Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.


6FIEND

774 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user


#237995 28-Jun-2018 09:58
Send private message

Serious allegations were made under privilege in Parliament yesterday.

 

 

 

 

 

JAMI-LEE ROSS (National—Botany): I move, That the House take note of miscellaneous business.

 

In the next few minutes, using the privilege of this House, I’m going to outline a series of alarming and disturbing issues that have taken place under David Clark’s watch. The issues I will outline involve, firstly, an audit into fraudulence—unauthorised and excessive uses of hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Counties Manukau District Health Board (DHB)—secondly, the former DHB CEO and matters being audited subsequently being reported back to him as Director-General of Health; and, thirdly, the Minister of Health later sacking the very board members that raised the audit issues with his ministry.

 


 On 29 January this year, the Auditor-General wrote to David Clark regarding Counties Manukau DHB and raised significant matters discovered by DHB board members during an internal audit. The Auditor-General was referring to this report: a report containing findings of an auditor’s investigation which identified remuneration and benefits paid to a senior DHB executive which were either unauthorised, excessive, or unjustified, and multiple areas where that executive exceeded their delegated financial authority. The word “fraudulent” also appears in the report.

 

The audit was so serious and troubling that mid-last year, two new board members, Rabin Rabindran and Mark Darrow, were involved in seeking assistance from the State Services Commissioner and the Ministry of Health. After the internal audit report was complete, using the powers of the Director-General of Health, a review was commissioned, carried out by forensic accounting firm Beattie Varley. Beattie Varley were assisted by the former Solicitor-General Michael Heron QC and Deloitte.

 

In December last year, the Minister issued a press release welcoming the appointment of Stephen McKernan as acting director-general. Mr McKernan’s previous experience includes him once serving as DHB CEO at Counties Manukau. The final Beattie Varley report into a DHB he once was the CEO of would eventually land on Stephen McKernan’s desk.

 

The situation is alarming. It’s alarming because, as a former Counties Manukau CEO, Stephen McKernan was directly mentioned in the auditors’ report, multiple times, over successive years as being involved in some of the inappropriate and unauthorised salary transactions. The Minister of Health is also involved. In March 2018, the final Beattie Varley report was returned to the ministry. A summary was requested for presentation to the Minister. Within weeks of that summary being prepared, the two DHB board members that were involved in the first discovery of the financial negligence and mismanagement, Rabin Rabindran and Mark Darrow, were sent letters by the Minister removing them from the DHB. While those board members were told the Minister wanted to rejuvenate the board, Mr Rabindran and Mr Darrow were the newest members of the board. They’ve also not been replaced, and their positions are still vacant on that DHB.

 

The nature of this situation is serious. We have a review of an audit that was provided to the Director-General of Health into a matter that he himself was implicated in during a past health role. We also have a Minister whose only action in this matter so far, despite having had the Auditor-General raise it with him directly, seems to have been to remove from the district health board the very members that discovered the financial negligence. They investigated it, sought an independent audit, pushed for a ministry-led review, and then got sacked from that board as soon as the review was completed.

 

What did David Clark do when the Auditor-General told him of significant matters involving financial practices at the district health board back in January? Why didn’t the Minister take action to ensure that the director-general, Stephen McKernan, did not play any part into a review into matters he himself was involved in while that review was being carried out using his powers as the director-general? And why is the Minister not now acting on serious issues involving the use of public money that he has known about for almost five months?

 

Members of a district health board have found an issue, they have investigated it, and the only thanks they’ve had for that is to be sacked from that district health board. We also know that the Minister of Health has attempted through voicemail messages to gag that district health board member—the former chairperson—from speaking publicly.

 

There are serious issues that David Clark—

 

Dr David Clark: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I take offence at that characterisation that the member’s making, saying that I attempted to gag someone. It has been clearly established that that’s not the case.

 

Mr SPEAKER: The member will resume his seat. We are—I know this is a serious speech and an important speech. We are in the general debate where the rules are quite a lot wider than they are, for example, at question time and I have been listening very carefully to this speech for a number of obvious reasons, and it is my view that the assertion is a refutable one and that may be the appropriate action to take.

 

JAMI-LEE ROSS: It’s clear from the voicemail message left by David Clark for Rabin Rabindran that the issue of future appointments was raised and the issue of media problems was also raised. That is the only real contact that member’s had from the Minister of Health recently regarding media issues. I say that these issues need serious consideration by the Auditor-General and the State Services Commissioner in future. End quote.

 

 

 

 

I would remind commentators here that they are not protected from defamation charges in the way that MPs are in the house, so be mindful with what you say.

 

For my part, this appears to offer a plausible reason for some of the questionable actions reported on over the past few months.  If proven, these allegations look to be extremely serious.

 

I would like to say that I expect the Labour Party will stand down the Minister concerned while the Auditor General conducts an investigation, but I'm not about to hold my breath.


Create new topic
Geektastic
14850 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2045272 28-Jun-2018 10:42
Send private message

Thanks for the transcript - I found him quite hard to listen to. He should open his mouth and enunciate clearly, not mumble!

 

I'd agree that this does not pass the Sniff Test at all: clearly someone, somewhere, has been doing things that they ought not to be doing.

 

Can the State Service Commission demand further investigation into the actions of serving Ministers? Perhaps even the Police ought to be looking at this.






Pumpedd
1759 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2045318 28-Jun-2018 11:35
Send private message

The other thing he did this week was to scrap the reporting requirements for DHB's. Assume not all reporting but quite important ones according to a good (for a change) opinion piece in Stuff the other day. 

 

This guy is quite a worry as he is clearly unsure of his position.


 
 
 
 


rjt123
517 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user


  #2045731 28-Jun-2018 18:53
Send private message

People accused national of becoming arrogant and adopting an attitude of entitlement in the latter part of their tenure. But they've been in power for less than a year and he's struggling.

linw
2259 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  #2045752 28-Jun-2018 19:53
Send private message

And now he is defending strike action where no one will suffer because of it (Parliament today).


Pumpedd
1759 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2045782 28-Jun-2018 22:19
Send private message

linw:

 

And now he is defending strike action where no one will suffer because of it (Parliament today).

 

 

Yet I have been told by my DHB that no elective surgery will be undertaken for 2 weeks due to strike action. The effect of an already huge waiting list is sad.

 

Arent nurses being offered 3% a year for 3 years plus a cash settlement.....lucky for some.

 

 


gzt

gzt
11677 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2045785 28-Jun-2018 22:24
Send private message

Wall of text. Something about phone calls. Random question, who would replace Clark if that occured?

Pumpedd
1759 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2045904 29-Jun-2018 09:49
Send private message

Lots of slipperies in that Government that need a lot of watching.


 
 
 
 


MikeB4
15555 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2046769 1-Jul-2018 13:50
Send private message

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link. This is a disturbing article in Stuff.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104999142/stacey-kirk-removal-of-health-targets-removes-power-from-patients-and-public


Pumpedd
1759 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2046775 1-Jul-2018 13:59
Send private message

MikeB4:

 

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link. This is a disturbing article in Stuff.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104999142/stacey-kirk-removal-of-health-targets-removes-power-from-patients-and-public

 

 

I am not sure why they need smoke and mirrors....

 

Will be interesting to see what extra they gave nurses on top of what seemed like a very generous pay offer.


JimmyH
2695 posts

Uber Geek


  #2046829 1-Jul-2018 14:46
Send private message

Geektastic:

 

Can the State Service Commission demand further investigation into the actions of serving Ministers? Perhaps even the Police ought to be looking at this.

 

 

No. The Commissioner is responsible for the public service, not politicians. However, depending on what the issues are, the Auditor-General or the Ombudsman might be able to. As might the relevant Parliamentary select committee (although politicians can often block this - which is harder with the AG or the Ombudsman).

 

MikeB4:

 

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link.

 

 

There is real competition for that title at the moment. I would think that both Curran (the Minister repsonsible for Open Government, who stopped officials minuting meetings because the minutes could be sought under the Official Information Act) and Twyford (the Minister responsible for aviation rules, who was busted using his cellphone illegally on a plane) would give him a run for his money in that department at the moment.

 

The trouble is the current opposition isn't very effective, and Minister's aren't really being effectively held to account.

 

 


amiga500
1488 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2046835 1-Jul-2018 15:15
Send private message

Pumpedd:

 

MikeB4:

 

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link. This is a disturbing article in Stuff.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104999142/stacey-kirk-removal-of-health-targets-removes-power-from-patients-and-public

 

 

I am not sure why they need smoke and mirrors....

 

Will be interesting to see what extra they gave nurses on top of what seemed like a very generous pay offer.

 

 

Maybe tweak it by giving them the full deal over 18 months & back date it a year or something like this.

 

If I was a nurse the short staffing would stress me even more than the low pay. Many other jobs people just take some short cuts if they are short staffed, for example the cleaners cleaning the admin areas at the hospital - if short staffed they might just check some areas and leave it for the next day. Nurses can't do that!


Pumpedd
1759 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user


  #2046874 1-Jul-2018 15:55
Send private message

amiga500:

 

Pumpedd:

 

MikeB4:

 

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link. This is a disturbing article in Stuff.

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104999142/stacey-kirk-removal-of-health-targets-removes-power-from-patients-and-public

 

 

I am not sure why they need smoke and mirrors....

 

Will be interesting to see what extra they gave nurses on top of what seemed like a very generous pay offer.

 

 

Maybe tweak it by giving them the full deal over 18 months & back date it a year or something like this.

 

If I was a nurse the short staffing would stress me even more than the low pay. Many other jobs people just take some short cuts if they are short staffed, for example the cleaners cleaning the admin areas at the hospital - if short staffed they might just check some areas and leave it for the next day. Nurses can't do that!

 

 

It will be Doctors next...this is just a rinse and repeat of what happened during the last Labour Government.


gzt

gzt
11677 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  #2046932 1-Jul-2018 17:59
Send private message

JimmyH: The trouble is the current opposition isn't very effective, and Minister's aren't really being effectively held to account.

At present there is no national nightly current affairs TV show to provide a forum for investigation + interviews and crown minister vs opposition spokesperson debate to put these kind of issues in the public eye. That's a big factor. Years ago Holmes and Campbell did a good job of this and were regularly attacked by both sides for going too far.

TV3's AM show is an excellent newsmaker but they have no time to get into a single issue and follow it.

networkn
23459 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  #2071112 10-Aug-2018 10:10
Send private message

JimmyH:

 

Geektastic:

 

Can the State Service Commission demand further investigation into the actions of serving Ministers? Perhaps even the Police ought to be looking at this.

 

 

No. The Commissioner is responsible for the public service, not politicians. However, depending on what the issues are, the Auditor-General or the Ombudsman might be able to. As might the relevant Parliamentary select committee (although politicians can often block this - which is harder with the AG or the Ombudsman).

 

MikeB4:

 

David Clark is shaping up as the coalitions weakest link.

 

 

There is real competition for that title at the moment. I would think that both Curran (the Minister repsonsible for Open Government, who stopped officials minuting meetings because the minutes could be sought under the Official Information Act) and Twyford (the Minister responsible for aviation rules, who was busted using his cellphone illegally on a plane) would give him a run for his money in that department at the moment.

 

The trouble is the current opposition isn't very effective, and Minister's aren't really being effectively held to account.

 

 

 

 

Additional candidates would be:

 

Kelvin Davis, Shane Jones


Create new topic





News »

NASA discovers water on sunlit surface of Moon
Posted 27-Oct-2020 08:30


Huawei introduces new features to Petal Search, Maps and Docs
Posted 26-Oct-2020 18:05


Nokia selected by NASA to build first ever cellular network on the Moon
Posted 21-Oct-2020 08:34


Nanoleaf enhances lighting line with launch of Triangles and Mini Triangles
Posted 17-Oct-2020 20:18


Synology unveils DS16211+
Posted 17-Oct-2020 20:12


Ingram Micro introduces FootfallCam to New Zealand channel
Posted 17-Oct-2020 20:06


Dropbox adopts Virtual First working policy
Posted 17-Oct-2020 19:47


OPPO announces Reno4 Series 5G line-up in NZ
Posted 16-Oct-2020 08:52


Microsoft Highway to a Hundred expands to Asia Pacific
Posted 14-Oct-2020 09:34


Spark turns on 5G in Auckland
Posted 14-Oct-2020 09:29


AMD Launches AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Desktop Processors
Posted 9-Oct-2020 10:13


Teletrac Navman launches integrated multi-camera solution for transport and logistics industry
Posted 8-Oct-2020 10:57


Farmside hits 10,000 RBI customers
Posted 7-Oct-2020 15:32


NordVPN starts deploying colocated servers
Posted 7-Oct-2020 09:00


Google introduces Nest Wifi routers in New Zealand
Posted 7-Oct-2020 05:00









Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.