Atherden concerned at the overspend leeway given to Government projects
Opposition Senate leader Jeanne Atherden said she was “surprised” to learn Government development projects could run up to 15 percent over budget.
Senator Jeanne Atherden, who spoke during the Senate Budget debate on the Ministry of Finance on Friday, said there had been much concern about construction projects being delivered on time and on budget.
She claimed that most private groups that offered themselves out for procurement management projects tended to have a “rule of thumb” ensuring them to stay within ten percent of their budget.
“I am quite surprised to see that Government have decided their rule of thumb will be 15 percent.”
Sen Atherden said not only does this figure go outside the normal range, it also could result in less savings when dealing with projects running into the large sums.
“If someone could tell me why we chose 15 percent as our standard where others in the private sector would say ten percent.”
Government Senator David Burt said the range was set at 15 percent and added: “That is looked at as the standard.”
The Junior Finance Minister answered a handful of questions posed by Sen Atherden including when quarterly appraisal reports would be started by the Finance Ministry.
Sen Burt said the appraisals would start once the department was anticipated to be completely set up.
He said that was likely to be before July, at which point it will have oversight of all projects.