Lottery grants changes after errors made

The Department of Internal Affairs has implemented major changes after more than $12 million in overstated funding was granted by the Lottery Grants Board last year.

In December, Internal Affairs issued a statement acknowledging the forecasting errors for funds made available to the Lottery Grants Board in 2013-14.

Those funds - $12.44 million - were honoured by the board as it was able to use reserves to meet the promised higher amount, Lottery Grants Board secretary Robyn Nicholas said.

An independent review into the error by PwC was released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official Information Act.

Of the 18 pages in the report, 10 pages were withheld by the department as they could affect the ''free and frank expression of opinions''.

An internal audit by Internal Affairs, which recommended management make improvements to the grant-related system, was also considered during the PwC review.

PwC recommendations adopted by Internal Affairs include moving from multiple spreadsheets to a functional client management system, better reporting on financial forecasts and increased training for back-up finance staff.

During 2013, more than $220 million in lottery profits was returned to the community via statutory agencies and distribution agencies.

Lotto grants on spreadsheets!?

Surely this report is a late April Fools prank?  For NZ Lotteries to be managing grants using spreadsheets would be very inefficient and the risk of errors high. Spreadsheets are not databases and should not be used as such. I suspect if internal affairs widen their scope and look back into historical grants, more errors will be found. That is of course if the spreadsheets can all be found. 

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