ACT are showing the right process to take in regard to the Auditor-General’s report into illegal spending.
The draft report had ACT with $63,234.85 of illegal expenditure. ACT submitted to the AG that some of it was legitimate and he changed his mind, reducing their bill to $16,858.43. The other $46,000 related to e petition in May and June.
ACT still won’t be happy about paying $16,000 back, but have said:
Mr Hide said he had worked “scrupulously” to follow the rules, and thought he had complied, but he and other parliamentarians must accept the Auditor-General’s final view when it is presented. “It would bring total disrepute on our Parliament and Government if we ignore him.”
Asked if Act would pay back the $16,000, Mr Hide said he was waiting to see what the report said.
Asked if he would support passing legislation to validate the spending, he said: “It would be a huge mistake for MPs to use their position of privilege and power to change the rules for their own spending just because they can”.
That is now four parties who have repaid the money, not incurred any illegal expenditure or agreed to repay. The ball is firmly with the Greens, NZ First and United Future to see if they will make the same commitment.