A strange article appears in the Nazi Post regarding the death of Tony Harvey and featuring Bristol City Council’s PR boss and general odd bod ‘Dim’ Tim Borrett in various guises.
Borrett accidentally overlooks his own council’s duty of care towards Harvey and appears to blame your caring, sharing BRISTOLIAN for Harvey’s death while painting a picture of the man as some kind of modern day saint.
Quite how The BRISTOLIAN killed Harvey is not made clear by Borrett or The Post. Can a few simple documented facts on a page kill? Or have we invented a secret sonic death ray machine?
Anyway, we’ve fisked and filleted the whole article for you.
BRISTOL City Council has defended a senior member of staff who was found dead after his department was investigated for financial irregularities and bullying.
That should actually read departments. Not only the council’s Markets Service but also their Security Services, responsible for the collection of cash across the council – which, coincidentally, Harvey ran – were under investigation. Why haven’t the council mentioned this as part of this generous mission to explain to the public?
Tony Harvey, 53, facilities manager in the markets department of Bristol City Council, was found dead at his home on January 9 this year.
The father-of-two’s department had been the subject of an internal audit following complaints from staff made to public services union Unison.
Complaints were actually first made to Harvey – who completely ignored them. Instead he started a “restructure” to remove troublesome whistleblowers – who were asking simple questions about glaringly dubious financial arrangements – from his department.
It is widely believed Mr Harvey may have taken his own life due to the pressure of allegations that were made public online, the Bristol Post understands.
It is widely believed by who? ‘Odd Bod’ Borrett by any chance? Or did Spunkface Orrett feed them that one?
A number of fact-based article, based on documentation regarding Harvey’s conduct, have appeared in The BRISTOLIAN (a newspaper). The content of these articles have never been disputed by Harvey or his employers, Bristol City Council. We also have a number of emails that show Bristol City Council was invited on numerous occasions to properly resolve the issues in the Markets Service internally. It refused.
But the council said Mr Harvey was not guilty of any mismanagement and there was no evidence of dishonest activity.
Can you be guilty of mismanagement? And as the article later points out, Harvey was never investigated, so it’s hardly surprising that mismanagement was not uncovered.
There was “no evidence of dishonest activity” because in November 2012 Harvey SPIKED any investigation that might have obtained the evidence. He preferred to leave around 20 allegations UNRESOLVED.
A spokesman said Mr Harvey was never investigated personally and was not suspended, but in fact he helped the council to resolve its accounting problems.
See! He was NEVER INVESTIGATED. So of course there was no evidence of mismanagement or dishonesty.
The “help” he provided to the council in resolving its “accounting problems” included:
- SPIKING an investigation;
- Starting a departmental restructure DURING an Internal Audit investigation;
- Creating a new departmental staff structure that DID NOT COMPLY with the authority’s financial regulations;
- Removing staff so that there was “A LACK OF RESOURCES AND EXPERTISE within the Markets operation to resolve all the outstanding issues.”
When he died in January, Harvey had been “helping” resolve accounting problems in the Markets Service for 20 months. Yet after nearly two years of this “help” the Markets Service accounts were still being described to councillors as “OF CONCERN”.
It appears complaints were first made about Mr Harvey’s department in May 2012, when a member of staff at the council contacted Unison.
No. A complaint was first made to Harvey personally in early April 2012, which he ignored.
Unison wrote a letter, seen by the Post, to Mr Harvey directly highlighting a number of concerns about financial mismanagement and bullying. But an official internal audit triggered by the letter found only a small sum of money unaccounted for. However, the audit did uncover irregularities and recommendations were made to bring it into line with council book-keeping policy.
The audit uncovered £165k of “uncollected licence fees” for 2012. About one third of the department’s yearly income. This figure is listed in a budget monitor report presented to councillors in January 2013. It is not “a small sum of money”.
It beggars belief that Harvey would not have noticed this amount of money apparently missing from a department he was monitoring and it beggars belief that he ignored a whistleblower who tried to tell him this in April 2012. And it is absolutely startling that he then removed the whistleblower from their job later that year.
And what “irregularities” were uncovered? They seem to be in bookkeeping. Usually, irregularities in bookkeeping require further investigation. This never happened. Harvey just tried to change the bookkeeping system and ignore what might have happened in the past.
Council spokesman Tim Borrett said any financial malpractice was down to a formerly “antiquated” system that had now been modernised with the full help and cooperation of Mr Harvey before his death.
Note Borrett acknowledges “malpractice” and then blames it on a ‘formerly “antiquated system”’. Systems don’t commit malpractice. People do.
In a statement released yesterday, a council spokesperson said: “He aided investigations into several allegations and managed the work to improve business operations.
He improved business systems by ignoring financial regulations, firing knowledgeable staff, ignoring whistleblowers and leaving serious investigations INCOMPLETE and allegations UNRESOLVED?
“While the limitations of the old financial practices meant that ability to reconcile and audit was inadequate by good practice standards, no evidence has been found of dishonest activity.”
That’s because Harvey stopped any investigation into wrongdoing in November 2012.
He added: “With regards to the tragic suicide of Tony Harvey, we cannot and will not speculate about the cause. To do so would be grossly irresponsible and risks more upset and harm being caused to his grieving family.
So, wait for it … Here’s the speculation about the cause:
“Suffice to say the anonymous implications made elsewhere that this somehow implies an element of guilt is simply not true.”
The BRISTOLIAN has never implied anything.
We have been upfront in naming Harvey and provided facts about his conduct that are not and never have been disputed.
We are not anonymous. We can be contacted. We recently shrugged off soppy threats from crappy Bristol establishment solicitors Burges Salmon over defamation. So if Borrett fancies it…
He added there was no evidence that Mr Harvey should be criticised for his role in the situation, rather he “helped bring improvements to the financial management”.
Total bollocks. See above.
Mayor George Ferguson said: “It is clear that Tony was a much liked and a respected friend and colleague to many at the council.
This is a joke, right?
“He was diligent in sorting out the previous unsatisfactory financial management at the markets, for which we should all be grateful.
No he wasn’t. He spent 20 months “sorting out” markets and it still wasn’t sorted. At best he was a gross incompetent.
“He is sorely missed and our deepest sympathies have been extended to his family and all who knew him.”
Mr Harvey is thought to have taken his life on January 9. Neighbours at Hinton Drive, Oldland Common, said he appeared to be happy on the days leading up to his death.
A neighbour, who chose not to be named, said he had two daughters, but lived alone. She added that nobody had been to the house in the past three weeks.
An inquest into Mr Harvey’s death has been opened at Flax Bourton’s coroner’s court and has been closed again while further inquiries are made.
Unison chose not to comment on the matter.