Scottish Voting fiasco expert still being paid ...in euros!

#1
HERE

The Scotsman said:
Voting fiasco expert still being paid ...in euros
GERRI PEEV POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
THE fallout from the Scottish elections fiasco is continuing to cost taxpayers, with the expert brought in to assess the messy aftermath still being paid for advice, it emerged yesterday.

Ron Gould remains under contract with the Electoral Commission. It was revealed that the Canadian election chief's daily rate is 600 (£420) plus up to 100 (£70) expenses.

The Electoral Commission last night could not say how many days he had billed for.

Mr Gould, who has also advised the United Nations and supervised the first democratic elections in South Africa, took five months to produce his report into the controversial Scottish elections.

Had he worked five days a week on his comprehensive report released last month, he would have reaped the equivalent of £40,000 plus expenses over that period.

Mr Gould is expected to appear before a Scottish Parliament committee via a videolink on 5 December.

MPs on the Scottish affairs committee also want to quiz Mr Gould.

Mr Gould asked to be paid in the single European currency rather than the pound. It was this method of payment rather than his conclusions that yesterday triggered controversy.

Ian Davidson, the MP for Glasgow South, said he found it "odd" that he was paid in euros.

During a grilling of the Electoral Commission in a Commons' inquiry over the Scottish local and government elections, Mr Davidson had asked why he had been paid in euros and not pounds.

Sam Younger, chairman of the Electoral Commission, replied: "Because that was his preferred currency."

During the wide-ranging session, Labour MPs also expressed dismay with ministers and officials that candidates and their agents were denied the right to see contentious ballot papers on the night.

Mr Davidson criticised the lack of expertise displayed in administering the elections. "There was so little experience among officials that it was like electoral sex with virgins," he said in the Scottish affairs committee session.

Jim Devine, the MP for Livingston, also complained that Labour lost control of one council because of just one vote.

"We were told because of the e-counting system that we could not have a recount," he said.

Mr Younger said he did not believe the e-voting system had disenfranchised anyone.

He also said that the Electoral Commission was seriously considering a "lottery" for the order in which names appear on the ballot paper in future.

It is believed that candidates ranked near the top of the list have an unfair advantage over others. Political opponents cried foul after the SNP inserted "Alex Salmond for First Minister" at the top of the regional list.

MPs also called for manual counting to take place at the next elections after more than 140,000 papers were discarded for the Scottish Parliament elections and tens of thousands more for the council vote.

David Cairns, the minister for the Scotland Office, admitted that there had been many mistakes in the run-up to the elections. But he denied that there was any dubious intent behind the mistakes.

"There is a lot of difference between being accused of taking too long to phase in a procedure and trying to rig an election."

Mr Cairns also agreed that separate ballot papers should have been used and that elections for local government and the Scottish Parliament should take place on different days in future.
Related topic

Holyrood Elections
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=757
This article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1800442007

Last updated: 14-Nov-07 00:31 GMT
 
#2
rockape34 said:
HERE

The Scotsman said:
Voting fiasco expert still being paid ...in euros
GERRI PEEV POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
THE fallout from the Scottish elections fiasco is continuing to cost taxpayers, with the expert brought in to assess the messy aftermath still being paid for advice, it emerged yesterday.

Ron Gould remains under contract with the Electoral Commission. It was revealed that the Canadian election chief's daily rate is 600 (£420) plus up to 100 (£70) expenses.

The Electoral Commission last night could not say how many days he had billed for.

Mr Gould, who has also advised the United Nations and supervised the first democratic elections in South Africa, took five months to produce his report into the controversial Scottish elections.

Had he worked five days a week on his comprehensive report released last month, he would have reaped the equivalent of £40,000 plus expenses over that period.

Mr Gould is expected to appear before a Scottish Parliament committee via a videolink on 5 December.

MPs on the Scottish affairs committee also want to quiz Mr Gould.

Mr Gould asked to be paid in the single European currency rather than the pound. It was this method of payment rather than his conclusions that yesterday triggered controversy.

Ian Davidson, the MP for Glasgow South, said he found it "odd" that he was paid in euros.

During a grilling of the Electoral Commission in a Commons' inquiry over the Scottish local and government elections, Mr Davidson had asked why he had been paid in euros and not pounds.

Sam Younger, chairman of the Electoral Commission, replied: "Because that was his preferred currency."

During the wide-ranging session, Labour MPs also expressed dismay with ministers and officials that candidates and their agents were denied the right to see contentious ballot papers on the night.

Mr Davidson criticised the lack of expertise displayed in administering the elections. "There was so little experience among officials that it was like electoral sex with virgins," he said in the Scottish affairs committee session.

Jim Devine, the MP for Livingston, also complained that Labour lost control of one council because of just one vote.

"We were told because of the e-counting system that we could not have a recount," he said.

Mr Younger said he did not believe the e-voting system had disenfranchised anyone.

He also said that the Electoral Commission was seriously considering a "lottery" for the order in which names appear on the ballot paper in future.

It is believed that candidates ranked near the top of the list have an unfair advantage over others. Political opponents cried foul after the SNP inserted "Alex Salmond for First Minister" at the top of the regional list.

MPs also called for manual counting to take place at the next elections after more than 140,000 papers were discarded for the Scottish Parliament elections and tens of thousands more for the council vote.

David Cairns, the minister for the Scotland Office, admitted that there had been many mistakes in the run-up to the elections. But he denied that there was any dubious intent behind the mistakes.

"There is a lot of difference between being accused of taking too long to phase in a procedure and trying to rig an election."

Mr Cairns also agreed that separate ballot papers should have been used and that elections for local government and the Scottish Parliament should take place on different days in future.
Related topic

Holyrood Elections
http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=757
This article: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1800442007

Last updated: 14-Nov-07 00:31 GMT

Ironic that the MPs quoted above saying how dreadful and unfair the elections were, are from the Labour party. Could that be the same Labour party that was in control in Scotland prior to these elections and were responsible for introducing the changes that caused the chaos in the first place? Mind you they were joke elections for a joke parliament! :wink:
 
#3
£490/day !! Sh1t rate for a short contract, even for Edinburgh! Should have asked to be based in London - £750/day minimum. However, if he can still claim the £70/day expenses and be interviewed by Video that's a neat trick.
Also, good consultancy practice - tell them what they want to hear, pad it out with the bleeding obvious, produce a couple of drafts for review and hey presto! 5 months gone by - easy money!
 

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