2020-11-19 07:36

Coronavirus: 'Honest error' with Covid-19 business support grants fLL世界播



The agency responsible for identifying eligible businesses for emergency Covid-19 support grants, which saw more than 4m paid in error, has defended its handling of the scheme. fLL世界播


About 450 payments were incorrectly issued by the Department for the Economy. fLL世界播


Land and Property Services (LPS), through the Department of Finance, was in charge of checking who qualified. fLL世界播


Its chief executive said the mistakes were the result of an "honest error". fLL世界播


The 10,000 payment was sent automatically to any business in receipt of small business rates relief but some were found to be ineligible, including 52 wind turbine owners. fLL世界播

10,000 GB的付款被自动发送到任何接受小企业税率减免的企业,但一些企业被发现不符合条件,其中包括52名风力涡轮机所有者。fLL世界播

Four Sinn Féin members resigned last month over a delay in returning 10,000 payments automatically made to three offices - MP and MLA constituency offices were not supposed to qualify for the scheme. fLL世界播

新芬党(Sinn Féin)的四名成员上个月辞职,原因是未能及时退还自动支付给三个办事处的1万GB款项--国会议员办公室和MLA选区办事处本不符合该计划的资格。fLL世界播


West Tyrone MLA Catherine Kelly was the fourth Sinn Féin official to resign over a failure to return money from the emergency Covid fund fLL世界播

West Tyrone MLA凯瑟琳·凯利(Catherine Kelly)是第四位因未能从紧急Covid基金返还资金而辞职的新芬党官员fLL世界播

Some of the other mistakes uncovered include people receiving duplicate payments, getting 20,000 instead of 10,000. fLL世界播

被发现的其他一些错误包括人们收到重复付款,得到20000 GB而不是10000 GB。fLL世界播

Errors were also made in paying 57 landlords the grant rather than their tenants, who were the ones impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions. fLL世界播


Ian Snowden, chief executive of LPS, said officials had worked at pace to get the payments out to those in need at the time, and that efforts to recoup all outstanding funds are ongoing. fLL世界播

LPS首席执行官伊恩·斯诺登(Ian Snowden)表示,官员们一直在按部就班地将款项发放给当时需要的人,收回所有未偿还资金的努力仍在继续。fLL世界播

He told Stormont's finance committee he was satisfied that only three political offices had incorrectly received payments. fLL世界播


Mr Snowden also revealed that since the story first emerged on the Nolan Show, the number of grants paid back overall has risen to 90. fLL世界播


He explained the error had emerged by a piece of computer code written in to the system for identifying applicants. fLL世界播


He said that while handling the first batch of payments in late March, LPS had produced a list identifying all addresses of political offices to be flagged in a payment file and removed, but an "error in the syntax of code" meant while ineligible addresses were flagged, they were not removed from the list. fLL世界播


It was fixed when later batches of payments were being issued. fLL世界播



Ian Snowden, the chief executive of LPS, was speaking at a Stormont finance committee meeting on Wednesday fLL世界播

LPS首席执行官伊恩·斯诺登(Ian Snowden)周三在斯托蒙特金融委员会(Stormont Finance Committee)的一次会议上发表了上述讲话fLL世界播

Mr Snowden said it would be "completely inappropriate to give any impression that this was incompetence - it was an honest error", he told the committee. fLL世界播


He said there was "enormous pressure" on LPS at the time payments were being made. fLL世界播


"With the benefit of hindsight it's easy to say you shouldn't have put an automatic batch of payments out, but if all of those had to be flushed through an application process, we would be at today's committee talking about 'why have you still not made all the payments after six months?'" he added. fLL世界播


The committee also heard that LPS is working to reclaim the funds through civil recovery processes, though it is not clear how long this could take. fLL世界播


The NI Audit Office has already said it will investigate how the scheme was managed. fLL世界播


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