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THE PUBLIC REVENUES.

CARELESS METHODS RECTIFIED.

It is remarked by tbe Publio Service I Commissioner in his annual report to Parliament that a striking instance,of lack of co-operation of Departments, came under notice in connection with coal royalties. "The collections," he says "are made by tbe local receivers of gold revenue, and in some cases by receivers of land revenue, There was no supervision, the receivers simply re ceivinsr such royalties as the coalmine lessees might tender, and being in no position to check the figures. Tbe per manent head of one Department stated chat a second Department was under the impression that the first Department charged,itself with full responsibility in the matter; but both the first Department and a third Depart ment thought that a fourth Depart orient was taking the responsibility. The result was that no one attended to the matter, and therewas reason to fear that a large amount had been lost to the revenue in consequence. This has now been put on a proper footing by Section 24 of tbe Public Eevenues Amendment Act, 1918.

"Similarly, the collection of timber royalties appears, to have been per formed in a haphazard manner, as ie shown in the following extract from the report of the 1913 Forestry Com mision:—

"la some cases the Warden's Courts are held in small decayed mining townships, where tbe .Clerk of the Court may be the local constable; such constables are liable to frequent transfer, with the result that the col lection of timber royalties baa in some cases been allowed to get into arrears, and then, through millers being in solvent, large sums have been lost to the Crown. Instances of this have been brought under our notice.' " It is only a few days ago since I ascertained, by means of an inspection made on my behalf, that a local officer had been paying over to local bodies proportions of revenue aa much as five and six times the amount to which they were legally entitled. In the same Department »it was also found, in respect of the accounting methods, that the procedure adopted in tbe various centres materially differed, and in one case it was ascertained that as /large a sum as £14,000 had not been claimed as a refund to the Departmental vote. "It seems singular that with an Audit Department having inspectors throughout, tbe country, and other Departments vitally concerned in such collection- arH payments, it should be po3s ible fn-discoveries of.this kind to !be ruadp.; As provision for the inppect;on ol accounts by the Treasury Depu-tiiou; bl3 been made, it is to be l-.op-d that a vigorous policy of jo-pi c.ion wi'! make leakages and ox e p 'mymenrs of'the kind impossible. H'W tar thaj «x:snd it is difficult to dtte ttliLifr,"

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AMBPA19140710.2.16

Bibliographic details

THE PUBLIC REVENUES., Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4411, 10 July 1914

Word Count
464

THE PUBLIC REVENUES. Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser, Volume LXXII, Issue 4411, 10 July 1914

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