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More taxpayer money wasted in CEG lolly scramble

Katherine Rich MP - National Party Welfare Spokeswoman

21 December 2004

More taxpayer money wasted in CEG lolly scramble

"Another audit report and another damning indictment on Labour's approach to spending taxpayer money," says Katherine Rich, commenting on the release late today of an audit report into a CEG grant to Te Hiku TV in Northland.

"Today, in Labour's usual pre-Christmas information dump, we read again just how slack CEG was in its decision-making process to pour $115,000 of public money into the project."

Earlier this year, Mrs Rich questioned the Community Employment Group's (CEG) funding for the TV station - the report today is the result of those inquiries.

"The audit report concludes:
* There were weaknesses in CEG's approval processes. The project as approved did not fully comply with the funding criteria.
* There was insufficient documentation retained to illustrate consideration of key aspects of the decision to approve the grant.
* Funding instalments were not linked to the key risks of the project.

"The report also says CEG monitoring practices were ineffective as no action was taken to address the impact of the deviations from the business plan.

"In simple terms, CEG gave them the money and left them to it. This is another example of an extravagant Government finding new and risky ways to spend its growing surplus.

"I lay blame for this latest CEG scandal on the culture of undisciplined spending in the Labour Government," says Mrs Rich.


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