National MP Richard Worth, in the latest of his long series of parliamentary questions to Labour Minister Paul Swain over the activities of Twywell Technologies and related companies in dealings with the Labour Department, appears to have uncovered a failure in information provided to the Minister which may have resulted in a misinformed answer to a previous question.
When Worth asked the minister on October 14 last year, “What links, financial or otherwise, to the knowledge of the Department, have been established by successful tenderers, if any, and Twywell Technologies Ltd and/or its directors?", Swain answered “none”.
“Why did [Swain give that answer] when to written question 16,212 he acknowledged that Knight Technology International Ltd provided services to the Department in 2002 [and therefore qualifies as a successful tenderer]?” Worth asked on December 17.
Swain answered that at the time of the original reply, “any links between Knight Technology International Ltd and Twywell Technology Ltd were not known to the Department.” It is now clear that there was such a link. In a reply to a November question from Worth, Swain said: "The Department was made aware of the relationship between Twywell Technology Ltd and Knight Technology International Ltd in October 2004 in the context of answering parliamentary questions. The Director of Twywell Technology Ltd informed the Department that she and Braden Knight Hair, who undertook the services for Knight International Ltd and subsequently work for Twywell Technology Ltd, both had beneficial interests in Knight Technology Limited."
A spokesman for Swain undertook to get a reply on the possible effect of knowledge of the link on other replies from the minister relating to conflict of interest, but had not called back by Computerworld's deadline.
Despite the now apparent link, “No declarations of any conflict of interest have been made by Twywell to the Department,” Swain said in a reply to a question Worth asked on December 17.
Worth was in Auckland last week, where he had been prevented from returning to Wellington by bad weather. He told Computerworld as soon as possible after his return he intends to meet with department chief executive James Buwalda to discuss evidence he (Worth) says he has of the alleged relationships among the companies and the department.
Worth says he does not intend in the first instance to put evidence before Auditor-General Kevin Brady or any other official.