Archive: March, 2006

Billion Dollar Documents Back in Court

What’s the price of an ambiguous insurance contract? About a billion dollars in the case of Larry Silverstein’s policy over the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. That’s a billion good reasons to get the fine print right.

One or two events that changed the world

Silverstein, the holder of a 99 year lease over the Twin Towers, and a syndicate of insurers that agreed to cover the property, were back in court this week, with both sides continuing their fight over the question whether the September 11 attack on the buildings was one event or two. If the two planes were a single incident, the insurers pay one amount. If the two planes were two separate incidents, the insurers pay a larger amount. The difference? Over a billion US dollars.

Cronyism on Steroids?

When it was discovered that only four out of sixty contracts signed with a pair of external consultants went out to tender, New Zealand MP Murray McCully accused the Health Ministry of “cronyism on steroids”. Now he reckons the Auditor-General’s report on the matter portrays a saga of “incompetence on a monumental scale”.

Tell us what you really think, Murray.

The Report doesn’t paint a pretty picture of procurement policy compliance within the Ministry. Amongst Auditor-General Kevin Brady’s many findings are these gems: