Friday, September 5, 2008

Corruption, Incompetence and control and declining government accountability

One of the themes of the Helengrad years has been the ever tightening control government puts on everything. The lack of accountability as the agents of state do everything to the whim of Dear Leader and her henchpeople.
Indeed, with the allegations swirling around Winston Peters and the lack of policy from Liarbour, bloggers like Whale Oil are even questioning whether we will have an election. I have heard sound arguments suggesting we might not and there is actually very little we can do about it.
I am surprised that there has been no lefty accusations of Whale Oil showing the same signs of paranoia they accuse Ian Wishart of. But maybe they know something we do not.
Apparanly it is a 'damning' report. The monitoring and assessesmment, the lack of transparency is 'indefensible,' it says.
Mr Weldon described the recent report by the Commerce Committee on the valuation and reporting of the country's 18 SOEs as "shocking reading" and an "abysmal" reflection on the Crown Company Monitoring Advisory Unit, which monitors the Government's investment in state-owned companies.
The Dominion-Post continues:
The committee said it had been told by officials "informally" that satisfactory portfolio performance data was not published because of a lack of resources.
The report said this implied that portfolio performance and public accountability were not considered relevant or important, respectively.
The committee said it was concerned because Government documents, particularly the State-owned Enterprises Act, state the main aim of an SOE is to be as efficient and profitable as a comparable private company.
Before adding:
One funds research analyst said the private sector "couldn't do a worse job even if we were drunk in charge".
So how can the taxpayer be assured these 'state assets' are being run properly? Especially as Liarbour seems more intent on creating them through KiwiBank, KiwiRail, etc, etc. What is Liarbour hiding?
Now, Mark Welson of the NZX has kindly offered free listing of some SOE shares so the market can offer a better degree of transparency and accountability.
Indeed, what better way to ensure this by having shares openly traded, plus bosses having to attend AGMs and having to face shareholders, plus Bruce Shepherd of the NZ Shareholder Association.
SOE bosses may face grillings from ministers, but who grills the minister?
In recent years Parliament has been losing its accountability role, with the Speaker keen to ensure the opposition doesn't get a fair chance to quiz ministers, as shown by the recent silencing attempts of Rodney Hide.
So who now gets to ensure accountability from the government? Certainly, it seems they cannot be trusted. Look how they underestimated the cost of Kiwirail and did not mention any liabilities, until they were exposed by the media.
And we have the media to thank too for yesterday's expose that 'invesment' in Kiwirail looks set to blow out and cost far more than Liarbour promises.
Indeed, as David Farrar confirms, public ownership does not mean public accountability.
And under Liarbour we get less and less government accountability, with each day that passes.
UPDATE: Liarbour admits breaking conventions over appointments.


homepaddock said...

IS there any relationship between this and the number of Labour appointees to the boards of SOEs who are there becaue of their political connections rather than their governance abilities?

Anonymous said...

Don't we have to have an election according to electoral law? Isn't there legislation that governs this that is only able to be changed by a 75% majority vote?

Can't see National voting for it!

Psycho Milt said...

I am surprised that there has been no lefty accusations of Whale Oil showing the same signs of paranoia they accuse Ian Wishart of.

Well, I haven't read Whaleoil's post on this. But if right-wing bloggers are "questioning whether we will have an election," then yes - bizarre paranoid fantasies, and you guys really need to get a grip on yourselves and maybe take less of whatever those pills are.

Clunking Fist said...

Those pills are called "hope", psycho, and lefties are ALWAYS instructing us to have less...

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that no one in Helen's caucus ever stands up to her, or speaks out to the media. Don't Cunners or Phil Goff have a mind of their own, do they enjoy seeing NZ being ravaged and corrupted? What a puzzle. Even Helen would not dare to not call an election, but sometimes I wonder!

Mr Dennis said...

Labour has been steadily whittling away the safeguards in our system of government. I don't think she'd try not having an election yet, but the longer she stays in power the easier she will make it to do something drastic like that.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dennis, right on. Labour are a scary beast, these days. So corrupt - anything is possible.