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Audit Committee 11 June

I was unable to attend yesterday's Audit Committee meeting, but Robert Jeffares did attend and agreed to pass the important items on to me. The meeting is one of the last before the election and a number of important matters were dealt with in which 'junkies' will have an interest.Quite often, there are issues that are dealt with in this forum that do not make it to the Council meeting.

There are three that I would like to report here because they are important in the context of what has recently taken place.

The first came early on during discussion on the Audit provided by the Audit NZ representative David Walker on the 2011/2012 Annual Report.  Without prompting, and with a degree of embarrassment evident in the Chamber, Mr Walker indicated that the Audit Office would be closely monitoring "electioneering", and "embellishment" in advertorial material being promulgated by the Council. This  surely represents a direct comment on the recent advertorials appearing in the Hauraki Herald in particular involving both the Mayor and the Chief Executive. In the context of an Audit Committee meeting and given Mr Walker's well known reticence and well chosen words, it constitutes a warning of some gravity, and both the Mayor and staff should take very close note.

Secondly, and under questioning, Manager Planning Strategy, Katina Conomos reported that the project software provided by Track24 is still not fully accepted by staff, and continues to be unable to provide information on payments made to individual contractors. This unacceptable situation has continued for far too long, and at the very least, disciplinary action needs to be taken make sure that all staff ore compliant, and whatever changes that need to be made to Track24 to overcome its shortcomings should be taken without delay - this has been a 4 year exercise, and if it cannot be fixed, it should be dumped.

Finally, Chief Financial Officer Steve Baker, under questioning, admitted that following the "empowerment" of community boards, and devolution of financial delegations,  control problems have multiplied X five. This is extremely serious and points to what I have previously described as the counter- intuitive move towards devolution masquerading as "empowerment." It was naive and pure politics driven, principally by Board Chair Keith Johnston who continues to press for further delegation. He will not be satisfied until Whangamata is entirely self-governing, and collecting and spending its entire revenue within that Boards boundaries.




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Reader Comments (1)

Maybe Track 24 and Novapay consultants should get to-gether- seems we are being taken for a ride yet again.
As for 'empowerment' this little folly of Johnston/Leach will come home to roost by year 5 and will set this Council back both financially and politically.
The much enlarged PR department has been skating on thin ice for some time - the blantant political overtones in their press releases/ full page ads in HH are really stretching the rules relating to electioneering- giving sitting Councillors an unfair advantage come October 14th

June 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPipi

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