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IRD Inconsistent In Banning Workers

Saturday 26 November 2005

IRD Inconsistent In Banning Workers From Club Positions

“The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has been inconsistent in not advising Revenue Minister Peter Dunne to withdraw from his position as Leader on the Board of the United Future Party when they are insisting IRD workers withdraw from such positions,” said Martin Cooney, Organiser of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE).

He was commenting on the briefing papers from IRD to the new Government which failed to mention the ‘conflict of interest’ between his role as Revenue Minister and as Leader of a ten person Board (which files a tax return.) See http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/team/board.php

‘According to the IRD logic, the Minister’s failure to withdraw from the United Future Board would place the integrity of the whole tax system at risk by creating a perception of preferential treatment for that political party,” said Martin Cooney. “This is the reason given for the draconian ruling that IRD employees involved as treasurer, auditor, presidents or even committee members on sports clubs, charitable organisations and school Boards of Trustees must resign by 1 April next year.”

“IRD states there has been no problem with preferential treatment in the past in such areas but that it is the future possible perception of this that is driving the changes,” said Martin Cooney.

“IRD’s concern can be dealt with by ensuring the employee declares the conflict and withdraws from any future investigation,” said Martin Cooney. “NUPE intends challenging the IRD’s right to determine whether employees in their own time can do accounts etc for Boards of Trustees and clubs.”

ENDS

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