DCC Annual Report (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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’
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.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr