Internal Affairs' makes $12m maths error

A simple mathematical error by a government employee has resulted in more than $12 million in lottery grants being handed out incorrectly.

Information provided by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) to the Lottery Grants Board - which directs the distribution of lottery funding to organisations around the country - overstated the amount available for the 2013/14 financial year by $12.44 million.

"It's basically a simple mathematical error which obviously we regret," the DIA said.

Manual adjustments made in the financial report were not completed and "in two cases we incorrectly counted two figures", a spokesman said.

"We have systems in place to make sure it doesn't happen again."

To make up for the error and meet the promised higher amount, the Lottery Grants Board has had to dip into its reserves.

The effect is that additional money has been made available this year, board secretary Robyn Nicholas said.

- By Teuila Fuatai of APNZ

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