Rate no­tice blun­der cor­rected by coun­cil

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

Coun­cil said it took im­me­di­ate ac­tion to rec­tify “a ser­vice provider er­ror” that re­sulted in in­cor­rect de­liv­ery of third in­stal­ment rates no­tices to some res­i­dents us­ing BPAY View.

Act­ing cor­po­rate and com­mu­nity ser­vices di­rec­tor Mal­colm Lewis said a data­base er­ror re­sulted in 326 of the third in­stal­ment rates no­tices sent to in­cor­rect email ad­dresses.

He said the ser­vice provider ac­cept­ing full re­spon­si­bil­ity.

Mr Lewis said coun­cil did not is­sue rates no­tices elec­tron­i­cally, but it par­tic­i­pated in the BPay View ser­vice which al­lowed res­i­dents to re­ceive elec­tronic copied of their rates no­tices.

“I would like to apol­o­gise to the res­i­dents af­fected on be­half of the ser­vice provider for the in­con­ve­nience of re­ceiv­ing these in­cor­rect rates no­tices.

“We as­sure the com­mu­nity that the er­ror will not be a cost that ratepayers have to bear and are con­fi­dent that this will not oc­cur a sec­ond time,” Mr Lewis said.

Res­i­dents us­ing BPAY View were urged to dis­re­gard in­cor­rect no­tices as the ser­vice provider is­sued the amended no­tices.

Mr Lewis said coun­cil staff con­tacted all the af­fected res­i­dents to of­fer a fur­ther ex­pla­na­tion and apol­ogy for the er­ror.

Mayor Joe Gauci said the data­base er­ror ap­peared to oc­cur when the rates no­tices and ad­dresses did not cor­re­spond with the right names.

Cr Gauci said it was not a breach of pri­vacy about in­di­vid­ual’s prop­erty val­u­a­tions or de­tails be­cause the in­cor­rect rates no­tices only de­tailed amounts ow­ing for prop­er­ties, not val­u­a­tions.

He said peo­ple were see­ing their name with another prop­erty’s rate de­tails, but noth­ing more.

He said the mis­take was brought to coun­cil’s at­ten­tion very quickly and staff re­sponded within a day of the in­cor­rect no­tices be­ing sent out.

“If we re­act quick enough we knew most peo­ple won’t have tried to pay it,” he said.

Af­fected ratepayers were con­tacted and told “we have be­come aware of a print­ing er­ror on our re­cent no­tice dis­tri­bu­tion from our print- ing house so please dis­re­gard the no­tice you have re­ceived.”

Mr Lewis con­firmed the mis­take was made by the same ser­vice provider, SEMA, that also en­coun­tered an er­ror in 2014 when 3000 rate no­tices had to be re-is­sued.

In that case, pen­sion­ers were is­sued with rate no­tices show­ing a $100 state gov­ern­ment pen­sioner re­bate rather than a $208 re­bate.

A let­ter and new rate no­tice had to be sent to about 3000 ratepayers.

Coun­cil urged any res­i­dents that re­ceived an in­cor­rect no­tice, or have any con­cerns about the mat­ter to con­tact coun­cil 5624 2411.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.