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Independent Audit' of Saudi Sheep Tender Didn't Happen

Independent Audit' of Saudi Sheep Tender Didn't Happen


The Taxpayers’ Union can reveal that New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s claim that the process which resulted in a company connected with Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf being awarded the tender to develop the Saudi 'Agri-hub’ was independently audited is false. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“After questions were raised by the Taxpayers’ Union, Trade and Enterprise claimed that the process was independently audited. We’ve now confirmed that the so called ‘independent auditor’ was none other than the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – the same officials pushing for Mr Al Khalaf to be ‘compensated’.”
“This new revelation is likely to lead to more questions about whether this whole affair is chequebook diplomacy gone wrong.”

In regards to the allegations the Minister of Foreign Affairs mislead Cabinet on the apparent claim by Mr Al Khalaf, Mr Williams says:

“The Minister can very easily clear this matter up by releasing the legal advice and providing details on what the claim was. Our own legal advice, based on what is in the public domain, is that it is highly unlikely the Government was liable for anything. Without explanation, further questions are inevitable.”

Last week the Taxpayers’ Union joined Green Party Co-leader James Shaw in writing to the Auditor General requesting that she investigate. The letter is available here.


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