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Auditor General Asked To Investigate Campaign

8 May 2002

Auditor General Asked To Investigate Campaign For Cullen Fund

National's Superannuation spokesman Gerry Brownlee has written to the Auditor General's Office asking it to investigate the legality of the Government spending $1 million of public funds on a campaign to promote its superannuation policy.

"We are extremely concerned that $1 million of taxpayers' money is being spent on this campaign, when several aspects of it appear outside the guidelines for Government advertising.

"The Cullen Fund does not enjoy anything like the full support of Parliament and it seems clear to us that promoting the fund is in fact promoting the political views of the Labour and the parties formerly known as the Alliance." Mr Brownlee says he has asked the Auditor General's Office to explain why it approved the $1 million campaign, given that it seems little more than the use of public funds for party political propaganda.

"Under the requirements set out in the Cabinet Manual, Government advertising must be "accurate, factual and truthful" as well as "fair, honest and impartial".

"We believe this campaign fails to deliver on most - if not all - of these fronts and we are keen to get the Auditor General's opinion as soon as possible."

Mr Brownlee says National has also requested, under the Official Information Act, all correspondence between the Auditor General, Treasury and Michael Cullen's office relating to superannuation promotion campaign.

Ends

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