Tight-lipped over Delta, Carisbrook complaints

The Office of the Auditor-general (OAG) is remaining tight-lipped about two complaints involving the Dunedin City Council and one of its companies.

The OAG confirmed in November last year it would investigate Delta's decision to spend $14.12 million buying property at Jacks Point, near Queenstown, and Luggate, near Wanaka, in 2008 and 2009.

And, earlier this year, the OAG confirmed it had also received two complaints from members of the public calling for an investigation into matters surrounding the council's purchase and sale of Carisbrook.

That followed confirmation the council stood to make a loss from on-selling the old stadium, after buying it and surrounding properties from the Otago Rugby Football Union for $7 million in 2009.

Unlike the Delta situation, the OAG was yet to announce whether complaints relating to Carisbrook warranted a full investigation.

Contacted this week, an OAG spokeswoman confirmed that remained the position, as no decisions had yet been made about whether to proceed with any Carisbrook investigation.

She could also offer no update on how the investigation into Delta's property purchases was going, or when a decision was likely.

In November, an OAG statement said ''relatively contained'' inquiries usually took up to three months, while more complex investigations could take six to 12 months.

OAG staff have since been unable to say whether the Delta investigation was considered relatively contained or more complex, despite requests by the Otago Daily Times.

The OAG's Delta investigation will contribute to a broader study of council-controlled companies (CCOs), the office intends to do in the 2013-14 year.

The office will analyse the governance and accountability of CCOs and report to Parliament on how effectively they deliver services. The Delta investigation will be one case study used. Governance issues that arose in 2011 between the Queenstown-Lakes District Council and its airport company will also be part of the study.

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