Au­dit passed, with is­sues

South Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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