Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Audit and Risk Subcommittee Appointment Made
This item was published on 26 Feb 2014
The Dunedin City Council has appointed the first of two independent members to its new Audit and Risk Subcommittee. Susie Johnstone, who is managing partner of accounting firm Shand Thomson, Balclutha, has been appointed by the Council as Subcommittee Chair.
Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says Mrs Johnstone has a great deal of experience leading audit and risk committees across a range of public sector entities. “We are very fortunate to have someone of Mrs Johnstone’s calibre on the Subcommittee. Her skills, attributes and knowledge will be of huge benefit to the Subcommittee’s work.”
Mrs Johnstone is Deputy Chair of the Otago Polytechnic Council and a director of REANNZ, which is responsible for the provision of an advanced high capacity internet service to the New Zealand research and education communities. She is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of its Governance Committee. She has also served on the boards of Tourism New Zealand, the Southland, Otago and Southern District Health Boards, the New Zealand Blood Service and the New Zealand Hockey Federation.
Mrs Johnstone says, “I am looking forward to working with Council and am supportive of their increasing focus on the governance aspects of audit and risk. These matters tend to fly below the radar until something doesn’t go so well so the Council is to be commended for taking the initiative in this area.”
The Audit and Risk Subcommittee has been set up to provide the Council with a degree of comfort that risk is being managed appropriately within the organisation. The Subcommittee’s responsibilities include risk management and internal control and it will oversee governance policies in areas such as conflict of interest, insurance, procurement, risk, fraud, and health and safety. It will also include oversight of the Annual Report.
The Subcommittee will report directly to the Council.
At this stage, the Subcommittee members are Mrs Johnstone, Cr Richard Thomson, Cr Hilary Calvert and Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes. The Council will shortly publicly advertise for a second independent member.
Contact Mayor of Dunedin on 03 477 4000.
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr
12 responses to “DCC: New audit and risk subcommittee a little too late !!”
Independent(?) chairwoman named…
Council announces head of audit, risk
The Dunedin City Council has named the independent chairwoman of its new audit and risk subcommittee, tasked with ensuring risk is being managed appropriately within the organisation. Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said in a statement Susie Johnstone, of Balclutha, had been appointed.
That was an easy beat job for Debbie Porteous to write up that piece of nonsense. Simply regurgitate verbatim what was said back in February. Cull waxes enthusiastic as usual and says precisely bugger all. This council can certainly get itself hung up on procedure. Pity about the reak stuff.
Comment at ODT Online:
DCC Behaviour Modification
Submitted by JimmyJones on Tue, 11/03/2014 – 1:29pm.
This new audit and risk subcommittee has been given all the jobs that the Finance Committee has been expected to do but has failed to do for several decades. The Finance Committee and the other committees of the DCC have become rubber-stampers. Their members generally do not read their reports to sufficient depth to make informed decisions, which means that Council decisions are easily manipulated by council staff. Council staff always think they know best. I hope that the new subcommittee can justify its existence by helping to ensure that the financial information presented to councilors and the public is fulsome and honest.
Stevesone57 tells us that: “If we as ratepayers don’t question the numbers our elected officials can just tell us anything and get away with it”. I think this statement needs to be repeated over and over until the questioning causes the DCC to become open and honest with the information that it makes public.
Counting down to the pre-Xmas release of the Deloitte report on the Citifleet investigation……
To be tabled at tomorrow’s Council meeting:
Report – Council – 15/12/2014 (PDF, 172.3 KB)
Fraud Prevention Policy and Procedures
Agenda – Council – 15/12/2014 (PDF, 250.8 KB)
Other reports here.
Reading the Report, ‘Fraud Prevention Policy and Procedures’, I would have thought this would have been presented to Council, discussed and adopted as Council Policy somewhere around 1901. Perhaps it was, but when ‘crooks determine to be crooks’, details like that would be mere ‘bagatail’.
### ODT Online Mon, 15 Dec 2014
Fraud prevention policy updated
By Debbie Porteous
The Dunedin City Council is to adopt a new fraud prevention policy. The policy, drafted by the council’s audit and risk committee, will be considered by the council for adoption this afternoon.
(via ODT) Definitions of fraud clarified or added in new DCC policy include:
● Unauthorised use of facilities, vehicles or equipment for personal gain.
● Obtaining funds or any other benefit through misleading claims, representations or by false pretences.
● Inappropriate claims for personal expenses.
● Use of the DCC’s purchase card for personal gain.
● Inappropriate payments to third parties.
● Supporting others in, or in any way being party to, fraud or not reporting fraud.
Elizabeth, will the new DCC policy on fraud also cover Community Boards? If so there are some on the Mosgiel / Taieri Community Board who may be starting to shit themselves
Brian, there may be some period of catch-up in the outer reaches of Las Mosgiel.
Policy-schmolicy. Show me the enforcers.
Hype, you are quite correct. “Show me the enforcers.” Council can have all the policy they like, but if they are going to selective on the who, how and why, when enforcing their policies, then selective friends of Council need not worry or change their ways.
This policy update seems okay, as far as it goes, but how much stronger it would be if there was a clause about seeking accountability… or did I miss something? Perhaps even a check list as to what accountability might look like.
Otherwise, we will get the usual, ‘well, we have learnt lessons, let’s move on’.
Another thing is accountability can be difficult with bent judges and police if they are the ones in charge of any subsequent investigations of fraud. More so, if they have had connections to the accused in other capacities. Easier to find out in a small country, like NZ, thank goodness.
At ODT Online ending an article about heritage rates relief:
● A new fraud prevention policy has been unanimously adopted by the council.
Chief financial officer Grant McKenzie said it had become ”very clear” in the past six months – in which the council uncovered an alleged $1.5 million fraud in Citifleet – just how unclear the council’s old fraud policy was about to whom people should be reporting suspected fraud. The new policy clarified that situation, he said.