The Office of the Auditor General defines sensitive expenditure as “as any spending by an organisation that could be seen to be giving private benefit to staff additional to the business benefit to the organisation. Problems can arise with expenditure related to travel, accommodation, and hospitality, and particular care needs to be taken with these. Problems can also arise from expenditure that is unusual or is not closely related to an organisation’s purpose and/or functions”. The full publication can be located: https://oag.parliament.nz/good-practice/sensitive-expenditure
It also includes expenditure by a public entity that could be considered unusual for the entity’s purpose and/or functions.
Under HCC and Group policy, Sensitive Expenditure is “spending by the Group that could be seen to give some benefit to an employee that is additional to the operational benefit to the Group of the expenditure. It also includes spending by the Group that could be considered unusual or unrelated to the Group’s purpose, function or core activities”.
Council’s Audit and Risk Subcommittee has oversight into areas of Council expenditure that could be considered sensitive. From 1 July 2020 the Subcommittee will receive and evaluation regular reports on Sensitive Expenditure as a standing item. The report will focus on key areas of Council that may be subject to increased scrutiny, with these being:
- Directors of business units within Council
- Chief Executive
The reports on Sensitive Expenditure are published below:
Sensitive Expenditure Policy Update and Disclosures (Audit and Risk Committee - April 2021)