We wrote to Jonathan Boston in 2009 and 2010 to say that we wanted to fund research work on lobbying and political party donations and decision-making processes but he made it clear that he did not want to do this  work.  

In 2011 and 2012 we had discussions and correspondence with two other School of Government staff.  They agreed to do the work we wanted but when Jonathan Boston found out that we were willing to pay $3 million he side-lined them and took on the task of helping prepare the Charter that we required. Once the charter containing the important clauses we requested had been signed by the University we handed over the money. Jonathan Boston made himself Interim Director of the completely new Institute for Governance and Policy Studies for a few months until a new staff member arrived from the UK and he told him on his first day that he would be the Director. This ignored the charter clause about the selection and appointment of a Director.  After 3 years none of the stated initial work on lobbying and political party donations had been done despite the commitments given.  Some of the income was spent on Jonathan Boston’s pet projects of the Policy Quarterly publication and public lectures and forums but these were not covered by the Charter. We had a meeting and were assured that if we contributed $7 million more, more staff would be employed and this would ensure that the work we wanted got done. We originally said that the $7,000,000 had to be a loan so we could require it to be repaid at $1,000,000 per year if the work was not done. However, after the head of the School of Government gave us a written assurance that in future the performance of staff would be measured against the objectives as required by the Charter we accepted that this would be sufficient to ensure that the work was done. It now appears that this Charter clause was never complied with.

By the end of the next year the director had had 6 overseas trips and had not done the work he stated that he would do.  He would not have done this without the approval of Jonathan Boston who was not employed by the IGPS but appeared to control its activities. We complained to the University and the Director was given one of the jobs he had applied for and a new Director was appointed. Despite various discussions about the need to do the work we had provided the funding for, little of this work was done by the IGPS. The new Director, Simon Chapple,  appointed two staff, with one being  a freshwater ecologist and the other doing research on marital separation.  Clearly their work did not comply with the commitments given and the initial work stated in the charter.

From the start the Charter Clause requiring a financial report to be provided every six months was ignored. This could have shown if any income was not being spent correctly. Other important charter clauses were also ignored.

We tried to give each Director as much encouragement as possible but often said that the work we had provided the funding for needed to be done. At no time did we specify exactly what work on lobbying and political party donations had to be done. Staff had the freedom to choose what work they did on these issues. 

After over 8 Years of trying to get the work done, we presented the University with evidence of what had happened and had amicable discussions with them about how to resolve the problem. It was finally suggested that it would be best for University staff to have to apply for research grants and this has been very successful. The three IGPS staff did not apply for any grants so clearly they had never had any intention of doing the work they were paid to do. Jonathan Boston publicly complained about the change in funding and falsely claimed that the Charter and commitments given had always been complied with.

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