SPCS Media Release 11 November 2006 Society Exposes Gross Inefficiency and Wastage of Taxpayers’ Money in Chief Censor’s Office

From: David Lane [mailto:david.lane@paradise.net.nz]
Sent: Saturday, 11 November 2006 4:46 p.m.
To: spcs.org@gmail.com
Subject: SPCS Media Release 11 November 2006 Society Exposes Gross Inefficiency and Wastage of Taxpayers’ Money in Chief Censor’s Office

For immediate release …..

The Society for Promotion of Community Standards Inc. P.O. Box 13-683 Johnsonville

Media Release 11 November 2006

Society Exposes Gross Inefficiency and Wastage of Taxpayers’ Money in Chief Censor’s Office

The Annual Report (2006) of the Chief Censor’s Office – the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) – was tabled in parliament on Friday 10 November 2006. Analysis by the Society of the Financial Statements of the OFLC for the year ending 30 June 206 reveals gross inefficiency in the use of taxpayer funds in the activities of the Classification Unit which is responsible to the Minister of Internal Affairs, the Hon Rick Barker, for performing Output 1 (defined as "Examination, Classification and Registration of Publications"). The Chief Censor, Bill Hastings, and his deputy, Ms Nicola McCully, are directly responsible for the preparation of the Financial Statements.

The OFLC received a total revenue of $2,847,878 to fulfill Output 1 that involved about 1,649 publications in the 2005/06 financial year (DVDs, films, computer games and images, books, magazines and videos). In additon there were 946 posters assessed which the OFLC claims cost them in the order of $50,000 to classify ($52.23 per poster "slicks"). The Society is shocked at this extravagant charge for a task that the OFLC claims took their censors about 1,700 hours to perform. Making a decision on the display conditions to impose on a single video "slick" (a static image) and recordng the decision, could not possibly take 1.8 hours! 

Based on average costs that take full acount of all overheads and personnel time, supplied to parliament by Mr Barker, the Society has shown that it cost the OFLC $990,302 to complete Output 1. However, the OFLC received revenue from three sources totalling $2,847,878 (including $1,371,894 from taxpayers) to fulfil Output 1 in 2005/06; revenue amounting to $1,857,576 IN EXCESS of that calculated by the OFLC as the full and direct costs of completing Output 1. This inefficiency in the Classification Office (30%) means that the 19 censors only spend at most 1.5 days per working week on activities directly related to that for which the tax-payer funds them. The remaining 3.5 days are spent on activities which the Minister says are "not related" to fulfilling Output 1. (Note a separate Crown revenue grant of about $620,00 covers all costs for activities performed by the OFLC related to its Information Services – Output 2).

The Society is asking what the 19 censors in the Classification Unit did in 2005/06 for the 23,826 hours of "off-task" activities they engaged in. The Society is aware that they are paid by the tax-payer to receive psychological counselling, have music and dancing lessons, go to the gymnasium etc. in orderr to gain relieve the overcome the stress and impact of watching DVDs, videos and films that contain "objectionable" content such as hard core pornography, sexual violence, paedophilia and necrophilia.

To see parts of the Society’s analysis continue.

http://spcs.org.nz/content/view/124/

http://spcs.org.nz/content/view/123/

http://spcs.org.nz/content/view/122/

http://spcs.org.nz/content/view/121/

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