Over paid and Overseas

Seems like there are more Peter Freedom’s out there roaming the world on our ticket. National needs to boot the MSD wallies in the arse for ceasing data-matching.

Almost $19 million was overpaid in one year to people who left New Zealand while still receiving a benefit, Government documents show.

The true figure could be higher, as Social Development Ministry staff were told to stop looking for overpayments and concentrate instead on clearing the backlog of debt.

The data, revealed in the Office of the Privacy Commissioner’s annual report this month, shows weekly data checks with the Inland Revenue Department found 54,032 possible matches for overpaid clients.

Of these, 28,325 had been overpaid a total of $18,915,102 – an average of $667 each.

The commissioner’s report noted that the number and value of overpayments found by the ministry had doubled since the previous year.

“In September, MSD decided to cease matching work on some client cases (in advance of system changes) with Inland Revenue, and reallocate resources to this programme to clear a backlog of work.”

The ministry’s general manager of integrity services, Justine Auton, said it was a beneficiary’s duty to advise staff if they were leaving the country.

“These are clients who failed to meet their legal obligation and tell us that they were going overseas,” she said.

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.