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Govt Bill hobbles Auditor General - Nats

The Labour/Alliance Government will effectively hobble the Auditor General's independence with the Public Audit Bill says National MP David Carter, former chair of the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee.

"The Public Audit Bill will give the Government control over what the Auditor General does.

"The Government is seeking to undermine the intent of the Bill - to enhance the Auditor General's independence by removing his responsibility to a Minister, as recommended by the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee in 1998.

"By sneaking in a new clause (36(4)) the Government is giving Parliament the ability to change the Auditor General's work programme.

"The risk is that a Government, unhappy with the Auditor General's planned investigations, can simply amend the work programme to push him into less embarrassing areas," Mr Carter said.

Ends

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