MBIE's $560k website cost attacked

MBIE's $560k website cost attacked

The Government super-ministry criticised for its overspending has again been attacked again after spending $560,000 on its new website.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) put out a press release this morning with a detailed the costing of the revamped site, with the final $559,872 not including GST.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Clark says it's more evidence of "excessive spending" by the minister in charge, Steven Joyce.

"The Economic Development Minister will no doubt claim the new website came in under budget, but his gold-plated spending on his ministry shows how out of touch the National Government has become.

"Steven Joyce signs off the budgets for all the ministry's projects and is responsible for this spending which seems large at every step of the website's development."

Mr Clark says the spending seems to contradict instructions to other ministries to sell off any unused assets and clamp down on salaries.

MBIE says the new website brings together information from the four departments which were amalgamated to for the super-ministry.

General manager of communications Steve Stuart says the new site will allow people to more easily navigate the information which would have come from the now defunct Ministries of Economic Development and Science and Innovation.

MBIE expects to save more than $77,600 per year in closing the two websites.

The Departments of Labour and Building and Housing have also been reorganised in the revamp.

"People expect a streamlined and responsive digital experience, and Government agencies need to respond to that," Mr Stuart says.

Earlier this year, the ministry was criticised for the amount of money it spent on its new Wellington headquarters, including a stone sign costing $67,339 and a public information screen which cost $140,747.

It also included installing a hair straightener for staff and also spent $360,000 on designer furniture.

The new reception desk cost $74,000, while $260,000 was spent renovating a rooftop sun deck.

The nearly $16 million spend on the refit was still 12 percent under budget.

In June, chief executive David Smol said the ministry spent too much on the stone sign and the information board.

He said arrangements would be put in place in the future so there is more oversight so costs are justifiable and "an acceptable use of public funds".

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