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NZ Post Welcomes Final Chapter In Armstrong Issue

For immediate release 19 December 03

New Zealand Post Welcomes Final Chapter In Armstrong Issue

New Zealand Post today welcomed the release of the Auditor General’s report of the Inquiry into Expenses Incurred by Dr Ross Armstrong as Chairperson of Three Entities.

The tabling of the report brings finality to the inquiry that began 13 months ago to identify whether expenditure by the then Chair Dr Ross Armstrong had been incurred lawfully and appropriately.

New Zealand Post Chairperson Rt Hon Jim Bolger welcomed the Auditor General’s Report, saying he was pleased that some closure could finally be brought to the issue.

“Effective and efficient corporate governance is not only a responsibility of a state-owned entity like New Zealand Post but is also good business practice.

“We are continually evolving and improving our policies and guidelines. As part of that, a number of New Zealand Post processes and controls improved and strengthened over the past two years and I am confident that these changes address the issues raised in the Report.”

Two such areas highlighted by the Auditor General are around secretarial support and approval processes for Directors.

The Chair is now provided with full-time secretarial support for all New Zealand Post-related business. This role began in August 2002 and manages travel and diary arrangements as well as expense claims.

Approval lines for Directors’ expenditure were also changed in November 2002. The Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee is now responsible for approving expenditure and claims for reimbursement by the Chair of the Board, in turn, directors’ expenditure is approved by the Chair of the Board. Approval is only granted where adequate business purpose is provided.
New Zealand Post acknowledges that while changes like these do strengthen internal processes, individual directors must ultimately be responsible for managing the complexities of holding multiple appointments.


ENDS

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