Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DHECC - $14,000,000 doesn't get you much these days

Mr. Anonymous is keeping me busy with document dumps from the DHECC.  I don't know where they're coming from but keep 'em coming.

Today I got this letter, or partial letter, written by an unidentified BP representative to Claims Administrator, Pat Juneau.

Aside from railing on Juneau for his failure to be transparent, the letter points out that he had originally contracted the McGladrey firm at an estimated cost of 1.2 to 1.6 million.  Over the course of a year that cost ballooned to a whopping 14 million + smackeroos.

Looks like everyone is making a ton of money on this settlement with the exception of the actual claimants, many of whom are still suffering from the effects of this spill.

The McGladrey firm was apparently contracted to conduct an internal audit of the settlement program.  Funny thing is it looks like there is nothing to show for least not to BP.

I was told about a month ago by a source a "scathing audit" had been conducted, mostly surrounding the seafood claims, which Pat Juneau redlined the moment it was delivered.  He then went on to apparently shitcan the whole thing before it could see the light of day.  I assume this is that audit.

If that's the case I can understand the ire of the author of this letter....14 million and nothing to show for it.

Once again we're in a grey zone here regarding the transparency issue.  If the DHECC was a public body then I could file a FOIA for that audit but I know I will simply get denied if I do as the DHECC body does not consider itself a public entity.  However, as the above letter points out (ad nauseam) Juneau has repeatedly touted his intent to make the settlement process transparent.  I think the public deserves to see this audit.  Judge Barbier, himself, has even stated the settlement will be transparent.  One would think he would order this audit to be made public....if he is aware of it (and we know he is now).

I'm not gonna hold my breath either one of those guys are going to live up to their promises but if there is anyone out there that can get their hands on this thing, please send it to me even if it's COD.  I will ask for donations to cover the cost.  

Actually...I'm gonna ask for donations anyway since I haven't in a while :).  If you appreciate the work I do here on AZ you can send a few bucks...or 14 way via the PayPal button on the right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>. 


Anonymous said...

The letter was released by BP, by the way. The entire letter, including the last page with the author's name on it, was posted by BP on its StateoftheGulf website yesterday or the day before. It was "leaked" on purpose by BP to start another round of complaints,....not that I think they shouldn't be privy to the audit results, which, as BP points out in that letter, appears to be complete or nearly complete. Although BP is intentionally slowing down every process they possibly can, and is fighting almost every suggestion to speed up the claim reviews, they do deserve to see the results of any audits concerning the program. However, we all know that all they will then do is complain about a situation they themselves created. I hear they are resisting every attempt anyone makes to speed up the process. Even suggestions that have zero possibility of harming them but would significantly speed up reviews. For instance, I know they oppose suggestions that reviewers working on a claim that has to be processed under the average variable margin method being able to just use the expense totals on the tax return when then claimant's financials don't include those expenses or booked them entirely in December as a single year end entry (which is very common) instead of making the claimant spend months trying to find the documentation to reallocate the expenses to the correct months. BP's opposition may sound reasonable at first, but its actually sounds ridiculous since no matter what months the claimant should have booked the expenses in originally, once it was determined that policy 495 and the AVM method would apply, it will require that the reviewers ignore those figures the claimant worked so hard and for so long to reallocate to the right months and instead the reviewers have to simply reallocate the total YEARLY expenses to each month based on its percentage of total revenue for the year (the same yearly figures found on the tax return). That kind of thing can cause upwards of six months of delays that, in the end, serves no purpose at all.

The real audit that needs to be taking place is an audit of the amount of time each accountant reviewer is spending on each claim, and precisely what they are doing. None of these reviews should take anywhere remotely close to the time they are taking. I imagine it would be near impossible for them to justify spending hundreds of hours working on a claim that doesn't involve hundreds of revenue and expense accounts, or 1,000+ page tax returns. No matter how complicated a particular claimant's books are, or how complicated policy 495 is, it still doesn't take that long to calculate a claim and reconcile everything to the tax return. They should be required to log their time and indicate with each time entry what claim they were working on and what they were doing. That would speed things up, but it might wind up resulting in a few accountants losing their licenses and/or going to jail for billing fraud.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Damn, I thought I has an exclusive :).

I agree with everything you said but I would add two things.

An audit also needs to be conducted on Juneau's spending and where the hell all this money is going.

And not only should BP be allowed to see the McGladrey audit....the public should as well.

Jason Brad Berry said...

" It was "leaked" on purpose by BP to start another round of complaints"

I don't doubt that but I think there are also "leaks" in the ship itself.