In last year’s budget, the Nats awarded a $4.8m contract to an unknown organisation called PEDA without tender and against official advice. The people behind PEDA were apparently tied to Bill English via his wife. The full truth still hasn’t come out. Now, the Nats are up to the same trick with Parents Inc.
Paula Bennett’s Ministry of Social Development will pay $2.4 million to Parents Inc for “parenting courses for the caregivers of vulnerable children”. This contract was untendered and previously unknown.
Who are Parents Inc? Lets check out their values from their website:
Well, any group that puts “hey, we’re Christians” number one in their values obviously has a particular barrow to push.
Bruce Pilbrow is the head of Parents Inc (and was the marketing manager for Radio Rhema). Regular readers with astounding memories may remember he came up in this blog before, when he was appointed to the Families Commission by Paula Bennett. The same minister who has just given his organisation a $2.4 million cheque without due process.
In more shades of the PEDA scandal, Pilbrow resigned from the Families Commission just two days before the Budget came out. PEDA’s head, Anthony Joseph Pereira, took office just two days after the 2010 Budget. As with Pereira and PEDA, the payment to Parents Inc looks very much like a personal payment to Pilbrow from his government mates.
So, why has the government once again handed over taxpayer money, without the due process of a tender, to a group whose head has strong ties to the minister handing over the cash? Why do they think that it is OK to give back-handers to their mates? Are they just trying to keep their allies well paid on the taxpayer dime?