Office of Pre-Primary Education and Childcare

 

Follow us on FacebookFollow us on Twitteryoutube

Member Login

 

ECE services paid funding twice and get to keep the money

$20m blunder

money windfall compressed picBy JOHN HARTEVELT
Sep 24 2009

Senior public servants failed to pick up a payment blunder for more than a year, costing the Ministry of Education more than $20 million.

The mistake occurred when a 4 percent funding boost to about 2000 early-childhood centres was allocated twice in the same round, meaning more than $20 million was over-spent.

An internal report obtained under the Official Information Act said human error involving an inexperienced and overworked ministry staff member led to the original funding mistake.

It was compounded by a poor peer review that meant the error went undetected for 14 months.

The report also criticised the ministry's business culture.

"There is an element of 'process informality' to ministry culture which relies on individual staff and `in the head knowledge' rather than more formal methods," it said.

The ministry will not recoup the misspent money.

The report said a senior policy analyst in the ministry "almost identified the error".

"She asked how funding rates could increase by more than 4 per cent when salaries increase by 4 per cent?'

"Unfortunately, she then answered the question herself and that thought appears to have undergone no further critique," it said.

In the first peer review of the funding rates, another official had written: " I haven't checked most of this gigantic spreadsheet and I can only assume that all inputs have been updated and all links are linking to the right places."

The mistake was replicated in various tables and spreadsheets.

"Internal checks, peer and manager review all failed to identify the error," the report said.

"We believe that overall peer review of this activity was inadequate."

The report found the disparate responsibility for funding rates "blurred accountability".

It concluded that unless a series of shortcomings was addressed there was a risk of a similar mistake.

Go to the full article by JOHN HARTEVELT


To keep reading, login with your member's username and password Smile

Or click on the blue button below to join 

Free E-Newsletter

Receive the free Early Childhood Alert.

captcha 

We hate spam as much as you, we will not sell your contact details to anyone.

You can unsubscribe at any time.

Read our Privacy Policy here.

Don’t miss out any longer, click the button below to join ChildForum

Join Us!

child-with-binoculars-small

 

Subscribe now for information you can trust, expert advice and research, as well as access to quality resources. 

We are confident you will be delighted to discover and experience the benefits of membership - so join now and make this message for non-members disappear from your screen. 

Membership Options

Individual
Member

Who is this for?
Teachers, Caregivers, Teacher Educators, Policy Advisors - any indivdual with an interest in ECE

$98.00 12 months from the date of joining
$60.00 6 months student-only

Choose your own personal username and password
(Note that this membership does not give access to specialist ECE Service members-only info and support) 

ECE Service Organisation
Member

Who is this for?
Centres, home-based, hospital-based, playgroups ... established or newly licensed.

$198.00 12 months per standalone licensed service
Special rates for organisations with more than 1 licensed service

This membership gives access to professional & research materials enjoyed by individual members PLUS ECE service management area info and support. 

Library NZ-International Research
in ECE Journal Subscriber

Who is this for?
Universities, Polytechnics and organisations wishing to have online access to the NZ-Int Research in ECE journal (includes all past and current issues) 

$125.00 annual subscription, renewable in November each year

A username and password for your library users linked to your IP address.