Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What's Past Just Might Be More Than Prologue


Our good friend Mary has an interesting post up over at her Legislature Raids site.

It is actually an old story, from ancient times (eg. 2003), about 'independent' MLA Paul Nettleton and his fight to save BC Hydro from total privatization.

And in that old story there is a statement, made by Mr. Nettleton on the floor of the legislature, that brought up an issue that I'd missed at the time.

An issue about the company, Accenture Business Services, that got a piece of BC Hydro's business thanks to the hard work, at least in part, of our current premier Mr. Gordon Campbell and his then Energy Minister Mr. Richard Neufeld.

Here is what Mr. Nettleton had to say at the time that piqued my interest:

"It appears that BC Hydro and the B.C. government are now helping Accenture legitimize or launder itself into an onshore, made-in-B.C. company," Nettleton said in the Legislature. He says provincial government claims that Accenture is a B.C.-based company are wrong.

Which is a bold claim, to say the least.

But is there any truth to it?

Well, if you go back to the source documents, an example of which is the cover page of the original 'agreement' between B.C. Hydro and Accenture, you will see statements in black and white (and underlined, in this example at least, in red, by me) which suggest that Mr. Nettleton was not literally correct:

Which is hard to argue with.

At least on the face of it.


Accenture, the parent?

Uhhhhh.....isn't that the spin-off company that rose, phoenix-like, from the ashes of a certain accounting firm that was most definitely NOT Canadian?

Here's the skinny on that, according to SourceWatch:

Accenture (Accenture Ltd) is a Bermuda-based management consulting firm, a "spin-off of the former Big Five accounting firm Arthur Andersen". It offers a wide variety of services to its clients including IT, technology, operations, and outsourcing solutions. Accenture "began as the consulting arm of Chicago-based Andersen Worldwide." The company says that it should not be "included on a list of corporate expatriots because it never was a U.S.-based corporation."


And Arthur Andersen?

Didn't they do some very important work for another energy company, an energy company that was neither Canadian nor BC Hydro?

Again, here's the story according to Source Watch:

....Arthur Andersen belonged to the umbrella organization Andersen Worldwide SC until it was destroyed by the Enron Corporation scandal. Arthur Andersen was left unable to perform audits for publicly traded U.S. companies which effectively ended the company's life....."

So, there you have it.

It would appear that 'Accenture Business Services General Partnership Inc.' was a company with at least tangential, associative back-connections to Arthur Andersen and Enron, which were about as Canadian as Maple Honey and as Lotuslandian as Grouse WholeBeans, Unground.

But here's the thing.....

Even associative back-connections can be viewed in a somewhat different light based on the very fine folks involved, which is something that Mr. Nettleton also pointed out, way back in 2003:

.....Accenture's two appointees to the board of directors of Accenture Business Services of B.C., the company that will carry out the support services contract (with BC Hydro), have direct links to Andersen Consulting. One of them, he (Nettleton) said, worked directly with Enron.......

Interesting that, no?

Update: Early Tuesday morning, 8 hrs post post-up, and the Accenture-Bots have arrived....a whole flock of 'em.....none of which, by the way, are located in British Columbia....or even Canada.


No comments: