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Defence Budget Trimmed After Expensive Seminar

Hon Max Bradford
Minister of Defence

MEDIA RELEASE
11 August 1999


DEFENCE PERSONNEL DEVELOPMENT BUDGET TRIMMED AFTER EXPENSIVE SEMINAR ATTENDANCE


Defence Minister Max Bradford announced today that the Chief of Defence Force, Air Marshal Carey Adamson, had advised him with regret that 60 Defence Force staff attended a Masters of Business seminar in Auckland on May 22nd at a total cost of $39,447.

"It is my understanding that the decisions to send the defence staff were made within the formal delegations that existed at that time, and that because the delegations were devolved, Defence Force chiefs did not know the extent of the attendance," Mr Bradford said.

"I have expressed in the strongest possible terms the Government's deep displeasure at both the expenditure and how this could have happened.

"While attendance by a few senior officers would have been justified, given the address of US General Norman Schwarzkopf , other quality speakers and the seminar's focus on good quality management, the number who attended was clearly unacceptable," Mr Bradford said.

"Air Marshal Adamson has advised me that following discovery of the size of the Defence Force attendance, he has since instituted procedures to ensure such an oversight does not happen again.

"Most importantly, he has undertaken to ensure that senior staff responsible for spending taxpayers' dollars do so with the clear knowledge that they are spending money on behalf of the people of New Zealand.

"Following the attendance at the seminar, I have concluded that the personnel development part of the Defence Budget can function with a lower level of baseline funding.

"I have therefore advised Air Marshal Adamson that for the next two years funding for this part of the budget will be cut by $100,000 a year," Mr Bradford said.

ENDS

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