Hepatitis Foundation statement on Investigation
The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand (HFNZ) has engaged KPMG to investigate two potential issues about expenses raised by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) in 2015.
DIA’s Charities Services investigated four issues and, while it found there was no serious wrongdoing on two of the issues, it appears inconclusive on two other issues. It set out expectations on matters for HFNZ to continue to improve.
The foundation’s CEO, Susan Hay, says the organisation is very conscious of the way it manages funds and has begun a forensic investigation so it can address the uncertainties of over the past three years. “We are extremely disappointed in the way the findings of the Charities Services investigation have been misinterpreted and the resulting damage to the foundation’s reputation. There were two claims regarding international travel and the Alexander Property Trust (APT). In both cases HFNZ has been exonerated.
“Two inconclusive findings in the Charities Services report about expenses from 2014 have created confusion and media speculation, and we hope the KPMG analysis will clear this up once and for all.”
The expenses relate to a dinner for HFNZ staff, which Susan says conformed to organisational policies.
“I will work closely with Charities Services to fix any outstanding issues, following the results of the KPMG analysis.”
In 2013, viral hepatitis was a leading cause of death worldwide. It led to 1.46 million deaths, more than HIV, tuberculosis or malaria. New Zealand is one of the 196 countries participating in the World Health Organisation (WHO) programme working towards eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.
The Hepatitis Foundation takes a national strategic approach by working with nurses and GPs to increase the diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis, especially with those who may face barriers to health care. It cares for 30,000 people living with viral hepatitis.