New Zealand Labour Party

Damning Auditor-General report on Defence Force

The Auditor-General has found the Defence Force failed to follow the rules when it hired a company -- run by its own personnel – to service its life jackets, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.

“In a damning report, the Auditor General today found the arrangement between the Defence Force and the company Miltech failed to follow public sector good practice principles and raised ethical concerns.

“We expected the highest standard of probity within the Defence Force but in this case they let themselves and the public down.

“When you fail to follow your own and public sector rules, fail to properly document what you are doing and to make sure there is fair competition for others, there is a perception of ‘jobs for the boys’. It also creates the potential for corruption.

“I first asked Parliamentary questions about this issue in June 2014 and continued asking questions last year when I still had no answers.

“It’s disappointing that it took so long to resolve what the Government should have been dealt with in a matter of weeks, not more than a year-and-a-half later.

“I welcome the admission by the Chief of Defence Force that his organisation got it wrong and his assurance that he will not in future tolerate such conflicts of interest.

“However, when Minsters stonewall, fail to answer questions and it takes 20 months to take action, it undermines public confidence that this won’t happen again,” Phil Goff says.