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Dunne: Clark blows his own question on IRD staff turnover

Wednesday 7 November 2012, 7:35PM
By Peter Dunne
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Labour’s Revenue spokesman David Clark has scored an own goal with his attack on Inland Revenue staff turnover rates, mixing up call centre rates with those for the overall organisation, Revenue Minister Peter Dunne said today.

Dr Clark claimed that Inland Revenue had staff turnover rates of between 24 and 34 percent in the main centres, with the highest in the department’s Wellington headquarters.

“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong – the overall Inland Revenue staff turnover rate for 2011-12 was 12 percent – not 34 percent! The average across all government departments for the year was 11.4 percent.

“That is a perfectly normal turnover rate,” Mr Dunne said.

“Whether Dr Clark was being deliberately misleading or just screwed up, I don’t know, but he needs to get his facts straight before he goes out with sensationalist press releases.

“There is actually no excuse for him getting this particular one wrong, because it was his Parliamentary Question and he asked specifically about call centre staff and I gave him the answer.”

“Higher turnover rates in call centres are normal. That is what happens in call centres. They typically have much higher turnover than the organisations they are in as a whole.

“They tend to be staffed by students who are not intent on staying long term, and have exams and the like and who would often come and go within a year. They are staffed by people who are looking for other jobs. That is the nature of the work,” Mr Dunne said.