Regional and Business Development is a bit like motherhood and apple pie – everyone is meant to support it, because I mean it sounds awful not wanting to help poor little businesses.
The problem is that the history of Government to pick winners is very patchy, and as the Auditor-General has pointed out this Government has been handing out money left and right, without clear objectives except to provide photo ops for Jim Anderton and Helen Clark.
Some of the findings include:
* missing paperwork
* no evidence of even basic credit checks
* clear breaches of Cabinet guidelines.
* controls on spending were so loose in some cases that it was not always possible to tell who had received the money or how much had been paid out.
* NZTE had difficulty producing reports of even basic information, including documents detailing the grant recipient, the amount allocated or the amount paid out to date.
* highly critical of the Visiting Investor Programme
* lack of transparency about how the money was spent.
* paperwork backing up expense claims remained of a poor standard.
* officials failed even to document meetings to show what had been achieved.
Jim Anderton thinks there is no problem, and that you don’t want the system to become bureaucratic. Hello Jim you are giving away tens of millions of dollars of my money, and you can’t even provide a report of whoim you have given it to. You should be ashamed.
Rodney has been a long-time critic of the schemes and worth a read on this.