The Taxpayers' Union can reveal that another $2.4 million has been paid by the NZ Aid programme to the controversial 'Clinton Health Initiative', a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation, which President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton sits on the board of.
The payment of $2,352,869 NZD was paid in May and revealed in a response to a Taxpayers' Union Official Information Act request to Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee. Mr Brownlee's response has been uploaded to www.taxpayers.org.nz/2017_clinton_payment
Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers' Union, says "Back in January, the Australian Government cut all ties with the very fund our Government is still pumping millions of taxpayers' money into. Mr Brownlee can say all he likes about the money apparently doing work in Africa, but no one really believes that a charity run by Chelsea Clinton is the best way to deliver that."
"Of real concern is Gerry Brownlee's claim that the Clinton Health Initiative is independent and not a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation. That is simply not true. We've gone back to the Minister pointing out the Initiative's public filings showing that the Clinton Foundation has full control, including appointing the board - which includes President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton. Under international accounting standards, the power to appoint the board is determinative of that organisation being a 'subsidiary'."
"The Minister is either misleading the public in claiming the fund is not a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation, or his advisors are incompetent. If it is the latter, it seems $9.1 million of our money has been handed out on a false premise. From a taxpayer perspective, it's not clear which of those is worse."
"In addition to the constitutional objections to NZ Aid giving money to a foreign politician's foundation, if the Clinton Foundation was so effective at delivering aid outcomes, why have our Aussie neighbours pulled out?"
"If this was a charity run by President Donald Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump, then we have no doubt we would not be funding it. So why are we funding the Clintons?"
In the letter to the Taxpayers' Union, Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee claims that the Clinton Health Initiative is not a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation. This is wrong.
The Initiative’s “1023” Form – Application for recognition of Exemption under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code shows that the Foundation has full rights of appointment of the members board of the Initiative. As these non-profit groups do not have equity allocation (shareholders) the definition of subsidiary and groups (to the extent that the Initiative must be included in the Foundation’s group or consolidated financial statements) depend on the ability of the Foundation to exercise control over the Initiative. There can be no greater way to do this than the rights to appoint members of the board.
Because the Clinton Foundation has the power to appoint the Board of the Initiative:
- under NZ company law, the Initiative is a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation
- under international financial reporting standards, the Initiative is a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation
- the financial statements of the Clinton Foundationdation - prepared under US GAAP (Generally Acceptable Accounting Practices), the Initiative is treated as a subsidiary of the Clinton Foundation.
The letter from the Minister, and the Taxpayers' Union's response are available at: www.taxpayers.org.nz/2017_clinton_payment.
| A taxpayers Union release || July 18, 2017 |||