There is much to be done in education if the article today is anything to go by. In the commercial world these actions are called fraud and theft, especially the nice little fuel card lark:
More than 100 schools have broken the law by mismanaging taxpayer money – including a principal and a receptionist who ticked off each other’s expenses while being in a relationship.
A report by the auditor-general found dodgy financial practices at 103 primary and secondary schools during the 2010 school year.
The breaches included lending public money to staff members, buying land and buildings without Education Ministry knowledge, borrowing money without permission and trying to hide it from auditors, not keeping accounting records, and providing financial statements without any figures.
One school was slapped on the wrist for giving all its board members fuel cards, which allowed them to charge petrol to the school’s account while also being paid for it in advance.
At a kura kaupapa, the principal and the office administrator were in a relationship while authorising each other’s expenses. “This is a conflict of interest because the situation could create an incentive for the principal and the office administrator to act in ways that might not be in the best interests of the kura,” the report noted.
The audit also found 32 schools were in “serious financial difficulties” – up from 17 in 2008 and 19 in 2009. Among kura kaupapa, 29 per cent had significant deficits in their financial controls.
The increase was due to increased emphasis on accurate reporting, the Office of the Auditor-General said.
As a result of the report, Auditor-General Lyn Provost has launched a special investigation into the financial position of schools, alongside another review of school governance, due in June.
Education Minister Hekia Parata believes it is time to look at the role and structure of school boards of trustees.
The Auditor-General should also start looking at dodgy unions.