By AUDREY YOUNG
The Auditor-General's report on Act's electorate-agent staffing scheme is due to be released by Parliament's Speaker, Jonathan Hunt, this morning.
But several Act sources have told the Herald that the Auditor-General did not interview former staff involved in the scheme - revealed by the Herald in March.
Leader Richard Prebble was the person the Auditor-General's office dealt with.
The report, to be presented to cross-party MPs on the Parliamentary Service Commission, looks at the rules surrounding the controversial scheme.
For two years until after the last election, a room in Mr Prebble's Pipitea St flat was designated the party's electoral office and a family trust was paid $6000 rent from taxpayer-funded Parliamentary Service for the office.
Some researchers and press secretaries who did the bulk of their work at Parliament were designated "electorate agents" for pay purposes.
It is estimated the scheme gave Act a financial advantage of at least $100,000 that it would otherwise not have had.
A former Act staff member told the Herald yesterday that the party was aware that its staffing scheme was politically sensitive and liable to be embarrassing if it was exposed by the media.
He said he was not aware that staff had been schooled in deception "but there was a certain amount of nervousness about it".
"I don't think it was intended that anybody work from there," the former staffer said.
"The drill was that if questioned, 'no comment' and refer to [chief of staff] Christopher Milne."
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who laid a formal complaint with the Auditor-General about the scheme, said he would be gravely concerned if so-called electorate agents had not been interviewed, especially former ones.
"Unless the agents were interviewed, no true picture can possibly emerge.
"That's a fact. I would have thought it was axiomatic that to get to the truth you would need to talk to them."
Mr Prebble has defended the scheme on the grounds that Act was using its staffing entitlements smartly. He has seen a draft copy of the Auditor-General's report and says it "clears" his party of wrong-doing.
By AUDREY YOUNG