February 2, 2012

RPS & Burning €81 Million on Poolbeg Incinerator

RPS is a mighty fine English business working behind the scenes with apparatchiks at Dublin City Council and with Covanta, a serial lawbreaker from New Jersey.  

Imagine if the Casalesi clan  was running Dublin's waste business and Europe's largest incinerator.  In January 2012 mafia tactics were used by DCC.  Dublin's residents were made an offer they could not refuse.  After 140 years of public service accept a no-prior-notice offer within 10 days from a private offshore waste contractor selected secretly by unknown DCC insiders and pay a large up-front bundle of cash to the offshore contractor operating from a tax haven or your services will be terminated.   Breaking basic privacy and data protection considerations the immune DCC cowboys also gave private data on all of Dublin's residents to the contractor. They even authorised the offshore contractor to collect debts.  Gotta pud food on the table ...  

RPS is dining out and playing golf with the €26 million it's honestly earned so far from the distinguished engineering services it provides for DCC's time servers.  DCC has committed or wasted a further €74 million, not including the cost of lucrative pensions and public service retirement payoffs.

In December 2009 Judge McKechnie ruled that DCC used RPS reports to "massage" the truth.   That sounds like polite language to say that DCC lied to misinform the people.  It's curiously convenient that RPS reports may be used as a facade for credibility by De Drumcondra Mafia, FG's K Club and FF's Galway Tent.   At the time RPS was paid €25,000 per month to create spin for DCC.

At the public hearings on the Poolbeg Incinerator at least one "consultant" in the RPS syndicate used statistics cunningly painted with crayons to mislead the public.   While RPS was being paid €25,000 per month for spin.

RPS also legally acquired a unit of DCC 'communications' employees and made them RPS 'PR consultants'.  Recruiting public service employees is a standard trick used by Covanta (legally).   

In 2010 the Institution Of Engineers in Ireland, hiply branded as Engineers Ireland, issued a report promoting incineration.  The EI report curiously omitted to mention the pertinent fact that the author on incineration was a former incineration industry employee - whilst shouting out other CV data.   

EI's report also curiously omitted that a VP at Engineers Ireland in 2010 and EI president in 2011 is the head of the RPS-Ireland unit contracted by DCC to spin for the Poolbeg Incinerator.  RPS's team has been paid at least €26 million of taxpayers money.  So far.  

If you ask Engineers Ireland about possible conflicts of interest they refer you to their ethics policy without doing anything about answering your question.  The EI president for 2010 said he couldn't comment on the McKechnie judgement as there was a court case pending.  The financial regulator also has no comment.  

PS: Buddies Covanta routed money to Fine Gael before the 2011 general election (google: Hogan, French, K Club).



RTE reports the following (follow link for full report):

The project may be stalled but its costs are still mounting. Dublin City council has spent €81m on the project so far, it got about €4.5m back from Covanta the proposed incinerator operator but most of the spending is from the public purse. Slightly over half the money has been spent on buying land, according to council figures supplied this month to Cllr Paddy McCartan, but €29m has gone on consultants. 
A consortium of consultants led by RPS was paid a healthy €26m in fees so far. RPS say that they don’t get all of that money and that depending on the year, between 40% and 66% of the money they got for the project is passed on to sub-consultants. Under the Freedom of Information Act, however, Prime Time obtained invoices paid by Dublin City Council to RPS dating from mid 2004 to Sept 2011. Some of the spending seems quite extraordinary. In the 16 months after the site work stopped, the council paid RPS over €2.6m, even though the project appeared to be at a standstill. 
For several years the council was paying the PR wing of consultants RPS over €50,000 every two months as a “Communications Retainer.” That retainer continued to April 2011.
Even more extraordinary is that council figures show the PR spend on the project at €4.3m including a dedicated information office. And this €4.3m is separate from the communications fees paid to RPS.

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