Complaint To Electoral Officer
Hutt City’s Electoral Officer, Stuart Duncan, has dismissed a complaint laid by mayoral candidate David Ogden over Council’s distribution of its Summary of the Annual Report 2004.
Mr Ogden complained that the distribution of this document amounted to a breach of Principle 12 point 4.45 of the Controller and Auditor General's Good Practice for Managing Public Communications by Local Authorities, which deals with the promotion of the re-election prospects of a sitting member.
In dismissing the complaint Mr Duncan pointed to Principle 13 point 4.52, which states:
“Curtailing all Council communications during a pre-election period is neither practicable nor (as far as mandatory communications, such as those required under the LGA, are concerned) possible. Routine Council business must continue”.
The LGA 2002 states, in Part 6, s98:
(4)A local authority must, within 1 month after the adoption of its annual report, make publicly available-
(a)its annual report; and
(b)a summary of the information contained in its annual report.
(5) The summary must represent, fairly and consistently, the information regarding the major matters dealt with in the annual report.
Audit NZ were required to sign of the summary document and gave the document an ‘Unqualified Opinion’ noting “In our opinion:
The summary document represents, fairly and consistently, the information regarding the major matters dealt with the in the annual report”.