Disclosure of Chief Executive expenses, gifts and hospitality - Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I find the letter from the State Services Commissioner to chief executives outlining plans to introduce the chief executive expense, gifts and hospitality initiative and the November 2010 letter that confirmed the initiative?
All correspondence and information about the chief executives expense disclosure including templates can be found online at http://www.ssc.govt.nz/ce-expenses-disclosure .
What is the reporting period for disclosing chief executive expenses, gifts and hospitality?
Disclosures are required at six monthly intervals (30 June and 31 December).
Where can I go if I need extra help filling out the expense form for our chief executive?
If you have any specific questions about definitions or other matters, these can be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Technical questions about www.data.govt.nz should be addressed to the Department of Internal Affairs at email@example.com. You may also find that reviewing previous disclosures (www.data.govt.nz ) helpful.
Does the initiative apply to subsidiaries?
No, the chief executive expense disclosure initiative does not apply to Crown entity subsidiaries. It applies to public service departments and statutory Crown entities (including Corporations sole).
Should the information include GST?
Yes, all expenses disclosed should be GST-inclusive.
For agencies that use one credit card for all expenses, do disclosures apply to CE expenses or all the organisation’s expenses?
If an agency and its chief executive use one card for all expenses, make sure the disclosure only includes those expenses that the chief executive has incurred. Expenses incurred on behalf of the agency as a whole would not be included in the disclosure.
Does a chief executive have to include details about the purpose of non-credit card expenses as well as for the credit card expenses?
Yes. Please ensure you provide enough information to describe the purpose of the expense. Full, transparent disclosure helps show the reader how public money is being used.
What if we don’t have full information for expenses incurred during the last 6 months?
Please provide as much information as you have available to complete the report. Any information not provided in this reporting period should be added to the next six monthly disclosure.
Gifts and farewells
Should the disclosure include farewell functions and/or gifts that the agency pays for?
Include the costs of farewell functions and/or gifts if they have been paid for by the chief executive either with his/her credit card or through other non-credit card means that fall within the chief executive's budget.
Should the costs of koha, hui or tangi be disclosed?
Include the costs of koha, hui or tangi if those costs are paid for by the chief executive, using his/her credit card and/or through any non-credit card means that fall within his/her budget.
Should the cost of staff functions be disclosed if they are paid for from the chief executive's redit card?
What should an agency do about farewells?
The costs of farewells and farewell gifts paid for by the chief executive either with his/her credit card and/or through other non-credit card payments should be disclosed.
Should gifts from Embassies and High Commissions be disclosed?
Gifts from Embassies, High Commissions and overseas delegations should be disclosed but the estimated value of such gifts is not necessary. Please provide sufficient information that describes the nature of the gift.
If a staff member pays for a staff function and gets reimbursed by the agency should that be disclosed?
If the staff member gets a reimbursement from the chief executive's budget for a staff function they have paid for themselves then this information should be provided in the disclosure.
Should the costs of a Winter solstice or similar type of event for staff be included?
If the costs of any event or function for staff are paid for by the chief executive, please disclose the costs in the appropriate fields of the spreadsheet.
Should the costs of taxis and airfare be declared?
Yes, if the costs of taxis and airfares that the chief executive uses are paid with his/her credit card and/or through other non-credit card means that fall under the chief executive’s budget, they should be disclosed.
Does expenditure for travel, aside from airfares, have to be disclosed?
All travel-related costs that the chief executive incurs should be disclosed. This would include, for example, meals, accommodation and taxi fares.
Should petrol costs and vehicle maintenance be included?
Petrol costs and vehicle maintenance for a chief executive’s vehicle that are paid for using the chief executive’s credit card, or by any other non-credit card means that fall under the chief executive’s budget should be included.
Should cellphone costs be included?
Cellphone costs that are paid for either by the chief executive’s credit card or by any other non-credit card means that fall under the chief executive’s budget should be included.
What should go in the “Other” category of the template?
Any expenses that the chief executive incurs that do not fit neatly within the other template headings should be added to the “other” field of the spreadsheet.
Does the disclosure include every single item of travel, for example car costs to the airport to the value of $5?
Chief executives are encouraged to disclose as much detail as possible to promote transparency in reporting.
Should the CE’s disclosure include hospitality given as well as received?
What does “Description” mean?
The description field in the spreadsheet should be used to provide enough information about the type and nature of the expense. A full and detailed description promotes openness and transparency.
What does “Offered by” mean?
"Offered by" relates to the name of the person/s and/or organisation/s that has provided gifts and/or hospitality. Where there are particularly sensitive aspects, for instance a ‘ceremonial’ gift from an overseas government, it may be appropriate not to include the estimated value of a gift.
What should an agency do if it doesn’t have a chief executive?
The agency should provide a disclosure for whoever heads the organisation.
Should repeated (but different) credit card entries be disclosed separately? For example, four separate taxi trips during a single journey overseas for which we don’t have information about the purpose/destination of the journey: should these be separate entries or an aggregate entry?
Chief executives should provide as much information as possible, to provide a clear picture of how public money is being spent.
What happens if the chief executive conducts agency business while on other business that may be paid for by a third party? Should the costs of any non-Ministry business be disclosed?
The chief executive should account for only those expenses incurred that are directly related to the agency’s business.
Can agencies seek extensions if they are unable to meet the deadline?
Agencies are expected to meet the deadline. Any requests for extensions will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. If agencies require an extension to post information, please contact SSC at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Can agencies aggregate non-credit card expenditure?
Providing information transparently is one of the objectives of this initiative. Please provide line-by–line breakdowns for each expense.
Should agencies include purchase and credit card transaction costs?
If account transaction fees have been incurred from the chief executive’s budget, this information should be disclosed.
Can SSC provide technical assistance to link information to www.data.govt.nz ?
SSC is unable to provide you with any technical assistance about how to link information to www.data.govt.nz but the Department of Internal Affairs will be able to assist. Their contact details can be found at www.data.govt.nz, or contact the data.govt.nz team by email: email@example.com. You can also find further guidance in the document "DIA guidance" in the resources section of http://www.ssc.govt.nz/ce-expenses-disclosure .