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Manipulating the Regulator

PLEASE NOTE: Manipulating the Regulator was created on 11 June 2018 and is a work in progress. Last edited December 2021

It is important for the reader to at least briefly navigate themselves through this introduction to this web page because it might help the reader understand why addressing the Ericsson AXE exchanges was so Important during the COT arbitrations.

Department of Communications Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) 

As has been shown in 12 Alternate remedies pursued - Chapter 8 - The eighth remedy pursued. in Helen Coonan as Minister from the Department of Communications, Information, Technology and the Arts (DCITA) in 2005, reneged on her commitment given to Senator Barnaby Joyce to have the remaining COT Cases unresolved Telstra claims assessed under an independent assessor. 

As the COT Cases tried to have the Ericsson AXE telephone exchange faults addressed in 1994 during their arbitration and were not addressed in that process and those issues were not addressed during that process I again raised the AXE Ericsson issues in my 2006 DCITA claim and therefore I have included some of those AXE issues again because they were so intertwined into by process.

As a compromise to this broken promise, the DCITA agreed to assess each of the 14 still unresolved COT Cases claims.

My submission to the DCITA confirmed the COT members were told our phone problems would be fixed as part of the arbitration process. They were not specified in most cases until years after the arbitrations had cost the claimants hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and fees. This seemed incomprehensible: everyone had a phone the system was supposed to work for everyone. 

The faults were not fixed until years after the arbitrations had concluded. 

In my case a secret government prepared report (see AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings, at points 10, 17, 18, 23, 37, 39, 40, 42, 44,46,47, 53, 56, 61, 62, 70, 75, 76, 79, 85, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 98, 100, 101, 104, 105, 109, 110, 111, 112, 118, 115, 129, 130, 136, 144, 151, 153, 158, 170, 173, 186, 187, 188, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211 and 212, which the DCITA had a copy of shows the government knew six weeks before my arbitration commenced that my claims had already been validated.

Why then did the government in 1994, allow me to spend well over $200,000.00 (two hundred thousand dollars) in arbitration fees trying to prove something they had already proved? And just as important, why did the DCITA in 2006, allow me to spend well over $20,000 in secretarial fees and other associated DCITA submission fees when they too had the proof my claims were valid? 

It is also clear from the two following AXE Ericsson documents (which I submitted to both the arbitrator in 1994 and to the 2006 DCITA assessor that my claims were certainly well and proven to have been correct.  

Absent Justice - My Story

“Our local technicians believe that Mr Smith is correct in raising complaints about incoming callers to his number receiving a Recorded Voice Announcement saying that the number is disconnected.

“They believe that it is a problem that is occurring in increasing numbers as more and more customers are connected to AXE.” (See False Witness Statement File No 3-A)

To further support my claims that Telstra already knew how severe my Ericsson Portland AXE telephone faults were can best be viewed by reading Folios C04006C04007 and C04008, headed TELECOM SECRET (see Front Page Part Two 2-B) which states:

“Legal position – Mr Smith’s service problems were network related and spanned a period of 3-4 years. Hence Telecom’s position of legal liability was covered by a number of different acts and regulations. … In my opinion Alan Smith’s case was not a good one to test Section 8 for any previous immunities – given his evidence and claims. I do not believe it would be in Telecom’s interest to have this case go to court.

“Overall, Mr Smith’s telephone service had suffered from a poor grade of network performance over a period of several years; with some difficulty to detect exchange problems in the last 8 months.”

When the COT Cases exposed this Ericsson AXE call loss rate to AUSTEL (the then government communications regulator) AUSTEL (now ACMA) instigated an investigation into these AXE exchange faults and uncovered some 120,000 COT-type complaints were being experienced around Australia. Exhibit (Introduction File No/8-A to 8-C), shows AUSTEL’s Chairman Robin Davey received a letter from Telstra’s Group General Manager, suggesting he alter that finding:

For example, at point 4 on page 3, Telstra writes:

“The Report, when commenting on the number of customers with Cot-type problems, refers to a research study undertaken by Telecom at Austel’s request.  The Report extrapolates from those results and infers that the number of customers so affected could be as high as 120,000.

However, at point 2 on page 1 of Telstra’s letter 9 April 1994, Telstra writes:

“In relation to point 4, you have agreed to withdraw the reference in the Report to the potential existence of 120,000 COT-type customers and replace it with a reference to the potential existence of “some hundreds” of COT-type customers”.

The fact that on this occasion on 9 April 1994 Telstra (the defendants) were able to pressure the Government Regulator to change their original findings in the formal April 1994 AUSTEL COT Case report is alarming, to say the least. Worse, is that when AUSTEL released it into the public domain the report states AUSTEL only uncovered 50 or more COT-type complaints.

50 COT-type customer AXE complaints in comparison to 120,000 COT-type customer AXE complaints is one hell of a lie told by the government to its citizens who voted them into power.

Perhaps, when the government (DCITA) assessors saw how damning the downplaying by AUSTEL of the COT-type complaints they buried the evidence in 2006, just as AUSTEL (the government regulator) did twelve years previously. 

Because the faulty Ericsson AXE telephone equipment played such an important part in both my 1994 arbitration procedure as well as the 2006 DCITA independent government assessment process I have introduced it here along with the selling off of Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd (the arbitration technical unit) to Ericsson the very corporation it had been commissioned to investigate. during the COT arbitrations.

On 26 September 1997, after most of the arbitrations were concluded, John Pinnock (the second administrator of the COT arbitrations), advised a Senate committee (see page 96 and 99 Senate – Parliament of Australia) that:

“Lane Telecommunications, which is one part of the technical component of the resource unit, has withdrawn from the process as a result of a conflict or perceived conflict of interest after being purchased from Pacific Star by Ericsson Australia, the major supplier of equipment to Telstra, including equipment whose performance is central to some of the claims.”

It is, therefore important I jump forward 24-years to the current day and introduce the bribery and corruption issues the US Department of Justice raised against Ericsson, on 19 December 2019,

“One of Telstra’s key partners in the building out of their 5G network in Australia is set to fork out over $1.4 billion after the US Department of Justice accused them of bribery and corruption on a massive scale and over a long period of time.

“Sweden’s telecoms giant Ericsson has agreed to pay more than $1.4 billion following an extensive investigation which saw the Telstra-linked company 'admitting to a years-long campaign of corruption in five countries to solidify its grip on telecommunications business’.”  (see https://www.channelnews.com.au/key-telstra-5g-partner-admits-to-bribery-corruption/)

Purchasing all of Lane Telecommunications' COT related arbitration files (during the COT arbitrations) was a most significant coup for both Telstra and Ericsson because all of the arbitration technical information Lane had acquired as a witness during the COT arbitrations which were stored in Lane's computer system as well as in hard copy records belonged to Ericsson once they owned Lane.

What the Australian government appears not to have considered when they allowed Lane to be sold off during our government endorsed arbitrations is that Lane had signed a Confidentiality Arbitration Agreement in which each of the COT claimants also signed agreeing under no circumstances, they would disclose to a third party any information they obtained during the COT arbitrations. And here Lane is the main arbitration witness allowed to sell that confidential acquired information to Ericsson, who Lane had been assigned to investigate.

Absent Justice - My Story - Parliament House Canberra

it is on record, that when Lane together with Telstra and me visited the Portland Ericsson AXE telephone exchange and the Cape Bridgewater unmanned switching exchange on 6 April 1995 both Lane and Telstra would not allow me to view the Portland Ericsson AXE log book. It is most important I attach here the following link although dated 1996 all Ericsson exchanges had their own logbooks (see page 20 > http://www.wedophones.com/Manuals/EricssonNotInService/AXE%20Operation%20And%20Maint%. It is also on record that as the arbitrator would not access this logbook under the arbitration discovery process. Even the Commonwealth Ombudsman (during my arbitration) tried to acquire this same logbook using my FOI applications but was unsuccessful. 

It is important we link the purchase of Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd by Ericsson to the 24 June 1997 Senate Hansard pages 36 and 38 Senate – Parliament of Australia because the Peter Gamble mentioned in the following Senate Hansard is the same Peter Gamble who acknowledges the Ericsson AXE equipment was being removed or had been removed from telephone exchanges across the world. He was the same Peter Gamble who caused such pain and suffering to me and my partner when he submitted his Telstra's Falsified SVT Report to the arbitrator. This statement in Senate – Parliament of Australia must be emphasised because it clearly shows the Senate was told I and the other four named COT Cases were never meant to prove our arbitration claims. No investigation as to why us five Australian citizens were so badly victimised during an official government endorsed arbitration process has still not been investigated: I again reiterate: an ex-Telstra employee turned Whistle-blower, Lindsay White, stated to a Senate Estimates Committee that, while he was assessing the relevance of the technical information which had been requested by the COT claimants, he advised the Committee that:

“In the first induction – and I was one of the early ones, and probably the earliest in the Freehill’s (Telstra’s Lawyers) area – there were five complaints. They were Garms, Gill and Smith, and Dawson and Schorer. My induction briefing was that we – we being Telecom – had to stop these people to stop the floodgates being opened.”

Senator Schacht also asked Mr White – “Can you tell me who, at the induction briefing, said ‘stopped at all costs”

Mr White – “Mr Peter Gamble and a subordinate of his, Peter Riddle. That was the introduction process. (See Front Page Part One File No/6)

I reiterate it is clear from Mr White’s statement he identified me as one of the five COT claimants that Telstra had singled out to be ‘stopped at all cost’ from proving their my against Telstra’. The named Peter Gamble, in this Senate Hansard, is the same Peter Gamble who swore under oath, in his arbitration witness statement to the arbitrator that the testing at my business premises had met all of AUSTEL’s specifications when it is clear from Arbitrator File No/110 that Telstra’s own Customer Call Analysis System (CCAS) data for 29 September 1994 show NONE of the mandatorily required 20-tests calls to each of my service lines 055 267 267, 055 267230 and 055 267260 were generated into my business and held open for the required period of 120-seconds for each completed call. In simple words, the SVT process at my business was not carried out according to the government communications regulatory mandatory specifications (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report).

Telstra is fully aware that this named Peter Gamble (on page 38 of this Hansard) received advice from AUSTEL, on 11 October and 16 November 1994, regarding the Ericsson AXE / RCM Service Verification Tests (SVT) being grossly deficient. AUSTEL demanded Telstra advise what it intended doing about this deficiency see Front Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B

In response to AUSTEL’s 11 October and 16 November 1994 letter, this Peter Gamble replied in his own letter dated 28 November 1994 letter stating:

“As agreed at one of our recent meetings and as confirmed in your letter of 16th November 1994, attached please find the detailed Call Delivery Test information for the following customers. …

“This information is supplied to Austel on a strict Telecom-in-Confidence basis for use in their Service Verification Test Review only and not for any other purpose. The information is not to be disclosed to any third party without the prior written consent of Telecom.” (Arbitrator File No/98)

By what legal authority could Peter Gamble insist what the government regulator could or could not disclose to a third party, in this case, a claimant whose business was about to be destroyed because Peter Gamble had not conducted the agreed to Service Verification Tests process at my premises using only the Ericsson faulty testing equipment instead of the agreed-to more updated SVT testing device (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report)?

It is most important we link the above wrongdoings by various government bureaucrats to the following episode where, on 2 February 1995, AUSTEL (the Government Communications Regulator) public servants decided to withhold their true findings from the then-Minister for Communications, Michael Lee MP, regarding the deficient arbitration Service Verification Tests (SVT) conducted at my Cape Bridgewater business on 29 September 1994 (see Open Letter File No/23 and Absent Justice Part (2)/Chapter Eight. Altering the facts of their findings is appalling enough but, according to the Telecommunications Act 1991, AUSTEL was duty-bound, under Section 342 of the Act, to provide the Communications Minister (the Hon Michael Lee MP) with all of their findings regarding the deficiencies in their Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp SVT process.  On page 23 of AUSTEL’s 2 February 1995 COT Cases Third Quarterly Report regarding the SVT testing (see Open Letter File No/23) AUSTEL notes:

“Service Verification Tests have been compiled for seven customers. Reports have been completed and forwarded to six of the customers, and the seventh report is in preparation. All six of the telephone services subjected to the Service Verification Tests have met or exceeded the requirements established”.

This statement on page 23 of this AUSTEL COT Cases report does not coincide with the advice AUSTEL gave Telstra on 11 October and 16 November 1994 concerning the deficient SVT testing by this elusive ‘Peter Gamble’.  (see Front Page Part One File/No 24-A to 24-B).

We will never know what action the Hon Michael Lee MP might have taken in 1994, had the government bureaucrats advised the Minister that the SVT testing at my Cape Bridgewater business had not occurred according to mandatory government communications regulatory specifications. On 12 December 1994, as part of Telstra’s arbitration defence, it was stated under oath to the arbitrator in my case, that all three of the service lines tested at my holiday camp on 29 September 1994, had exceeded all of AUSTEL’s specifications. However, the person who made this statement (Peter Gamble) could not get the SVT monitoring device to work in conjunction with its sister device installed at the Cape Bridgewater unmanned roadside exchange.

It is clear from the arbitrators’ technical findings in his award that he believed Peter Gamble's version as well as he did AUSTEL’s regarding the SVT events and NOT my arbitration response. Bad Bureaucrats /Chapter One through to Chapter Four clearly show that by Telstra not conducting the government regulatory mandatory SVT process at my business it allowed my ongoing telephone problems to continue for years after the conclusion of my arbitration.

Absent Justice - Of Public Concern

In simple terms, when AUSTEL (the government communications regulator) acted in concert with ‘Peter Gamble’ in order to cover up his deficient SVT arbitration testing they too perverted the course of justice and in doing severely disadvantaged me as a claimant in my arbitration process.

Please note, this is the same Peter Gamble that Absent Justice Part (1)  shows was aware that the Ericsson AXE equipment being used during my arbitration at the Portland telephone exchange and the Cape Bridgewater switching facilitator suffered from line lock-up problems with a (call loss) as discussed in our Home page was between 15% and 50% (see Misleading Deceptive Conduct File No 4-D and 4-E) and yet he still lied under oath concerning his SVT testing process conducted at my business (see Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report).

This was the same ‘Peter Gamble’ who received an apology from one of Australia’s richest billionaire families and who, back in 2001/02, owned an Australian television station that actually broadcast a documentary about some of the COT case allegations against this same ‘Peter Gamble’.

As part of the process of making that documentary, and after spending two days filming at my premises in Cape Bridgewater, the producer of the show commented, in front of a number of witnesses, that he believed that they ‘had the story of the century and, also at the end of the shoot, even the cameraman, who had told us that he had spent sixteen years looking down a lens’, explained that he believed that this account of how a falsified report had been deliberately used to change the course of a legal arbitration process, was ‘absolute dynamite’.  And remember, this was an apparently ‘official’ report, that had been produced by the same ‘Peter Gamble’.

Eventually, however, the record of my story was replaced by a documentary about another member of COT.  This story, however, did not contain the detailed, documented evidence that my story had provided, and it did not have any of the exhibits that are now freely available on our website, at Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report and Telstra’s Falsified SVT Report, Tampering With Evidence – TF200/Chapter One.  All of these sections of the website include numerous documents, none of which can be refuted in any way.

Worst of all is when Lane Telecommunications Pty Ltd, visited my business on 6 April 1995, instead of DMR Group Canada Inc who was the official designated arbitration (Principal Technical Consultant) together with Peter Gamble representing Telstra, refused to conduct any testing of my three service lines which were trunked (routed) through Portland Ericsson AXE telephone exchange

Who had the power over the arbitrator and administrator to switch which arbitration technical consultant would visit the Portland AXE exchange and my Cape Bridgewater business? Who had the authority to disallow any testing of my three service lines after AUSTEL warned Telstra their arbitration SVT Testing at my premises had failed to meet the mandatory government requirements?

All Lane had to do was a test on just one of my three service lines, and they would have uncovered the Ericsson AXE exchange was still suffering from ongoing faults. Or had Ericsson and Telstra already advised Lane of the magic golden carrot they were about to be awarded if they ignored the several problems within Telstra's Ericsson exchange equipment? 

Telstra continued to believe they were above the law by continuing to use known faulty Ericsson manufactured AXE telephone exchanges that other countries around the world were removing or had removed from their telephone exchanges as Misleading Deceptive Conduct File No 4-D and 4-E)  and Evidence File No/10-A to 10-f show. The government regulator AUSTEL (now called ACMA) became aware of this serious matter after a Telstra owned briefcase had been inadvertently left at my business premises. I was still trying to access the Ericsson AXE  report through ACMA and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal as late October 2008 (Chapter 9 - The ninth remedy pursued) and May 2011 Chapter 12 - The twelfth remedy pursued, fifteen to seventeen years after the arbitrator declined to access the Ericsson AXE information under the arbitration discovery process.  

Absent Justice - My Story - The Briefcase Affair

The seriousness of these ongoing Ericsson AXE problems were can be viewed by clicking on AUSTEL’s Adverse Findings) at points 10 to 212.

When Jim Holmes (Telstra's Corporate Secretary) wrote to me on 27 August 1993 misleading me and the government of the severity of my ongoing telephone problems (see Open Letter File No/2) he was also a member of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman Board see Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman - Chapter 2 Devious Savage who was soon to be the administrator of my arbitration when this briefcase matter was raised. Neither Warwick Smith nor Jim Homes advised me of this conflict of interest. Amazingly, the arbitrator did not investigate this briefcase evidence in his findings regardless of it being highlighted as the main part of my claim.

Am I supposed to believe this was non addressed briefcase Ericsson AXE telephone exchange problems was just an oversight by Lane (the arbitration consultant) and the arbitrator? Or did the advice not to address my Ericsson AXE briefcase claim documents come from the TIO Board?

 

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All of the main events as quoted in this unbelievable true crime story are supported by copies of the original freedom of Information documents on Alan's website absentjustice.com

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“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

The Hon David Hawker MP

“I am writing in reference to your article in last Friday’s Herald-Sun (2nd April 1993) about phone difficulties experienced by businesses.

I wish to confirm that I have had problems trying to contact Cape Bridgewater Holiday Camp over the past 2 years.

I also experienced problems while trying to organise our family camp for September this year. On numerous occasions I have rung from both this business number 053 424 675 and also my home number and received no response – a dead line.

I rang around the end of February (1993) and twice was subjected to a piercing noise similar to a fax. I reported this incident to Telstra who got the same noise when testing.”

Cathy Lindsey

“…the very large number of persons that had been forced into an arbitration process and have been obliged to settle as a result of the sheer weight that Telstra has brought to bear on them as a consequence where they have faced financial ruin if they did not settle…”

Senator Carr

“Only I know from personal experience that your story is true, otherwise I would find it difficult to believe. I was amazed and impressed with the thorough, detailed work you have done in your efforts to find justice”

Sister Burke

“…your persistence to bring about improvements to Telecom’s country services. I regret that it was at such a high personal cost.”

Hon David Hawker

“All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

– Edmund Burke