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Auditor: student body books ‘a big mess’

Aug 17th, 2010 | By | Category: News

loretta

LORETTA RYDER

THE 2009 books for Whitireia Independent Students Association show it was basically bankrupt – unable to pay its bills on time and facing a serious cash flow problem.

An audit report prepared by Imran Kamal  of Accountants First Ltd of Porirua details poor management and abuse of funds by executives in charge of student money.

Improper procedures have placed financial strain on the association and policy needs to be implemented to prevent further problems, the report says.

Two personal grievance claims – costing $64,000 – were brought against the student association due to poor management, he says.

imranMr Kamal (pictured) expresses concern that hardship grants were made to students, even though there is no provision for them in the constitution.

It was “an abuse of Management responsibility” and he could not vouch for the payments to check validity.

Cash payments made were “not good practice” and future payments needed to be made via cheque to keep an audit trail.

These also required the signature of at least two executives and approval at a meeting to ensure internal control over finances.

WellingtonianCartoon

Cartoon by Paul Ekers, Wellingtonian.

Association president Loretta Ryder’s salary package of $55,000 could not be verified, he says, as he was unable view an employment contract.

No timesheets or wages records were provided and PAYE had not been deducted and paid on the salary.

Ms Ryder’s role of president being an employee of the association raised issues of conflict of interest.

On top of Ms Ryder’s salary was a payment of $11,972 made to her with no policy to go by and no tax deducted or breakdown of calculations.

A ‘”gross abuse” of mobile T-sticks by the executive committee members – the cost was tens of thousands of dollars – and “why they were provided at the first place” is questioned by Mr Kamal.

An outstanding amount of more than $26,000 is owed to Telecom.

Further, there is a lack of policy on travel and meal expenses by other members of the association.

Evidence of why payments to Kenepuru International were made remains unclear and concerns over the lack of policy and controls.

Numerous physical assets were missing, lost or stolen and “not-identifiable” from physical inspection, regardless of the duty of inspections to be carried out randomly by executives.

Preventable bank dishonour fees had climbed to the hundreds of dollars.

There were serious issues of default from unpaid and unfiled GST returns, which he called “a big mess.”

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is A journalist who loves wide open spaces and fresh air, passionate about the world we live in and keeping our natural world as pristine as we can while still living happily. Responsibility is the first step. Toiti te whenua.
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  1. Hmmmm… A forensic Auditor would be better in this situation.

    Loretta may not have had a contract due to being elected and may have been paid by way of honorarium instead of salary? Which would explain the PAYE.

    Timesheets could be absent due to the nature of the role being one that would mean a President does often have to work long hours so it would be more cost effective to have KPI instead of hours which may be the reason for no time sheets?

    Just comments, I don’t know either way…

    There will be strong financial policies in place amongst other things and will be taken from other Associations who have strong financial policies in place and the constitution will be re-looked at and will be amended.

    Use paper trails to keep transparent people!! They work wonders… why people don’t utilize these amazes me!

    Messes can be cleaned up, Whitireia students have support. Pitty the police could not help when the two Exec when to them for help.

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