Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson’s complaint to the Auditor-General has fallen on deaf ears. There is nothing untoward about the process by which Ian Fletcher was appointed.
The auditor-general will not investigate the appointment of spy boss Ian Fletcher, the watchdog has announced.
In a statement, the office of the auditor-general said the law does not prescribe any particular process that must be followed before appointing the director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). Read more »
Here’s a question for Labour. When confronted with evidence raising serious questions about the judgment of a senior caucus member, what should the leader do?
Should he measure the member’s actions against his own beliefs about what constitutes right and proper conduct in someone holding a ministerial warrant? Examining the facts of the case, should he ask himself how he would have acted differently? Should he take moral stock of the environment in which the member’s actions occurred? Paying special attention to the actions of the member’s staff, should he ask himself whether he would have felt comfortable working alongside them? Would he have trusted their advice?
Or, should he simply outsource the whole job to the auditor-general?
As we know Shearer sent requested the A-G look at this issue. Perhaps because he lacked the courage to deal with it internally. Read more »
Labour has spent countless hours attacking National for commenting on an Auditor-General’s report ahead of release then do the same thing? This is the second time they have spun that Shane Jones is cleared:
List MP Shane Jones is expected to return to Labour’s front bench tomorrow, after the release of an auditor-general’s report into the Bill Liu immigration saga.
Labour leader David Shearer has held open the seventh slot in his line-up and the regional development, forestry and associate finance roles for Jones pending the outcome of the review.
Insiders familiar with an earlier draft of Auditor-General Lyn Provost’s report said it cleared Jones of any unlawful behaviour in approving citizenship for Bill Liu, also known as Yong Ming Yan and William Yan. Read more »
The morality of some school boards has been brought into question after it was discovered they have been spending tax-payers’ money on traffic fines, satellite TV subscriptions and contracting companies owned by their trustees.
The Auditor General’s report on the education sector, based on audits carried out last year, highlights that there are at least a few schools in serious financial difficulty and 200 with a working capital deficit.
The “audit reports mentioned matters concerned with probity, prudence, or waste”, such as Tauranga’s Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o te Kura Kokiri, which spent money on an overseas trip to the Cook Islands, shipping clothing and household items overseas and for tyres and repairs on vehicles not owned by the school.
Expenditure such as this was viewed to be personal and showed a “lack of probity” by the board, the report by Auditor General Lyn Provost stated.
Some schools which breached the Education Act included Palmerston North’s College Street Normal School, which contracted a company owned by one of its trustees to carry out $87,000 worth of building and repair work, without the Education Ministry’s approval.
Rotorua Boy’s High School and Northland College were viewed to be in serious financial difficulty, with the latter borrowing $274,000 more than it was permitted and acquiring $436,000 in company shares without approval.
In total, 33 schools borrowed more than they were legally permitted, 16 gave loans to staff and 10 had conflicts of interest, including Sacred Heart College in Auckland.
For once Cathy Casey is right. I hope the Auditor-General finds out who ordered the murky cover-up around the V8 Super Car decisions. This has all the hallmarks of the Volare dinner scandal that Len Brown tried long and hard to hide:
The Auditor-General is investigating Auckland councillor Cathy Casey’s complaint that a secret report on the V8 supercars was hidden from the council by its standalone events body.
Councillors approved $10.6 million on Thursday to ensure the return of the supercars to Pukekohe after Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed) refused to show them a report on the financial position of parties involved in the event.
Councillors and the public have also been unable to see a “detailed risk review” referred to by Ateed because Auckland Council chief executive Doug McKay said it did not exist as a single document, but as a “multi-faceted” review of the risks.
“I am dumbfounded that a council-controlled organisation can refuse to disclose to councillors a ratepayer-funded due diligence report ahead of a major decision involving $10.6 million of ratepayers’ money,” Dr Casey said in a letter to Auditor-General Lyn Provost.
“This rushed decision … was made in the absence of crucial risk and due diligence information.”
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.
Labour bollocks-ed up Defence like no other government in history. They destroyed capacity and wasted vast sums of money on bleeding edge and inappropriate technology.
Now it has been revealed that Phil Goff’s last big purchase the NH-90 helicopters are duds just like the LAVIIIs. Once again some consultant got a big fat brown envelope and the REMFs have delivered a crap, over-prices white elephant to the frontline troops.
Eight new airforce helicopters, worth more than $700 million, have a serious flaw that even when fixed will prevent use in snowy conditions.
The Royal New Zealand Air Force is the first military force to use the high technology NH-90s, winning criticism from Auditor-General Lyn Provost who says this country should not be buying “first of type” equipment.
Her comments came in a Defence Force report published on its website this week dealing with the military’s major projects.
The report also reveals that the P3 Orion $373-million upgrade project has hit problems again with the air force purchasing an “as is” used flight deck simulator that is not compatible with the new planes.
The NH-90s were ordered in 2006 by then Defence Minister Phil Goff to replace the air force’s Vietnam War era Iroquois helicopters.
Provost says in her report that no other airforce was using them when they were commissioned although she said 16 countries now have orders in for 500 NH-90s.
“The NH-90 was to be capable of being quickly deployed in a C130 Hercules aircraft,” she said.
But it cannot currently and Defence is “looking at other transport options”.
These include the helicopters flying themselves all the way across the Pacific if they can be refuelled, or going aboard the navy multi role ship HMNZS Canterbury – but only in certain safe sea state conditions.
The only aircraft available that can fly them anywhere are the ex-Soviet Union Antonov-124 transporter.
Other risks are present, including the NH 90 being “prone to damage” from debris drawn into the engines.
“To mitigate this risk, NHIndustries is to supply screens that can be fitted to the engines.”
Provost says once the screens are fitted, the helicopters will not be able to operate in snowy conditions.
Good to see the Auditor-General having a look see at the corporate governance of the ACC Board:
Auditor-General Lyn Provost is to investigate the ACC board’s handling of former National Party insider Bronwyn Pullar’s claim.
Ms Provost’s inquiry is the second major inquiry into matters around the handling of Ms Pullar’s claim and the massive breach of privacy that occured when the corporation mistakenly sent her the details of 6700 other claimants in August.
ACC became aware of the breach only in December when Ms Pullar met senior managers in a meeting brokered by chairman John Judge, following Ms Pullar’s approach to board member and old friend John McCliskie.
Ms Provost said that approach and how it was subsequently handled would be the focus of the inquiry along with, “how ACC manages a range of risks at the board level of the organisation”.
Even better is Labour initiated the review by complaining. Labour are very cleverly building a case for wholesale changes to ACC and the best part of it all is that they are painting themselves in to a corner with their own paint and their opwn brush.
After spending months castigating ACC in the house and demanding changes they will hardly be in a position to oppose the government when they decide that ACC is broken and needs some action and some competition to sharpen them up.
Some time ago I sent an OIA request to the Auditor-General for all of their credit card expenses. They initially refused because the Auditor-General is not subject to the OIA.
They have now reconsidered and accordingly provided the information that I requested. It is actually a brilliant example of someone impeccable with their expenses. Every MP and a certain city mayor can learn from this.
Every instance of expense is detailed with who was there and what it was about. Even parking dockets are fully explained. Compare that to Len Brown’s still secret Volare dinner.
Lyn Provost is the epitome of fiscal rectitude. She flew Pacific Blue to Port Moresby which is pig of a flight at the best of times and one that no one would be-grudge a business class fare and/or a Groser/McCully style truck load of piss to soothe the nerves for that flight. But our cheap and frugal Auditor-General flew Pacific Blue and bought two sets of sandwiches, cookies and an iced tea for a total of $28.20. That’s a bargain no matter how much they charge for an iced tea on Pacific Blue. She even stayed in a dive of a hotel. That’s taking one for the team in anyones book.
On the 26th of March 2010 there is an amount of $3 for short term parking, this was when her family came to pick her up at the airport instead of billing it to Corporate Cabs for a hundy. She frequently gets people to pick her up from airports instead of bill the taxpayer for cab fares.
She is tighter than a fish’s arse and that’s waterproof. Lyn Provost, civil servant, I dub thee The Queen of Mean.
Now compare and contrast the behaviour of our Auditor-General with the attitude of Len Brown and worse the attitude of Lockwood Smith. The OIA doesn’t apply to the Auditor-General yet she supplied the information in order to show that they are accountable for public monies. Little wonder she wanted her tightness displayed when you compare her fiscal rectitude with the profligate and reckless waste of taxpayers money by troughing MPs living it up on the large care of the taxpayer.
She didn’t have to release these detail, but she did, to the enormous shame of Lockwood Smith who is still trying desperately to keep MPs expenses and other troughing out of the disinfectant of bright clear sunlight.
Lyn Provost was previously appointed by Labour and one could very easily dismiss her just for being a pinko appointment, but these expenses show just how seriously she takes her role and her responsibilities as a guardian of the New Zealand tax payer.
I suggest Parliamentary Services be outsourced and put under the the control of Lyn Provost, so the Queen of Mean can spring clean MPs spending. With the continued expenses debacle currently besetting parliament it is time for some independent control to be exerted over their expenses. I can think of no-one more qualified than Lyn Provost for this job.
Popular and competent blogger Whaleoil has followed the lead of the Auckland University Students Association in offering a $5000 reward for the arrest of a well known criminal who has recently entered New Zealand: Winston Peters.
“Winston Peters needs to be held to account over his misleading and contradictory statements,” says the hardworking and conscientious blogger.
Peters has recently been accused of mishandling party donations, hiding donations from wealth racing businessmen and lying about donations from Owen Glenn and now Sir Robert Jones.
“I’m a firm advocate of accountability in Government: now I’m putting my money where my mouth is by offering $5000 to anyone who can rope this dope and get him to answer some long overdue questions.
“And just before Peter Low gets on the phone, the competition is not open to triad gangs,” adds Slater.
Citizen’s arrests of high ranking government officials have been attempted recently:
-John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, escaped an attempted citizen’s arrest by author and activist George Monbiot at the British Hay Arts Festival in late May 2008.
-Peace activist Peter McGregor attempted a citizen’s arrest of Australia’s then Attorney-General Philip Ruddock as a war criminal at the University of New South Wales in July 2007