Exclusive – Te Reo Marama and Maori Smoking – Troughing 102

Yesterday I blogged about the excessive travel and globe trotting to exotic place that Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook did in the interests of stopping Maori smoking. The statistics of course show that he has had no impact at all on the incidence of Maori smoking. However worse detail is to come.

Today I present Troughing 102 – How to keep getting funding despite a damning audit report.

From the OIA documents I have received I can confirm that Te Reo Marama obtained the following amounts in funding;

2004/2005 $219,778
2005/2006 $194,052
2006/2007 $276,052
2007/2008 $262,052
2008/2009 $61,945
2009/2010 $220,718.55

Total: $1,234,597

But wait there?s more…

I have also obtained OIA documents showing considerable funding from Hawkes Bay DHB (and what appears to be double dipping) and also have been informed about some highly suspect funding from NZAid as well. I am awaiting the OIA requests from NZAid, but I fail to see why an organisation that is supposed to be helping stop smoking amongst Maori got ANY funding from NZAid whatsoever.

For each of those years of funding shown above there are required reports that the Ministry needs to measure contracts issued against deliverables. I have also obtained those reports for the past three years to show you just how ridiculously easy it is to trough money from the Ministry of Health at least.

TRM Monitoring Report 1 July 2006 – 31 October 2006 – 29 pages of which 12 pages are copies of Letters to the editor written by Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook, newsletters from Te Reo Marama or news articles mentioning him or Te Reo Marama.
TRM Monitoring Report 1 November 2006 – 30 June 2007 – 23 pages of which 8 pages are copies of Letters to the editor written by Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook, newsletters from Te Reo Marama or news articles mentioning him or Te Reo Marama.
TRM Monitoring Report 1 July 2007 – 31 December 2007 -? 23 pages of which 9 pages are copies of letters to the editor written by Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook or news articles mentioning him or Te Reo Marama.
TRM Monitoring Report 1 January 2008 – 30 June 2008 – 31 pages of which 17 pages are copies of Letters to the editor written by Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook or news articles mentioning him or Te Reo Marama.
TRM monitoring Report 1 July 2008 – 30 September 2008 – 12 pages of which 1 pages is a copy of a media release from Te Reo Marama.
TRM scoping document 1 October 2008- 30 June 2009 – 47 pages of tosh about what TRM is going to do, and what they have done.

Those reports essentially cost us, the taxpayer, $7482 a page! and yet the statistics on Maori smoking suggest we would have been better just giving the millions out as roll your own papers.

But here is the interesting point. In 2007 the Ministry of Health after funding Te Reo Marama since 1999 decided to conduct its first audit of TRM.? The audit report is damning. Despite this audit report TRM continued to receive Ministry of Health funding for what will be another three years.

The Audit Report, conducted in November 2007 by Mayhem Solutions Limited at the behest of the Ministry of Health details in its full 88 pages a list of deficiencies so great that were Te Reo Marama a listed company or indeed a normal company registered at the Companies Office would see either its shares suspended from trading or it being struck off. The 88 pages of the report shows in detail just how out of control Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook’s cult of personality was at Te Reo Marama.

Key findings of the audit report were;

  • Lack of compliance by the Board with statutory obligations
  • Significant number of contracted for outputs not achieved nor reported on. High risk
  • No performance or monitoring measures in place for the Director (Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook). High risk
  • No succession planning for key staff. High Risk
  • No Board minutes of approvals of annual budgets. High Risk
  • No Financial reporting against budget, even annually. High Risk
  • No reports to the Board against key targets.
  • No financial management processes where the Director can measure monthly expenditure against budget. High Risk
  • Significant ambiguity in sign off procedures for expenses. High Risk
  • No establish financial delegations established for expenditures between $500-$1000. High Risk
  • No reserves, that is all funding received had been spent in contravention of the State Finance Act re: Public Monies and Surpluses
  • No annual audited accounts completed since 2006
  • No policy or recording of data as per MinHealth requests. High Risk……

The list goes on and on, I have merely highlighted the complete lack of managerial, board and financial controls at Te Reo Marama. Essentially all that says is that Te Reo Marama existed as the personal fiefdom of Shane Kawaneta Bradbrook and no-one at the board or the Ministry of Health saw fit to do anything about it.

I haven’t even started to outline the failings against deliverables as per the contracts with the Ministry which seemingly just kept getting signed off and approved. If this was a private company the Directors would be liable for prosecution for failing in their fiduciary duties as directors to protect shareholder funds.

Most of the the three pages of recommendations and notes about the failings of service delivery are rated as Medium or High Risk. The definition in the report of Medium Risk is “The impact or likelihood of the even occurring may result in, some instances of contractual non-compliance, financial loss impact of 5-10% of funding”. High Risk is described as “Significant instances of contractual non-compliance and/or inability to deliver against the contract, Intervention required by senior management and the Board to resolve service delivery and quality issues, serious risk to client/patient safety, and financial loss impact of more than 10% of funding”.

Essentially Te Reo Marama is a bomb waiting to go off and now because of this blog it has gone off. Worse is yet to come on this story. The 88 page audit report came about from just two days spent at Te Reo Marama. None of the Board were interviewed and no financial audits were performed.

If the auditors had spent more time there, and/or conducted a full financial and forensic audit as well as interrogated the Board members who knows what else may have been found. This report is damning enough but since that report Te Reo marama has recieved more than $500,000 in additional funding from the taxpayer.

Just what sort of control measures were or are in place at the Ministry of Health that an organisation such as Te Reo Marama can continue to trough despite egregious and outrageous failures in delivery.

Tomorrow: Troughing 103: How to be on a Board and double dip and trough as well.