Tony Redmond/ His wife/Ann Abraham/Jerry White/Pat Thomas

Dear Ms Pook,

Having reread a number of the FOI requests about Tony and Mrs Redmond's tour of Australia I'd like to get a few things straight.

Please confirm that the following statements are correct.

1. According to Tony Redmond, when he flew from the UK to Australia and from Australia to the UK, he was on business but his wife, sitting next to him, was on holiday.

2. According to Tony Redmond, when he flew from Melbourne to Sydney he was on business but his wife, sitting next to him, was on holiday.

3. According to Tony Redmond, when he flew from Sydney to Perth he was on business but his wife, sitting next to him, was on holiday.

4. According to Tony Redmond, virtually all of the time that he was touring Australia, he was working, but 100% of the time that his wife, who was travelling with him, was touring Australia, she was on holiday.

5. According to Tony Redmond, when he was eating meals in Australia paid for by the British taxpayer, he was working, but his wife, who was with him, was on holiday.

I'd also like answers to the following, please.

A. When Tony Redmond asked the Commission to approve expenditure of a substantial amount of taxpayers money, did he tell the Commission that his wife would be going with him to Australia and that for her the whole three week tour
would be a holiday? If not why not?

B. Did Nigel Karney know that Mrs Redmond would be going to Australia with Tony Redmond?

C. Why is it not mentioned in Nigel Karney's "Study Tour" document, and why was it not felt to be of some great pertinance, that for the whole of the time that according to Tony Redmond he would be "principally" on "business" in Australia, his wife would be with him on holiday (and presumably expecting a holiday to be a bit like a holiday)?

D. If the answers to A and B are no - as Mrs Redmond had gone with Tony Redmond on his last two foreign trips (Gibraltar and Canada) how could the Commission and Nigel Karney be unaware of the likelihood that she would go on this trip/junket and fail to make the necessary enquiries to safeguard public funds?

E. As Ann Abraham was in Gibraltar only a few months earlier with Tony and Mrs Redmond at taxpayers expense, why did she not query whether Mrs Redmond was going to Australia with him? Or did she do that?

F. If Ann Abraham knew that Mrs Redmond was going to Australia on holiday, why did she not query the approval request and the expenditure? Or did she do that?

Yours sincerely,

Chris Taylor

Anne Hide left an annotation ()

As I suggested on other FOI requests this is the same reason John Bourne had to resign.

'The man who was virtually impossible to sack finally agreed to retire yesterday, after a furore over the six-figure taxpayer-funded expenses bill he racked up travelling the world, often with his wife.'

Whilst Mr Redmond, to my knowledge, hasn't racked up a six figure sum yet, what would have happened if the Bourn scandal hadn't hit the headlines in 2006/7 and stopped him in his tracks?

This must also bring the integrity of the commission members who approved all these foreign jaunts into question. Particularly the Vice Chair of the time Mrs Pat Thomas.

mark price left an annotation ()

Of course it does. Noteably, both Pat Thomas and Ann Abraham stated in their written statement that the Commission agreed expenditure as "set out in the paper" (Karney's) so they're trying to dump responsibility on him. That's nonsense. They have responsibility for their own (corporate) actions.

All appearances are that a misuse of funds was devised by Redmond and Karney (with the assistance of the Finance and Estates Manager) but the making off with the funds was enabled by the utter irresponsibility of their chums Abraham, White and Thomas and whoever actually handed over the reimbursements without checking that the authorisation, based (wrongly) entirely on one statement in Karney's document, fitted what Redmond actually did.

Foi Officer, The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

Dear Mr Taylor

The Freedom of Information Act entitles the public to request recorded information we hold, (subject to certain exceptions). The questions you raise below do not amount to a Freedom of Information Act request. We consider the information released previously has provided adequate information on this matter. We regret that you are not satisfied, but we have nothing further to add.

Yours sincerely

Hilary Pook
Communications & Records Manager | DL: 020 7217 4734 |
Local Government Ombudsman's office | 10th Floor |
Millbank Tower | Millbank | London | SW1P 4QP | |

show quoted sections