Thank you. That's why I am so dismayed. The Ombudsman has already made it very clear that the spreadsheets must be provided with his involvement in the Auckland CBD Rail Link Business Case (2010). The exact same situation now applies to the City Centre Future Access Study (2012). Auckland Transport is just putting us through the dance to stretch it out. They must know what the Ombudsman will again conclude that they must be released. It will take months though.
I am also loathe to give any assurance about the use of the information on principle. I don't think release should be conditional upon how it may be used. Having said that, they have seen the work that Tony did and so must accept it's a serious attempt to understand their analysis.
On the NGO funding I am not as hopeful as you. I suspect governments fund NGOs and thereby somewhat buy their support. I can't imagine any government funding an NGO that was a consistent and trenchant critic of the analysis driving their policy agenda.
And that's why Tony and others are so important. Just every now and then checking the work of some is probably enough to keep them all on their toes.
Thanks for that link Sacha. My next step is to write to the Board Chair Lester Levy who came to the position promising greater transparency. I figure the Ombudsman is so backlogged it would be months before they would get to it which I guess is what government departments and local councils are now banking on.
DeepRed I haven't looked at the roading studies but I am keen to.
I suspect they would be a little easier to unpack than the public transport studies which are devilishly complex. I have the same suspicion of these studies as I do of the others. It's altogether too easy to twist a CBA. My experience of Treasury, though, is that they are more analytically correct than spending departments.
I have in recent times come across shocking studies in health and justice where the reports just bolster what the the departments first want.
We are a little lucky we don't have the log rolling and the pork barreling on the scale of the USA. But on the downside being small we tend just to accept weighty reports rather than have them torn to shreds and put back together to see what's driving the results.
I think the wider point of whether the OpEx of private cars and trucks should be included is best addressed to Auckland Transport. I am just working from their assumptions and their spreadsheets.
However, they do cost the operating cost per train ($2.1m) for the first 24 trains. They have the 26 additional trains that are introduced 2022 to 2032 included in the spreadsheet but their SUM calculation doesn't pick the relevant cells up. That's a clear spreadsheet error that the analysts meant to include.
The error is a technical one. The debate about whether the private operating costs should be included is one to have with AT and their analysts.
I should also note that Tony found an error in the timing of the operating costs of the trains which has a significant effect on the NPV of the considered option.
Trust this helps.
PS Russell -- I am well used to tart !
Than you for your logical and consistent support for Auckland Transport to release the spreadsheet and their model output reports to me.
The controversy in setting Auckland Transport up was over whether it should be a CCO or a department within the Council. I am not sure it would have mattered which option was followed in pursuing an OIA request. At least with a CCO I can complain to both the Chair and the Mayor!
I have regularly requested over the years spreadsheets and models from the Treasury who have only been too willing to supply them and to answer any questions about their construction. I would have thought the same would be true for Auckland Transport. I am disappointed that that hasn't proved the case.
I have never been a transport buff but have always been interested in how the reports reached the conclusions that they do. It's only now that I have had the time to study them. I was genuinely shocked that the reports fail to present their analysis and their reasoning. The conclusions they reach don't flow out from the reports but from analysis that is withheld.
With the Ombudsman's help, Tony Randle secured the spreadsheets for the Auckland CBD Rail Link Business Case (2010). His approach here is not to redo the analysis but to check for its internal consistency. That means accepting the options and the assumptions and working through the numbers. That is how he uncovered the failings in the analysis. It's simple stuff -- they either accounted for the operating cost of the second purchase of 26 trains or they didn't. It turns out they didn't.
And so on and so forth.
Tony hasn't done a new study. He has just done a critical review of the existing one.
We now have a new report out last December which is where I started. It's not possible to follow the logic of the argument from the report itself sadly. The only way to do that now is once again to get the model output reports and the spreadsheets they feed in to and which complete the calculations.
That's what's being refused.
I again appreciate your support for their release.