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Auditor General Called In Over DHB Directive

Auditor General Called In Over DHB Directive

Heather Roy
Thursday, 6 April 2006
Press Releases - Health

A directive from the Minister of Health setting out conditions for MPs to meet Chief Executives and Chairs of District Health Boards has been referred to the Auditor General by ACT Health Spokesman Heather Roy.

"Under this directive, issued on 27 March 2006, MPs meeting with District Health Board management would be required to first obtain the permission of the Minister of Health. DHBs must also to provide a debriefing report to the Minister's office", Mrs Roy said.

"I have referred this to the Auditor General because I have serious questions to ask the DHBs. I have been free to visit DHB chiefs until now and have never been turned away. I've always been treated in a professional way. When did the Minister stop trusting his managers?

"Democratically elected MPs shouldn't need to ask a Minister's permission to visit organisations that operate independently - and DHB management shouldn't have to face a post-visit inquisition just because Labour wants spin control.

"Labour's Ministers - especially Ministers of Health - have gotten away for too long with bluff and bluster, passing the buck and avoiding the tough questions.

"This is a government that does not want to be questioned. Ministers evade questions in Parliament and now I am prevented from asking questions of those on the front line.

"Public servants and their Ministerial masters are supposed to serve the people of New Zealand.

"I hope that the Auditor General will give this serious issue serious consideration.

"Kiwis need to be sure their public servants are accountable to Parliament, and that means MPs must be able to meet them without having to go on hands and knees for the Government's permission", Mrs Roy said.


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