The New Zealand America Cup defensive team has returned questions about the financial management of the event amid allegations of secrets that have been uncovered from within.
The team is seeking an urgent solution to an audit conducted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and said claims of using public money are “unfounded”.
Chief Executive Officer Grant Dalton has taken over stuff through a detailed explanation of issues such as payments to an unknown Hungarian bank account and claims of a $ 3 million loan from its government and the Auckland Council co-financed by the activity.
Government claims and control are part of a complex scenario involving all three parties to the America’s Cup Event Limited (ACE) and a terminated contractor for the long-awaited leaks.
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Dalton is outraged by the events involving the contractor, but said there is a rapid rise of it now becoming public.
“The irony is, now that we’re out, we can just knock [the allegations] down, ”he said.
A payment from ACE to a Hungarian bank account has been described by Dalton as a “100 percent external fraud” which he reported to the UK and the police as soon as it came out.
Dalton said a hacker believed to be in Europe gained access to material belonging to a European-based television contractor, including contract details and when payments were to be made.
The team received an email believed to be from the contractor just before a scheduled payment, advising a new Hungarian bank account, which had to be paid.
A sum of seven digits was paid in accordance with the contract and the alarm was raised only a few weeks later when the contractor asked for a lost payment.
Dalton said he discovered that the hacker had changed a character to the email address of the contractor, who was advising on the changed account.
Only part of the payment was recovered after police investigations in New Zealand and Europe.
He said that while he had no internal knowledge of the fraud, the person making the payment had not carried out sufficient checks and was no longer with the organization.
The scheme was referred to in a letter to the UK on behalf of a terminated Auckland contractor a few days before the UK and the Auckland Council as joint partners at the event wrote the concerns on 22 June.
That letter, taken from things, details “significant concerns” about the upcoming event and the use of $ 40 million public investment.
These include the proposed water management of crowds and the race area, a change in the reporting of event budgets by the ACE, and the draft findings by auditors Beattie Varley which MBIE commissioned earlier this year.
Beattie Varley’s draft report, which Dalton said was still under discussion, touched on Hungarian payment, “willingness to provide information” and a $ 3 million payment for the team itself.
The New Zealand team said the $ 3 million loan was not a loan, but represented about half of the cost incurred by the team in creating the event, such as creating a new string class in relation to the challengers, and negotiating the event. “protocol”.
He said the payment had been in regular budget reporting to the event’s multi-agency management group for more than a year, and was known to all parties.
“Imagine if all blacks were expected to pay for the costs of setting up the Rugby World Cup,” Dalton said.
Changes in the event budget, which are regularly reported to partners, regarding the reduction of some costs after a review prompted by Dalton earlier this year, he said.
These included the duration of the security guards being in the village beyond the day of the final race next Mars and the number of staff dealing with superyacht visitors, which is not the responsibility of the ACE.
Dalton said the audit work by Beattie Varley had included blocking Covid-19 and the only resistance in providing copies of information regarding team salaries. The team had invited auditors to view all information within the team base, but Beattie Varley had never asked to meet them or visit the base.
Dalton said part of the sensitivity regarding the release of information on external wages was in the context of parallel concerns about confidential information, which is suspected to have emerged by the end of 2019.
Concerned signs in the MBIE letter and the council about water safety regarding the changes proposed by the ACE, which it believed made this event more secure.
The team said it had negotiated with police for a greater presence and less dependence on volunteers.
It was waiting for some final details before presenting the new plan at Harbourmaster in Auckland.
Dalton said the team was fully cooperating with the UK and the council and many of the issues raised in the June 22 letter had been resolved.
He said they were in full compliance with the Country of Reception Agreement signed between the defense counsel, the UK and the council, which demanded that $ 40 million in public money be spent on the event.
However, the overall budget was larger and was largely met by television rights revenues. The agreement does not require the disclosure of all details.
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