Official Opposition Office, the duration of the services, the purpose of the contracts, screening and hiring criteria and associated costs for the past three years (2009, 2010, 2011).

I would like to thank you for your anticipated co-operation, and your commitment to transparency and democracy in our great province.

I can be reached at 576-2330, 697-1998 or by e-mail.

Sincerely



Peter Whittle

* UPDATE:

Ball, Dwight DwightBall@gov.nl.ca
  
11:53 AM
      

Hello Peter,



Nice to hear from you, thank you for your comments regarding Bill 29, I have forwarded your email to the designated staff member and they will be in touch with you in due course.



Regards,

Dwight

12 comments:

bob c said...

Hey Peter,

You set a good example of individual citizen activism for all of us.

Keep up the work!

b

Tired of the lies said...

Good on ya!

You could have included contracts let in 2012 as they recently hired the former political advisor to Siobhan Coady on a short term deal to put together the renewal tour that was languishing badly.

You get what you pay for.

@mcmanustheautho said...

What is good for goose is good for the gander. The staffing decisions at that opposition office contribute to the malaise that Liberals outside of confederation building feel about the state of their party.

Publicly advertising for staff positions only to fill them without interviews and hiring former MHAs and staffers into roles they do not hold qualifications for does absolutely nothing to the rebuilding effort.

Your inquiry is timely and uplifting. Good to see direct questions being asked of the opposition office before Bill 29 gets ascent. They can't hide behind the legislation they criticized.

Official Opposition is supposed to be a government in waiting. Not a club for has-beens and arse-kissers.

Anonymous said...

Odd. . . I just went through the Opposition Office web site archives and I see no mention of you as Chief of Staff. perhaps you should ask them to correct that.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Odd, I doubt there is any mention of me at all in the archives. Did you find anything at all that mentioned me? Well

Peter L. Whittle said...

semantics! What is the issue? I was hired by the leader of the opposition to be his chief of staff. I took the job on two conditions. 1. I could refer to the positions as something other than Chief of Staff because I hated the term and secondly that he agreed to my choice of a secretary.

The question is why does any one care what I was called six years after I left!

Anonymous said...

Ed Hollett cares, of course!

Anonymous said...

This issue is why are you claiming to have held a position of senior responsibility when you never held or exercised that responsibility or even held that title.

People assume that if you call yourself CoS then that's true. They do not assume, and maybe they should, that you are playing semantic games in claiming positions and responsibilities you never held.

Being able to select your own secretary does not mean you were CoS. Being the actual CoS means you were Cos.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Frankly, it is irrelevant.

I was hired by the leader of the opposition as the Chief of Staff for the Opposition Office. My job description and responsibilities were as chief of staff. The only change was that I called myself the Director of Policy and operations because I disliked the term.

Unlike you I still have my original contract. You can chat with the person who hired me, if for some reason you need some sort of reassurance about my past job titles or past experience.

Is there a part of the contract and job description that I missed. When dealing with Executive council or the government, they dealt with the Chief of Staff, who was me.

If you ever feel like talking about this in person, instead of these irritating, cowardly anonymous posts, go for it.

Love to knock some sense into your thick skull!

Peter L. Whittle said...

Every mutt has his day anonymous. King of the world hey, at least he is not a sniveling coward that hides behind anonymity trying to settle old scores.

Pathetic behavior!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:

I worked in the opposition when Peter was the Chief of Staff. He hired me, was responsible for budgets, staff meetings, directed the staff scheduling and Roger called him him chief of staff as did the clerk of the house.

Have a chat with Roger Grimes. In the period after Roger left, the role might have changed some. With no leader, nobody was really in that much control of anything leading to the disastrous election that knocked the party back to three seats.

I think you need to review your sources. I sense you know the difference.

Peter L. Whittle said...

Oky, enough. First of all I did not misrepresent myself. In fact the letter that Ed Hollett started harping about was a letter to the Liberal Opposition Office for which I worked in the role. SO it is not like I was saying something to another group of something. Secondly, really, what is next you childish small minded folks? Are you going to question my parentage of my kids or my completion of degrees or some other infantile move in an attempt to somehow discredit me? Seriously, I wonder about your juvenile approach. It is time to get over the fact that you have not been offered, or ever held any position of note. The paper cuts were for nothing!