Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Gross Inefficiency in Chief Censor's Office


For immediate release .....
The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville
http://www.spcs.org.nz
Media Release 13 November 2006

Gross Inefficiency in Chief Censor's Office

The Annual Report (2006) of the Chief Censor's Office - the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) – was tabled in parliament on Friday 10 November 2006. Analysis by the Society of the Financial Statements of the OFLC for the year ending 30 June 2006 reveals gross inefficiency in the use of taxpayer funds in the activities of the Classification Unit which is responsible to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon Rick Barker, for performing Output 1 (defined as "Examination, Classification and Registration of Publications"). The Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, and his deputy, Ms Nicola McCully, are directly responsible for the preparation of the Financial Statements.

The OFLC received a total revenue of $2,847,878 to fulfil Output 1 that involved about 1,649 publications in the 2005/06 financial year (DVDs, films, computer games and images, books, magazines and videos). In addition 946 posters were assessed under Output 1, which the OFLC claims cost them in the order of $50,000 to classify ($52.23 per poster "slicks". The Society is shocked at this extravagant charge for a task that the OFLC claims took their censors about 1,700 hours to perform. Making a decision on the display conditions to impose on a single video "slick" (a static image) and recording the decision, could not possibly take 1.8 hours!)

Based on average costs that take full account of all overheads and personnel time, supplied to parliament by Mr Barker, the Society has shown that it cost the OFLC $990,302 to complete Output 1 for which it received revenue from three sources totalling $2,847,878 (including $1,371,894 from taxpayers) to fulfil; revenue amounting to $1,857,576 IN EXCESS of that calculated by the OFLC as the full and direct costs. Its total expenditure on Output 1 was $2,476,060, which is $1,485,758 IN EXCESS of its costs. This low-level efficiency in the Classification Office (30%) means that the 19 censors spend at most 1.5 days per working week on activities DIRECTLY related to that for which the tax-payer funds them. The remaining 3.5 days are spent on activities which the Minister says are "not related" to fulfilling Output 1.(Note a separate Crown revenue grant of about $620,00 covers all costs for activities performed by the OFLC related to its Information Services - Output 2).

The Society is asking what the 19 censors in the Classification Unit did in 2005/06 for the 23,826 hours of "off-task" activities they engaged in. The Society is aware that they are paid by the tax-payer to receive psychological counselling, have music and dancing lessons, go to the gymnasium etc. in order to gain relief from the stress and impact of watching toxic DVDs, videos and films that contain "objectionable" content such as hard core pornography, sexual violence, paedophilia and necrophilia.

A recent report on the Chief Censor's Office states:

"McCully [Deputy Chief Censor] estimates that 80% of her team's work is classifying the kind of sexually explicit DVDs that will end up in sex shops and the "adult" sections of video stores from North Cape to Bluff.... You might have six hours of sex DVDs to classify, and you have to watch them from beginning to end.... Each censor watches the day's assigned publication in individual viewing booths... Outside the row of booths is a desk piled with porn DVDs with titles such as "Buttman Returns" and "All Oral 6"..." [Watching The Defectives" published in the Sunday Star Times 13 August 2006, pp. 5-6].

The Society concludes that the Classification Unit flush with tax-payers funds (Crown Revenue: $1,485,758 IN EXCESS of its costs) and flush with third party revenue (an excess over costs of $381,592) to perform a task (Output 1) that according to the Minister's figures cost only $990,302 to perform. On top of this the OFLC posted a net surplus of $371,818 for 2005/06, on top of increasing the salary packages of both the Chief Censor and his deputy by over $10,000 (190,000+ and $150,000+ respectively).

To see parts of the Society's analysis see www.spcs.org.nz

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What We Could Do For Hong Kong, If Only We Dared

There has been something repulsive about PM Jacinda Ardern’s assurances that our joint 5 Eyes criticism of China’s actions over Hong Kong – and China’s harsh reaction – are all well understood on both sides. According to Ardern, it has been a case of us saying the sort of things we’ve said before, them acknowledging our need to do so, and then them responding much as we would expect them to do. All neat and tidy. Frankly, if all of this is merely virtue signalling on our part, and huffy declarations of independence on their part, then what’s the point of this diplomatic dance..? More>>

 

New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Recommends New DNA Laws For Criminal Investigations

Te Aka Matua o te Ture | Law Commission today released a report that recommends a new, comprehensive regime to control how DNA is obtained, used and retained for criminal investigations. The report has revealed significant gaps in the operation ... More>>

ALSO:


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Announce Portfolio Reshuffle With Talented And Energised Caucus Team

“The Green Party caucus offers a breadth of talent and energy to the Parliament this term. In ten MPs you have a small business owner, a human rights lawyer, an academic, a climate negotiator, a transport planner, and so much more”, Green Party ... More>>

ALSO:

APEC: New Zealand Ready To Host Virtually

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While ... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels