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National calls in Auditor-General

Sandra Goudie MP
National Party Internal Affairs Spokeswoman

19 October 2006

National calls in Auditor-General over problem gambling contracts


National has called on the Auditor-General to investigate massive overpayments by the Ministry of Health to problem gambling intervention service providers.

National Party Internal Affairs spokeswoman Sandra Goudie has revealed that providers are being massively overpaid for the intervention services they provide.

“The Pacific Peoples Addiction Service in Hamilton was paid $143,160 for intervention services in the 2005/06 year and had only eight customers, even though its contract required it to see at least 300 people – that’s $17,895 for each person using the service.

“Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust in Auckland was paid $186,976 in 2005/06 and had 13 users – that’s $14,382 for each user. Its contract required it to see at least 600 people.

“And Te Rapuora Health Services in Nelson was paid $86,124 and had six people use its service – that’s $14,354 per user.

“Contracts also reveal that people are being counted as clients if they have had a 16-minute phone conversation.

“Is the Government happy to pay up to $18,000 for a 16-minute phone conversation or a single half-hour counselling session?

“You’ve got to wonder, since Labour has given nearly all the providers extra contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars more.

“Taxpayers need assurance that public money is not being wasted and paid for services not delivered.”

Ms Goudie wrote to the Auditor-General this afternoon.

Ends

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