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TINZ Deputy Chair
Reporting from Auckland
Election season is upon us and Parliament has been dissolved. Yet the sense that something sordid remains to be divulged in Sir Maarten Wevers' report and the brief tenure of Martin Matthews as Auditor-General.
If the contents of the Sir Maarten Wevers report simply covers personal employment matters, then just say so. As it is, we are left with the appearance that the Officers of Parliament Committee is avoiding disclosure of its mistakes. We suggest Speaker, David Carter's report be sent to the State Services Commissioner who could combine its key messages about better ways of managing fraud, with information from well-informed whistleblowers. With this information, lessons can be identified and future guidelines developed for the following reasons: These lessons are important for all public-sector managers in central and local government.
New Zealand's international reputation for integrity is based on effective and candid disclosure of mistakes, not sweeping them under the carpet. Many countries think the only reason New Zealand doesn't have fraud and corruption is because we don't look for it. By bringing transparency and accountability to the important appointment process of Auditor General, New Zealand's behaviour will be as good as it's perceived. The current secrecy is a blight to our reputation.
The Officers of Parliament Committee - made up of the Speaker and political party representatives - is accountable to a single tier parliament. In reality, it needs to be clear that this committee is accountable to the New Zealand people. It needs to review its processes in order to ensure there is greater transparency in the future.
Sir Geoffrey Palmer in a recent interview on RNZ National offered his thoughts on the current lack of transparency surrounding Sir Maarten Wevers’ investigative report into the former Auditor-General, together with the timing of the latter’s resignation.