A few weeks back I revealed how the government’s new public:private partnership school in Auckland is actually costing more than it would’ve cost if it had been built using the traditional approach. Since then I’ve been asking a few more questions. Here are a couple of recent answers:
Question: What is the total annual budget for the Ministry of Education to oversee government use of Public Private Partnerships within the education sector, in each of the next 3 years?
Answer: The Ministry of Education has appropriated a budget of $100,000 per year for the next three years.
Question: What is the full list of Ministry of Education staff positions that oversee government use of Public Private Partnerships within the education sector?
Answer: The team for the Hobsonville Point Schools’ Public Private Partnership (PPP) includes a Project Director, Policy Analyst and Project Co-ordinator.
Question: How many people working for the Ministry of Education to oversee government use of Public Private Partnerships within the education sector have been redeployed from other areas and how many are new recruits?
Answer: I am advised that that there is one new recruit. No one has been redeployed from other areas.
Now either the Ministry has found an ingenious way to hire 3 staff for less than $100,000 per year all up, or something isn’t quite right here. It’s also not clear how they can have put together a team of 3 people by only recruiting one person and not redeploying anyone else. Perhaps these are some of John Key’s ghost jobs?
I asked for a bit more information. The answer to one of my follow-up questions came through today:
Question: Further to his answer to written question 06416 (2012) Does the $100,000 budget for the Hobsonville Private Public Partnership project cover the full salaries of the 3 staff working in the team?
Answer: The question cannot be answered in the timeframe and I will resolve to answer as soon as practicable.
Really? It’s a pretty simple question. I suspect the answer is going to be no, given 3 project management staff are likely to have salary packages that collectively add up to significantly more than $100,000 per year. How on earth can he justify taking more than 5 working days to come up with an answer to this one? Certainly doesn’t inspire confidence that the taxpayer is getting value for their money from this lot!