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Clarification required says CE

Clarification required says CE

AUGUST 22, 2013.

Council will seek urgent clarification from its auditors and the Office of the Auditor-General over the issue of re-valuation of land under public roads.

This follows correspondence between the Office of the Auditor-General and a Kāpiti mayoral aspirant.

“Clearly there is an issue here that needs clarification,” said Kāpiti Coast District Council Chief Executive Pat Dougherty. “We won’t be the only local authority now requiring clarification. That correspondence carries implications for a number of local authorities and not just us.”

Tessa Cooksley, a Personal Assistant in the Office of the Auditor-General told mayoral aspirant Gavin Welsh that although land under roads is required to be recorded as an asset, “it doesn’t need to be revalued …. There’s a cost to carrying out revaluations regularly. In our view, the benefits of doing regular revaluations of land under roads are questionable, particularly given there’s no agreed methodology for valuing such land.

“Therefore, we don’t consider it best practice for local authorities to revalue land under roads.”

Mr Dougherty said this ran counter to the advice given by the auditors Ernst & Young.

“It was acknowledged at the Corporate Business Committee meeting last week that the routine revaluation of land under public roads was applied inconsistently around the country by local authorities and it was agreed we should write to Local Government New Zealand and to the Auditor-General requesting consensus on this issue.”

Mr Dougherty said a meeting had been arranged with Ernst & Young and a representative from the Office of the Auditor-General. “Depending on the outcome of that meeting, and given the letter sent to Mr Welsh, my Council may well want to re-visit this issue when it meets on August 29.”

Mr Dougherty said it was important to note that the Corporate Business Committee had based its decision last week on advice from the auditors Ernst & Young that Council’s approach was “consistent with current financial reporting standards” and that the auditors were appointed by the Office of the Auditor- General and not Council.


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