EPMU Pads Books With Pike River funds

NBR Online:

The dodgy accounting practices of the EPMU have been looked at by the NBR, in particular the accounting for donations for the Pike River miners families:

The EPMU is defending delays in establishing a trust for Pike River mine disaster families after questions were raised about its accounts.

The country’s largest private sector union was one of many organisations to take donations after the November 2010 disaster, in which 29 men were killed.

EPMU communications director Neale Jones told NBR ONLINE it had raised $750,926 by the end of last year, and money is still trickling in.

Payments totalling $344,745 were made to the Grey District Council’s fund early last year, but the balance of $406,181 is still on its accounts to December 31, 2011, published on the Societies and Trusts Online website this month.

That money had been earmarked for an educational fund for the killed miner’s families.

Questions were raised on the Whale Oil blog about the union’s lack of transparency and, at worst, whether the EPMU was using the money to boost its accounts.

Mr Jones says the union has applied to the Charities Commission to register the EPMU Pike River Family Education Trust.

Money should be dispersed within a few months, he says – likely before the two-year anniversary of the disaster.

Why has it taken this long?

“It’s quite a complex process having to work out how that’s all distributed and then seeing who’s eligible,” Mr Jones says.

While left-wingers are ranting at finance company directors let us have a look at the union who it appears are cooking their own books.

Even Rod Petricevic didn’t use funds donated for dead workers to make himself look better on paper than he was.

Has the Union borrowed money from thrid parties based on these padded accounts?

Mr Jones says the union is holding the Pike River money in a separate bank account and the interest is going back into the fund. The union’s auditors insisted if the money was being held it had to appear on its accounts.

“It’s a transparent process and our accounts are public.”

And a good thing too the accounts are public, because we can see that the EPMU is basically presenting dodgy accounts.

The fund was started prior to 2010 balance date so if the unions auditors insisted on the fund showing on the balance sheet then they should have corrected the 2010 accounts as well and not show the net balance in 2011. Maybe the prior period error of $1m is part of it?

But the bottom line is this, the treatment of the fund is wrong. The auditors can insist on showing on their books all they like but why haven’t they shown the liability for the payment out which would reduce the balance sheet. It is known as a contingent liability. To not show this is materially affecting the position shown in the accounts.

There can be only one reason to show only one side of the ledger in properly accounting for those funds and that is to make the accounts look better than they really are.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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