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There must accountability for WINZ charter

Fri Oct 15 1999

Alliance MP Grant Gillon is calling on Work and Income Minister Roger Sowry to clarify who is going to be held accountable for the $165,000 charter of an aircraft following the release of the Auditor's report describing the travel as 'excessive.''We have witnessed nothing but world-class buck-passing over this entire shambles. The one person who hasn't offered an explanation is the WINZ Minister,' Gant Gillon said.'That is all the more surprising when the Auditor makes it clear that the Minister's office knew about the charter well before it became public knowledge.'There is not much use passing the buck to staff down the feeding chain.'What the public want to see is someone in a position of responsibility stand up and take responsibility.'G rant Gillon is astonished that the idea for the use of Wairakei resort as a conference venue came from the WINZ chief executive herself.'It is clear that there was ample knowledge that the conference was planned and there should have been better systems in place to stop the whole madcap plan being carried out.'At the very least, if people made errors, there should be someone at the highest level who is prepared to accept responsibil ity.'The artful dodging of the issue of accountability can only leave the public to ask where the accountability for the misuse of public money lies,' Grant Gillon said.

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