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PM welcomes report on Ministerial expenses

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister

Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services

14 December 2010
Media Statement

PM welcomes report on Ministerial expenses

Prime Minister John Key today welcomed the tabling of the Auditor-General’s report on Ministerial expenses.

“This report is part of a broader effort by the Government to move towards greater transparency regarding Ministers’ and MPs’ expenses,” says Mr Key.

“It’s important the public has confidence in the regime for administering Ministers’ expenses, and that taxpayers’ money is seen to be spent appropriately.”

Mr Key says the Auditor-General’s report shows there is no pattern of Ministerial spending irregularities.

“I am pleased to see there are only isolated incidents of transactions which fall outside the rules. Overall, the report finds the financial management processes around Ministerial expenses to be sound. I am also pleased to see the Auditor-General notes Ministerial Services staff are responsive and helpful.”

The report does show there are areas where the system needs to improve. In particular, the Auditor-General highlights the confusing nature of the rules governing Ministerial Services, and weaknesses in underlying administrative policies, leading to differing standards of compliance between Ministerial offices.

“Regarding the Auditor-General’s recommendation for a ‘first principles’ review of the legal framework underpinning the expenses system, this will be implemented through the Government’s acceptance of the Law Commission’s recent recommendations for new legislation, which will be introduced in 2011,” says Mr Key.

Mr Key says the Government is also taking up the Auditor-General’s recommendation to have Ministerial Services revise its administrative policies, procedures and guidance on financial management.

“I will shortly be writing to the chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs asking Ministerial Services to report back to me by mid-February on how and when it intends to implement these recommendations.”

ENDS

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