Coronavirus: more than 14,000 returnees not billed for their stay at MIQ, $ 36 million not collected
Bishop said in a statement that the numbers were “unbelievable” and “reveal what a complete mess the MIQ system is.”
“This is incompetence on a massive scale and we need answers from the government on why the system is so chaotic,” said the national deputy. “MIQ was set up in a hurry, so some startup problems could be expected, but it has been running for 18 months now.
“One industry that has experience with booking and billing systems, billing and taking money from people is the hospitality industry – which the government has actually partnered with to run the MIQ system. . For reasons known only to Labor, the government decided to initiate booking and billing themselves – and now we have a royal mess.
“These figures are emblematic of the incompetent management of MIQ Labor in general. What a mess.”
MIQ co-director Chris Bunny told Newshub that he “takes the collection of money owed for MIQ very seriously.”
“Basically it’s taxpayers’ money and people should pay back what they owe. We intend to charge as many as we can. The $ 36.2 million is an estimate of the value of that. invoices, but we won’t know the exact number until we have completed the invoicing. We expect this to be completed early in the new year. “
Bunny said MIQ’s new billing platform provided the opportunity “to go back and look at those older cases that we were unable to process due to a lack of data.”
“For the record, the MIQ billing process is very complex and was implemented at a steady pace – and at a time when it was not clear how long it would take. “
He said the system was initially “heavily reliant” on manual processing of data from various agencies “which was not always accurate or complete”.
“As a result, invoices were not issued as quickly as we would have liked, and there are older cases that we have not been able to assess due to incomplete data.”
As of November 7, 33,256 invoices had been issued, valued at $ 152.9 million. Of this amount, $ 130.5 million is now due and $ 99.2 million paid. MIQ Says 2,594 Invoices Over 90 Days Overdue, Worth $ 8.4 Million, And Debt Collectors Are Tracking 1,327 Invoices, Worth $ 4.3 Million .