New Campaign Launched for Otorohanga District Council to Introduce Audit And Risk Oversight
Otorohanga District Council is now one of only two New Zealand councils not to have an Audit and Risk Committee overseeing how the District's money is being spent, according to research by the New Zealand Taxpayers' Union.
Earlier in the year, Ratepayers' Report showed that Otorohanga, Grey and Waitomo District Councils were the only New Zealand councils failing to follow best practice in this area. Now that Waitomo District Council has introduced an Audit and Risk Committee it means Otorohanga District Council is one of two not in line with the rest of the country.
The Taxpayers' Union has launched a campaign on behalf of Otorohanga District ratepayers, calling on the Council to introduce an Audit and Risk Committee, with a petition for locals to lend their support at www.taxpayers.org.nz/audit_and_risk_committees.
Garrick Wright-McNaughton, Local Government Researcher at the Taxpayers’ Union says, “According to Local Government New Zealand, Audit and Risk Committees provide integral recommendations to their Council and act as a critical safeguard for ratepayers. They oversee all financial activity and help to identify and mitigate the risks local bodies face."
"How can Otorohanga District Council assure it is delivering value for money and managing risk, when it refuses to implement the most basic oversight that is standard at nearly every other town hall in New Zealand?"
"Costs associated with having a dedicated Audit and Risk Committee are minimal when weighed against the millions in potential savings of ratepayer money."
"A good place for an Audit and Risk Committee to start would be on why Otorohanga's personnel costs, per ratepayer, are so much higher than both the rural and national average."
Ratepayers' Report, local government league tables are available at www.ratepayersreport.nz.
Petition available at www.taxpayers.org.nz/audit_and_risk_committees.