Tuesday, February 24, 2009

An Inconvenient Sleuth

On Jan. 22, VANOC released its latest Sustainability Report Card.
It's a self-evaluation. A glorified navel-gazing exercise. Once upon a time, Olympic Games organizing committees didn't do this. So it is a positive step. But the lack of independent tire-kicking means the public can't take it for gospel.
Neither can reporters. Upon reading the report, I submitted the following questions to VANOC in advance of an interview with VANOC corporate sustainability officer Ann Duffy.

1) Aboriginal-owned company venue and non-venue construction contracts: list including values

2) Contracts with 23 inner-city businesses or organizations: list including values.

3) Board Advisory Committee on Sustainability Performance: names and affiliations of members, dates of past and future meetings, copies of agendas and minutes.

4) Refrigeration plant at Whistler Sliding Centre: average value of monthly power bills and how do they compare with other sliding centres in the world?

5) Backup generators: which BC Hydro substations will the two underground power lines be connected to? Where will the main "generator farms" be located?

6) Dates of WorkSafe BC incidents, nature of incidents, sites of incidents.

7) Where will aboriginal sport gallery be located if the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame is unable to open during the Games because of security restrictions?

8) Factory audits: names and locations of 187 factories audited and names and locations of the six that were banned. What were the infractions?

Only number 3 was answered, though not entirely. The BACSP is profiled on the VANOC website. Its members are mostly sponsors and government partners.
The rest of the questions? Confidentiality clauses and security fears preclude VANOC from satisfying the curiosity of journalists.

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