Daily Archives: November 18, 2012

Martin Legge: DIA audit criticism #pokierorts #coverup

Comment received from Martin Legge
Sunday, 18 November 2012 5:41 p.m.

In 2007, the National Party criticised the Labour Government following a damning report by the Office of the Auditor General into DIA’s regulation of the pokie industry. The boot has been on the other foot for four years, and yet do we hear calls from anyone in the Labour Party, particularly in Dunedin?

Press Release [2007]
Auditor-General slams Internal Affairs over gaming says National Party MP

Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker must act now to address the criticisms of his department over its failure to effectively control the operation of non-casino gaming machines, says National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Sandra Goudie.

The Controller and Auditor-General, Kevin Brady, today released his report Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

The report shows the department’s policies and procedures do not comply with the Gambling Act 2003 and includes 17 recommendations for change.

“The department’s own ‘comprehensive licensing manual’ outlines policies and procedures that do not comply with the Act and shows licensing staff were issuing and renewing licenses without delegated authority.

“The report also found that the department’s audit checklist and manual were not consistent with the Act, and information was missing from the department’s risk profile rating of operators.

“This report shows a department clearly out of touch with its key role and clearly being ignored by the Minister.

“How could the Minister have let his department get into such a state where any old staff member can approve a licence?

“Its [sic] no wonder eyebrows have been raised over the department’s inability to get convictions of operators in breach of the Act.

“It is time Mr Barker gave his department some much needed ministerial direction.”

Audit Report from Kevin Brady
14 February 2007

Foreword
Department of Internal Affairs: Effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines.

I felt it timely to review the effectiveness of controls on non-casino gaming machines because of the large amount of money placed in the machines (estimated by the Department of Internal Affairs at more than $8,500 million annually), the potential for the machines to cause harm in the form of problem gambling, the amount of funds from the machines going to clubs and the wider community, and a relatively new legislative framework covering gambling.

The Department of Internal Affairs administers controls on non-casino gaming machines. My review focused on three main areas of controls. These were the controls on licensing of non-casino gaming machine operators and venues, on operator and venue costs, and on the distribution and application of funds to the community including through grants.

I found that the Department of Internal Affairs has extensive policies and procedures for licensing and auditing of venues and operators, and a risk-based approach to compliance. However, there were areas of its policies, procedures, and practice that did not meet all of the requirements of the Gambling Act 2003. These included its procedure for renewing licences and for auditing. I also found that its licensing staff were issuing and renewing licences without the necessary delegated authority. The Department has committed to rectifying this issue, and had largely done so at the time this report was being finalised.

While the Department of Internal Affairs has committed to comprehensively monitoring the outcomes being achieved in the non-casino gaming machine industry, it is not yet doing this in a systematic or comprehensive manner. This limits the Department’s ability to demonstrate the results of its work and refine the way it works to achieve better outcomes.

I thank staff in the Department of Internal Affairs for their assistance, responsiveness, and co-operation during the audit. I also thank people in the industry who generously gave their time and views during the audit.

The Department has been very engaged in, and supportive of, the audit process. Its commitment to implementing the audit findings to make improvements is pleasing.

K B Brady
Controller and Auditor-General

[ends]

Recent Posts:
13.11.12 Martin Legge replies to Sunday Star-Times story #DIA #coverup
11.11.12 Department of Internal Affairs #pokierorts #coverup #TTCF

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

29 Comments

Filed under Business, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics

DCC Annual Report to 30 June 2012 – borrowing and interpretation

DCC Annual Report (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Comments received.

Mike
Submitted on 2012/11/18 at 12:48 pm
well spotted – so in essence DVML quietly borrowed an extra $8.5m and managed to transfer it to the DCC without incurring any tax because it was a ‘capital gain’ rather than a ‘dividend’

Rob Hamlin
Submitted on 2012/11/18 at 2:07 am
Another little gem from the DCC annual accounts. A positive little Kimberly it is. Calvin Oaten and I found this little morsel from the sewers of local government yesterday and will now share it with you.

On page 132 it has a table of figures titled ‘Separately Disclosed Revenue’. One line entry towards the bottom is particularly interesting. The title is ‘Profit on sale of Stadium (2012)……. $8,480,000’. This profit appears in both ‘Core Council’ (DCC only) and ‘Consolidated’ (Council & DCHL) columns.

Initially, this seems like great news. We’ve sold the bloody thing and got eight and a half million dollars for it. But, as is always the case, things are not all as they appear.

Nearly sixty pages later, on page 188, we have the following sheet of gibberish:

“Sale of Forsyth Barr Stadium to Dunedin Venues Limited

On the 31 May 2012 the Council sold it’s [sic] interest in the stadium to a wholly owned subsidiary Dunedin Venues Limited. This was the culmination of a project spanning five years during which time the method of delivering the project changed and as a result there is a technical accounting surplus on disposal of $8,380,000. The following note is an explanation of these technical accounting issues.

Book Surplus on disposal of the stadium $ ‘000
Sale price 225,000
Capitalised stadium cost including interest 216,520
Surplus on sale of asset as per 2012 Annual Accounts 8,480
Less stadium costs written off to operations in 2007-2008 5,537
Plus stadium revenue included in operations in 2007-2008 (583)
Surplus on disposal 3,526

Book surplus on disposal of the stadium
The method of undertaking the stadium project changed over the years of the project. The accounting treatment always followed the method of project delivery and was audited as being the correct treatment at the time. In 2007–2008 year it was expected that the project would be delivered by a third party and that the Council expenditure was therefore operational. This resulted in $5,537,000 being correctly expensed in 2007–2008 year. In subsequent years once the decision was made that the Council would build the stadium, the expenditure was correctly capitalised. The surplus of $3,526,000 would remain as it is the difference between all the costs incurred by the Council and the sale proceeds received.”

Also on page 123 we have this note to one of the CCO fragmentary reports:

CCO Property Plant and Equipment
All CCO property, plant and equipment is stated at cost less accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses.
The Stadium is a separate class of asset and is recorded at cost less any accumulated depreciation and any accumulated impairment losses.”

So what happened? Well, you may remember that the total cost of the Stadium came in at around $216.5 million. Then, last year the DCC acquired a ‘valuation’ for the Stadium (God knows how and God knows from who) of $225 million. Its commercially realisable value is in fact, as we all know, the commercial value of the site minus the costs of demolition and removal, which is as near zero as makes no difference.

However, it now appears that DVL then ‘bought’ the stadium from the DCC at this higher valuation. It is hard to see any good reason why they would do this, as the historical cost of the stadium itself was $216.5 million – this figure would have fitted well with their own policy for valuation in the note on page 123. As the structure was brand new when ‘bought’, a second valuation was unnecessary. The historical cost of construction would have been more than adequate as a transfer price.

However, it appears that this unnecessary valuation exercise and its absurd outcome has allowed a further $8.5 million to be transferred from DCHL to the DCC this year on top of the $17.95 million handed over as a dividend, for a total of $26.45 million. It can also be claimed now with a straight face that DVL are acting in accordance with their requirement to record assets at cost as $225 million is what they ‘paid’ for it!!

Now let’s deal with the gibberish on page 188, which covers the financial year 2007-2008 (presumably ending 1 April 2008). Apparently, this specific structure incurred over five and a half million dollars of costs and over half a million dollars of REVENUE!!! before it had been fully designed or even approved as a specific entity that the DCC was actually going to construct! The final approval came nearly a year later I seem to recall.

I personally find this reduction in this ‘accounting profit’ to be wholly incredible. I can also find no adjustments matching this $5 million or so in the costs side of the DCC’s figures – even though the $8.5 million extra revenue appears in its entirety. Mind you, in the 200 pages plus of fragmentary and largely useless figures, I guess that I could have missed it.

Page 13 is also interesting. It is entitled ‘Audit Report’. Properly audited accounts require a signed statement by the auditor to form part of them, stating that the auditor’s unqualified opinion that they are satisfied with the accounts – or a statement of their reservations (qualifications) if they are not.

Page 13 is blank (surprised?)

On page 1, we have the following statement:

“This report asks the Council to approve and adopt the Annual Report for the year ending 30 June 2012.

The Director of Audit New Zealand responsible for the audit and the Audit Manager will attend to discuss the audit and answer any questions from councillors.”

In my opinion this is utterly inadequate basis upon which to approve this report. It should not have been even presented to Council, let alone approved, without a complete auditor’s report being attached to it.

It seems that the Council will have to find $25 million plus in savings by next year just to tread water, and that’s if we don’t get any more unpleasant surprises. Interesting times.

[ends]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

16 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, DCHL, DVL, DVML, Economics, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Property, Site, Stadiums