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Government Contractor Supports Tougher Auditing

Media Release
24 February 2003

Government Contractor Supports Tougher Auditing

A major non-Governmental provider of community-based services is backing a call from the Auditor General for a wider investigation into contracting practices and outcomes.

Richmond Fellowship, which provides millions of dollars of services for Government agencies, says it’s high time contractors were required routinely to demonstrate the effectiveness of their services, rather than just explain how they spent their Government money.

The call by the Auditor General’s Office for a wider investigation into State sector contracting comes in the wake of the failure of the Northland service provider Te Hau Ora O Tai Tokerau (THOTT).

Richmond Chief Executive Dr Gerry Walmisley says the Auditor General’s proposal is sound. . “Government contractors, including state agencies, the private sector and NGOs, are entrusted with large amounts of taxpayers’ money each year, and the current auditing processes give little indication of how wisely that money is being used. In the case of THOTT, a Government agency has been left trying to recover $1.7million and the taxpayer is wondering at the value of any of the services provided.

“There has been far too much emphasis on funding contracts that suit the service provider’s structure, with very few contracts demanding that services are having long term, sustainable benefits.”

“We would support moves towards the inclusion of service outcomes as a key performance indicator in State sector contracting. Taxpayers deserve certainty that their funds are well spent, and this can only be achieved when auditors look for an evidence-based outcome for the contractor’s clients.

“To this end, we would support the Auditor General’s proposal for a wider investigation into contracting practices and urge the Government to reconsider its response to the proposal.”

Richmond Fellowship is a major provider of community health and support services throughout New Zealand. The Fellowship has developed specialist services for a range of purchasers including the Ministry of Health, Crown Public Health and Community Health Boards. Services include support programmes for people with mental, psychiatric or psychological illness, respite and emergency support, consumer based drop-in services, specialist youth services and dual diagnosis services (including intellectual disability/mental illness).


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