Smoking gun found at anti-smoking charity – directors allegedly pay themselves for doing nothing

The Minister of Health needs to explain to taxpayers how $3million is sitting in the account of a defunct charity when the money was supposed to be used to help smokers quit.  Radio NZ reports that the Government has sought legal advice over the Quit Group, which is holding on to millions of dollars in public funds several months after it stopped operating, has continued to pay its board from the surplus.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams says:

“It appears that money which was supposed to be used to help people quit is instead being wasted lining the pockets of a board which apparently has nothing to manage.  It suggests serious flaws in the procurement process at the Ministry of Health.”

“The Quit Group is a charity with the purpose of getting smokers to quit — not building a large reserve so that a board with no services left to manage can continue to be paid.”

“Just yesterday the Treasury released alarming data showing that of the 1,161 Ministry of Heath procurement administration and support contracts valued at over $100,000, not a single one is annually reviewed to ensure it meets expected delivery outcomes. This, and the examples of poor procurement by the Ministry of Health, suggest a ticking time bomb in the largest areas of government spending.”