“Todays findings from the Auditor General’s look into saliva testing procurement shows the government has an unhealthy penchant for crony capitalism and protecting their mates,” says Winston Peters leader of New Zealand First.
“The Auditor General has today stated his office ‘identified serious concerns’ after investigating the government’s procurement process – substantiating the claims we made earlier this year and the need for an investigation”
“There were a number of issues that were clear from the outset with the entire process which should set alarm bells ringing for the New Zealand public.”
“Of specific note was:
- the total absence of any procurement plan,
- the fact that there was no independent auditor appointed, and
- the fact that four out of the five members of the procurement panel had identified perceived conflicts of interest.”
“The Auditor General concluded there was a clear lack of transparency around process and timeframes and the management of the conflict of interests.”
“The government did not learn its lessons from these same issues the first time round with the Auckland light-rail project last term – again called into question by the Auditor General after the 2020 election.”
“Moreover, they have again blatantly decided to run roughshod over due process and transparency in favour of their own back-patting advice,” says Mr Peters.
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