Received from Martin Legge
Saturday, 29 June 2013 9:53 a.m.
Learn how the Kaipara council was repeatedly given a clean bill of health by Audit NZ despite the massive debt and obvious governance problems.
Compares with how OAG assured me they were closely monitoring the TTCF investigation into how it was that ORFU and Racing were able to fleece $7 million from the South Auckland community. The truth is, DIA lost that file and therefore didn’t investigate and instead deliberately covered the loss up. OAG appear OK with this and issued DIA with a clean bill of health.
Our trust and faith in the work of these well resourced “highly educated desk jockeys” is misplaced!!!
### NZ Herald Online Saturday, 29 Jun 2013 8:48 AM
Fresh probe begins into debt-ridden council
By Andrew Laxon
The commissioners of debt-ridden Kaipara District Council have begun a new inquiry into its past financial decisions, including the advice it received from former chief executive Jack McKerchar. The tiny Northland council is struggling under an $80 million debt, a long-running rates strike and court action by its own ratepayers over more than $17 million of illegally set rates dating back to 2006. Its former councillors stepped down last year in response to a damning report, making way for Government-appointed commissioners.
Three inquiries are under way into what went wrong. They consist of
● An Auditor-General’s investigation into how the cost of a sewerage scheme at Mangawhai blew out from $11 million in 1999 to $62 million, creating most of the council’s debt.
● An independent inquiry into how the Audit Office failed to notice the excessive debt and repeatedly gave the council a clean bill of health.
● The commissioners’ investigation into other financial transactions they have discovered since taking over last September and see as questionable.
Northland MP Mike Sabin told Parliament ratepayers had been woefully let down by the council’s “mismanagement, incompetence, carelessness and dysfunctional governance”. Mr Sabin, who is sponsoring a local bill to retrospectively validate the illegal rates, said the bill was necessary to keep the council functioning but it would not allow anyone responsible for poor decisions to duck the consequences.
The separate inquiry into the Audit Office’s actions, undertaken by Auditing and Assurance Standards Board chairman Neil Cherry, was not finished.
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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr