AgResearch has been accused of lacking transparency over
its failure to release documentation supporting its plan to
slash jobs at Invermay.
Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark said AgResearch - despite
repeated questioning - had failed to supply him with
background information for its Future Footprint plan.
''AgResearch really need to behave like responsible
recipients of taxpayer money and be transparent,'' Mr Clark
AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson disputed Dr Clark's
claims, saying it had been ''transparent and honest''
throughout the process.
Dr Clark said AgResearch disputed Business and Economic
Research Ltd's finding that its business case did not meet
Treasury guidelines, but had failed to release documentation
proving it fully explored alternative options - as required
under the guidelines.
Dr Clark also accused AgResearch of being ''economical with
the truth'' during the financial review of AgResearch Ltd
select committee hearing last month.
''The most obvious illustration ... was an avoidance of
questions, such as ones directed to them about their ongoing
assessment of the likelihood of scientists shifting according
to their current plan.''
Dr Clark also called on Science and Innovation Minister
Steven Joyce to demand AgResearch provide estimates of how
many staff would quit rather than move to Lincoln.
Dr Richardson said AgResearch's Future Footprint plan did
follow the Treasury's guidelines and it woukd be replying to
Dr Clark's questions.
''Mr Clark posed a variety of additional questions as a
result of the select committee hearing and we are in the
process of responding.''
He said there had not been a delay in assessing staff
A spokesman for Mr Joyce declined to answer questions,
saying: ''The minister has been quite clear on the process he
is following with AgResearch and has nothing further to add
at this point.''
Meanwhile, the Otago Daily Times has obtained a copy
of the latest ''chief executive's update'' sent to AgResearch
staff, in which Dr Richardson expresses his disappointment
about information being leaked to media.
''It has been disappointing that AgResearch staff members are
sharing personal information about other employees' reasons
for resignations with local media in Dunedin,'' Dr Richardson
Dr Richardson also said AgResearch was going to update Mr
Joyce on progress with the Lincoln hub this month.