requests for inquiry or complaints or other allegations made against the Earthquake Commission
The request was partially successful.
From: Ms Hider
Dear Office of the Controller and Auditor-General,
I would like to know how many requests for an Inquiry into the Earthhquake Commission have been made, if any inquries are underway or going to be undertaken and who has made the request for an inquiry. I would also like information as to the nature of the request for the inquiry and how many complaints you have received regarding Earthquake Commission.
From: Jude Hutton
Office of the Controller and Auditor-General
Dear Ms Hider
Thank you for your email of 31 August 2012.
You have requested the following information from the Office of the Auditor-General:
1. how many requests for inquiry into the Earthquake Commission (EQC) we have received,
2. whether we have any inquiries underway, or are planning to carry out any inquiries into the EQC,
3. details of who has made the inquiry requests,
4. details of the nature of the inquiry requests, and
5. the number of complaints we have received about the EQC.
Given the confidential nature of most of our work, the Official Information Act 1982 does not apply to the Auditor-General. Instead, the Public Audit Act 2001 gives us discretion on what information we publicly release.
To address your requests in order:
1. Since September 2011, we have received four inquiry requests relating to the EQC.
2. We carry out inquiries in private. We do not provide public updates on progress or the substance of what we are doing, because this can hamper our work. In each case, we decide what information we should release at the end of an inquiry. If we choose to publish a report of our findings, this will be made available on our website: http://www.oag.govt.nz/reports.
3. When an employee raises a matter with us under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, we are obliged to protect that person’s identity. As a matter of policy, we apply the same approach to all the requests we receive. We think it is important that people should be able to ask us to look at whether a public entity is using its resources properly without fear of reprisal.
4. See number 2.
5. See number 1. All complaints we receive about an entity are logged as inquiry requests.
Rather than base our scrutiny of key organisations involved in the Canterbury recovery on reactive work, such as inquiry requests, we have chosen to establish a structured work programme, which will include examining the performance of the EQC. For your information, here is an extract from our annual plan for 2012-13, which describes our work programme for the Canterbury recovery:
The recovery and rebuild effort in Canterbury involves significant funding, large-scale projects and contracts, and multiple entities with interacting roles and responsibilities. We propose to carry out a four-stream programme on the Canterbury recovery:
• Procurement and monitoring – The recovery and rebuild effort includes large-scale, significant contracts for the demolition, repair, and rebuild of homes and infrastructure. We will carry out performance audit work on aspects of this procurement and how the procurement is being managed, monitored, and implemented.
• Funding flows – There has been a wide range of new appropriations and funding arrangements put in place to finance the recovery and rebuild. Our work will include mapping the funding flows and considering the controls, the timeliness of funding, and the accuracy and appropriateness of expenditure and monitoring costs.
• Accountability and responsibility – Multiple public entities are involved in the recovery and rebuild effort, and are accountable for large-scale public expenditure. We will map the different agencies involved and their roles and responsibilities, assessing the overall recovery framework against accepted criteria to overview and highlight any risks.
• Insurance – through our work to assess how well insured the public sector is (see next item), we will look specifically at the insurance arrangements of public entities in Canterbury.
More information on our work programme is available in our 2012/13 Annual Plan (http://www.oag.govt.nz/2012/annual-plan).
I have attached for your information a document that describes our inquiries role and process.
Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
Office of the Auditor-General Te Mana Arotake
100 Molesworth Street, Thorndon, Wellington 6011
PO Box 3928, Wellington 6140
Ph: +64 4 917 1500 Fax: +64 4 917 1549