Chris Hipkins |
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 – 17:16
Hekia Parata needs to stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility for signing-off Novopay – despite glaring inadequacies in the information she was relying on, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.
“The Education Minister was advised that there were 147 known software defects, yet she signed-off Novopay’s go-live without asking for any more information about them.
“Hekia Parata was advised that user testing hadn’t been completed, yet she signed-off Novopay’s go-live anyway.
“She was advised that there were security vulnerabilities in the Novopay system, yet signed it off without asking for more information about what those security threats were.
“And finally, Ms Parata signed Novopay off despite getting contradictory advice about whether or not the critical confidence points had been met.
“The Minister’s assertion in Parliament today that she relied on people that ‘know about IT’ is a particularly dismissive response to serious questioning about her ability to make sense of information put in front of her.
“Ministers must know what they are signing – otherwise National is just governing blind.
“It’s no wonder the Inquiry report was so silent on the role of Ministers. Had their work been as scrutinised as that of the officials advising them, three further heads would be rolling – Hekia Parata, Bill English and Craig Foss.
“An apology – even from a newly humbled Steven Joyce – doesn’t cut it for teachers and school staff. Sharing the burden of failure with officials does not mean ministers are absolved of their responsibilities.
“The report into Novopay asserts that Ministers were not well served by official advice. Be that as it may, an experienced and able Minister would have asked for better advice.
“Hekia Parata admitted today that she did not ask for further advice or information. That’s an abdication of responsibility and another indictment on her abilities as a Minister.
“Ultimately, teachers and school staff have mopped up the mess created by Hekia Parata. That’s not fair – and this advice isn’t contradictory – she’s got to go.