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Incomplete auditor’s report is being peer reviewed

Incomplete auditor’s report is being peer reviewed

An incomplete internal auditor’s report about Horowhenua District Council is being peer reviewed.

Finance, Audit and Risk Subcommittee Independent Chair, Philip Jones says despite recommendations that the release of the incomplete report potentially exposes the ratepayers of Horowhenua to additional risk including possible legal action, it was still made public.

“The report is incomplete. Due process has not been followed, including, seeking and considering the responses from officers to the issues raised, and the peer review of the report has not been carried out,” he says.

“Sadly, the actions of a few people have exposed Horowhenua District Council to possible legal action.”

Part of the incomplete report focuses on emails which were redirected from their intended receiver on instructions from the Chief Executive.

“This was necessary to protect my employees, so they can carry out their roles safely, without undue interference, inappropriate criticism and racist slurs” Horowhenua District Council Chief Executive David Clapperton said.

Despite reports to the contrary, the current Mayor, then a District Councillor, was informed of the reasons for his emails being re-directed at the time. As well as this, all people and organisations who were sending the emails received an automatic reply stating that it was being redirected.

Mr Jones says the internal audit report is incomplete and therefore it is not appropriate to comment further at this stage.

A proposal for the peer review was presented to the Finance, Audit and Risk Subcommittee last week and is now underway. The peer review will be tabled at the next Finance, Audit and Risk Subcommittee for consideration.

The internal auditor was previously employed by Manawatu District Council (MDC), which has an agreement with HDC, and other local councils. MDC initiated the peer review of the report, and this is being carried out by KPMG.

ENDS

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