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Media Statement Treasury corrects error on Ministerial expenses

2 Jul 2009

Information released last week by Treasury in Budget documents included a column of incorrect figures relating to four items in Vote Ministerial Services.

The incorrect figures were in a table outlining average monthly spending rates and related to costs incurred by the previous Government over the period from December 2007 to February 2008. For example, the figures in that column understated average monthly Ministers' Internal and External Travel by $447,000.

The table also included a "Total" line which has been removed. The line was incorrect as the columns in this table cannot be accurately added because this would double count certain expenses. Because of the way these funds are appropriated, approximately 85-90% of VIP Transport is funded from Ministers' Internal and External Travel, which is included as a separate line. Therefore, adding these figures would result in double counting.

Treasury Deputy Secretary State Sector Performance Group Peter Mersi said he deeply regrets the error and apologises for it.

"Treasury strives to produce accurate and timely information. We didn’t meet our own high standards this time and I'm looking into how that happened, to ensure that such errors are unlikely to happen again," Mr Mersi said.

The table reproduced below has corrected figures:

Erratum Table - Average Monthly Spending Rate - T2009/567

Note 1: These figures are an indication only; Jul-Oct 08 and Dec-Feb 08/09 figures may be distorted somewhat by costs relating to the election.

Contact for Media

Angus Barclay | Senior Communications Advisor
Tel: +64 4 917 6146
Mob: +64 (0)27 337 1102
angus.barclay@treasury.govt.nz
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