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WINZ Spends Around $50,000 On Two Month Contract

Sunday 23rd Apr 2000
Dr Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Social Welfare

Social Services and Employment, Minister Steve Maharey is being asked by ACT to explain why WINZ has hired a consultancy firm for around 2 months at a cost of around $50,000.

Figures released today by ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman that the Department of Work and Income has employed a consultancy firm for around $50,000 for two months work on audit and risk, without the contract being put out for competitive tender.

A contract for around $50,000 for two months, is equivalent to nearly $300,000 for a years work.

“Even if the work of the Hunter Group is specialised, this is a huge amount of tax payers money for such a short job that was not put out to competitive tender,” said Muriel Newman.

“Steve Maharey has constantly attacked WINZ for extravagance and the use of consultants, yet here is a huge payment for a short contract, well after he became Minister,” she said.

“A contract at an equivalent yearly rate of nearly $300,000 is huge, and it is time for Mr Maharey to accept responsibility, not issue another mock anger release stating he will hold someone in WINZ accountable’’, concluded Muriel Newman.

“The Minister has gained a reputation for saying one thing and doing the opposite. However, now he’s supposed to be in charge grandstanding is not an option.

“It is time for the Minister who has trumpeted openness, transparency, accountability and moderation to take responsibility and say whether he thinks this expenditure is acceptable,” said Muriel Newman.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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