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Inquiry into Funding Arrangements for Māori Education Trust Scholarships

3 March 2004

Terms of Reference

The Chief Executive of the Ministry of Education (the Ministry) has asked the Auditor-General to investigate the Ministry's contract management for the funding it provided to the Māori Education Trust (the Trust) for Māori education scholarship programmes. Responsibility for these scholarship programmes is currently being transferred from the Ministry to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

The Auditor-General is the auditor of the three entities concerned. The Ministry and TEC are "public entities" under the Public Audit Act 2001. The Trust is not a "public entity", but the Auditor-General agreed to audit the Trust under section 19 of the Public Audit Act at the Trust's request.

The Auditor-General has decided to conduct an inquiry into the funding arrangements for the scholarship programmes. The inquiry will be conducted under sections 16 and 18 of the Public Audit Act 2001.

This inquiry will:

  1. Examine the role of the Ministry, and its oversight of the scholarship programmes, including the internal control environment operating within the Trust;
  2. Identify the funding arrangements for the scholarship programmes, and determine their basis and purpose;
  3. Examine the process by which each funding arrangement was made and whether good practice was complied with;
  4. Determine whether funding has been applied in accordance with the relevant appropriations, statutory authority, or other requirements;
  5. Review for each scholarship programme the appropriateness of the arrangements the Ministry had to monitor the implementation and performance of the programme and the effectiveness of that monitoring; and
  6. Identify for each scholarship programme whether the Trust has performed and/or complied with its obligations with respect to the award of scholarships in which the Crown has an interest.

The Auditor-General will report the findings of this inquiry to the Secretary for Education in the first instance. He may also report under sections 20 and 21 of the Public Audit Act on the above terms of reference and such other matters arising from the inquiry as the Auditor-General considers it desirable to report on.

Contact for enquiries

Wendy Venter
Assistant Auditor-General
Phone (04) 917 1511

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