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Auditor-General report on NZ T&E


Hon Jim Anderton Industry and Regional Development Minister
Hon Jim Sutton Trade Negotiations Minister

7 December 2004

Auditor-General report on NZ T&E

Ministers have welcomed assurances by NZ Trade and Enterprise that grant administration systems have been improved.

Two reports criticising the Administration of Grants by NZTE and the Visiting Investor Programme were released today by the Controller and Auditor-General.

Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton, the joint Responsible Ministers for NZTE, said the Controller and Auditor-General’s reports have made recommendations to improve NZTE’s internal grants administration processes.

The ministers said they had been assured by both the NZTE chairman Phil Lough and CEO Tim Gibson that the reports were being taken seriously by the Board and Executive of NZTE.

“NZTE has provided us with the details of their response to each of the recommendations made in the audit. We will monitor NZTE’s implementation of these.

“Taxpayers need to be assured that government agencies are spending their money appropriately. We also want NZTE to be quick, responsive and not overly bureaucratic in its delivery of assistance to individual New Zealand companies, industry sectors and regions, in order to deliver benefits to the economy as a whole.

“There is a balance to be found between this ambition and the setting up of perfect processes. We expect NZTE to make continuous improvements in its systems to deliver on this.”

The Ministers said the reports’ findings should be viewed in the context of NZTE’s start in July 2003 from the merger of Industry New Zealand and Trade New Zealand.

“The Controller and Auditor-General’s detailed scrutiny of NZTE’s grants programmes has come early on in the new agency’s life. NZTE has inherited systems which it is progressively reviewing and improving.

“We are pleased that NZTE has already moved to make improvements to its processes, anticipating the Controller and Auditor-General’s final reports. We were pleased to observe that the behaviour of NZTE staff involved in the grants was not questioned by the OAG.”

Ministers also said the audits’ findings complemented the evaluation work that was done by MED and MFAT to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of NZTE’s grants programmes.

ENDS


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