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Inquiry into Cambridge High School’s management of conflicts of interest concerning Cambridge International College

20 September 2004

Terms of reference

The Auditor-General has decided to conduct an audit and inquiry into the management by the Board of Trustees of Cambridge High School (CHS) of any potential or actual conflicts of interest as they relate to its arrangements with a private company, Cambridge International College (CIC). The audit and inquiry will be conducted under sections 16(1) and 18 of the Public Audit Act 2001.

The Auditor-General has made this decision after receiving and considering a request by the Minister of Education to inquire into these matters, and after extensive preliminary inquiries to ascertain the nature of the issues involved.

The focus of the audit and inquiry will be on communications which took place between CHS and CIC about a partnership for the education of overseas students, and whether any member, office-holder or employee of CHS had either potential or actual conflicts of interest by virtue of their relationships with CIC. The audit and inquiry will:

  1. Examine and inquire into what communications took place between CHS and CIC in respect of the education of overseas students, the nature of the relationship (if any) that eventuated, what resources of CHS were involved, and any related issues of accountability.
  2. Examine, in the context of the communications, the relationship, and the use of resources referred to in paragraph 1:
    • whether any potential or actual conflicts of interest have at any time existed on the part of any member, office-holder or employee of CHS;
    • whether CHS and/or any member, office-holder or employee acted properly in respect of any such conflict; and
    • whether CHS has suffered any financial loss as a result of any such conflict.
  3. Examine CHS’s policies and procedures for identifying and managing conflicts of interest, including, but not limited to, any conflicts in respect of CIC; and identify whether any improvements should be made to those policies and procedures with the objective of addressing any concerns identified as a consequence of the findings in 1 and 2 above.
  4. Examine and inquire into any other issues that the Auditor-General considers relate to or arise from the above matters.

The Auditor-General will report to CHS and such other persons as he considers appropriate under section 21 of the Public Audit Act on the above terms of reference and such other matters arising from the audit and inquiry as he considers it desirable to report on.

The Auditor-General may also report the findings of the audit and inquiry to the House of Representatives under section 20 of the Act.

20 September 2004

For any enquiries, please contact:
Graham Potter, Manager of School Audits
Telephone: (04) 917 1546
E-mail: Graham.Potter@oag.govt.nz

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