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Alexander welcomes funding evaluation pledge

Wednesday, 22 June 2005

Alexander welcomes Swain's funding evaluation pledge

United Future corrections spokesman Marc Alexander today won a pledge from Corrections Minister Paul Swain in Parliament that the Government will stop funding the Christchurch prisoner reintegration scheme, PILLARS, if an audit of the programme due by the end of the month shows that it falls short, and will re-tender the service for the best provider.

Mr Alexander had renewed his attack on the Government for continuing to fund PILLARS despite being in possession of a 2003 draft report highly critical of it.

He asked Mr Swain to confirm that the 2003 draft final evaluation report of the Christchurch-based PILLARS programme "revealed frequent case-worker turnover, case-workers failing to keep appointments, failure to identify drug and alcohol abuse, family violence and child abuse".

"And if any of that is true, why has this organisation received public funding for a further two years and with no further report being made?" Mr Alexander asked.

He asked Mr Swain if he stood by his recent select committee comments that "frankly the evaluation hasn't been all that flash"?

Mr Alexander said throwing public money at a programme so clearly coming up short was inexcusable, but he welcomed the pledge to hold PILLARS accountable at long last.


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