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Payroll system blunders highlight a bigger problem

11 November, 2004

Sinn Féin Assembly group leader, Newry Armagh MLA Conor Murphy, a former member of the Assembly Public Accounts Committee, has said that a report into the payroll system for the Civil Service highlights serious weaknesses in monitoring and evaluation and in decision making over how public money is spent.

Mr Murphy said:

"Many people will be angered that millions of pounds of public money has been wasted on a civil service computerised payroll system that never produced a single pay slip when the British government is trying to force people to put even greater money into the public purse through water charges and increases in rates.

"This clearly demonstrates that people are just not getting value for money. Yet on a daily basis evidence emerges that we need more resources for our hospitals and schools, to invest in infrastructure and throughout many areas of vital frontline public services.

"This report highlights the failure, on a massive scale, of senior civil servants on the project board overseeing the development of the system to effectively monitor and evaluate how this project was failing to deliver for nearly ten years.

"But of greater concern than the failures with this particular project is the pattern surrounding the awarding of external contracts and the monitoring of performance of suppliers and their ability to deliver on time and within budget." ENDS

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