25 Nov 2009

Education chief assures MPs about overpayments

9:29 pm on 25 November 2009

MPs have been told that overpayments by the Education Ministry shouldn't happen again because there are new systems in place to prevent it.

The ministry's chief executive, Karen Sewell, told the education select committee on Wednesday that early childhood education centres were mistakenly given a funding increase of 8% instead of 4% last year.

They were due to receive another 4% increase in July, but that did not happen because they'd effectively been paid early.

Ms Sewell said the bungle was a serious mistake for which she is deeply sorry. But too many individuals were involved and though all took the work seriously no single manager was finally accountable for the signing off, she said.

Ms Sewell says new processes are now in place to ensure that similar mistakes are not made anywhere within the ministry.