Audit passed, with issues
South Waikato District Council has passed its annual audit.
Findings for the audit by Deloitte, for the year ended June 30, 2012, were made public last week during a full council meeting.
‘‘The audit process looks at a number of areas and processes,’’ the council’s corporate group manager Ben Smit said.
‘‘The council is pleased that we passed with flying colours on how we review our estimates and make judgements; how we manage our sensitive expenditure; conflicts of interest for both elected members and management; policies and procedures in relation to fraud; progress against work planned ( capital expenditure); council controlled organisations; decision-making and consultation; and legislative compliance.’’
While the council passed the audit, Deloitte’s Bruno Dente found several errors.
‘‘In the past couple of years we have had some issues where the audit has not run efficiently. We did work quite closely with management to plan the audits and to try to get improvements.
‘‘But then we came to looking at the re-evaluations and the wheels came off a bit.’’
Mr Dente said he found many issues around the evaluations which added two weeks to the audit.
‘‘What happened was the reevaluations were done and the numbers were just basically accepted by the council management.
‘‘You can’t just rely on what the valuers have given you, you need to go through the detail and make sure they have got it right,’’ he said.
‘‘We found a lot of errors with the parks evaluations. We went through three different evaluations and found errors in all three of them.’’
He also said the errors should have been discovered.
‘‘I think the lesson to learn is firstly don’t accept what the valuer is doing, management needs to work closely with the valuer.
‘‘The other issue we found is there seems to be a disconnect between the finance team and the assets team.
‘‘You are not talking to each other and it is kind of passing the buck of responsibility when it is your responsibility. You need to work together,’’ Mr Dente.
Subsequent meetings between Council management and Deloitte have been held on improving internal communication.
The auditors also noted that there was an allegation of theft during the year, which was investigated and ‘‘found to have no substance’’, Mr Smit said.
HOLIDAY FUN: Tokoroa children were excited when popular children’s author, Craig Smith, dropped in. More than 150 children and adults enjoyed the 30-minute show which included South Waikato librarian Bettina Kinchant dressing as a kea.