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Human factor blamed for data blunder

NOT a systemic error but an erring, overworked IT worker was behind erroneous data sent by the Financial Directorate (FS) to the social security provider Sociálna Poisťovňa (SP) and health insurers, said FS president František Imrecze. 

František Imrecze, director of the Financial Administration (Source: TASR)

The wrong data have caused several self-employed people to receive bad calculations of social and health insurance levies.

“The employee made a mistake in updating the data ... it was due to his facing an excessive workload,” said Imrecze as cited by the TASR newswire.

He added that it is now being looked into whether or not the error was intentional, but he called it unlikely. With that in mind, he said that he doesn’t expect the employee to be reprimanded.

“Health insurers will be sending out annual accounts to 886 out of 910,000 self-employed people,” said Imrecze.

The opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) sees the liability for sending erroneous information to SP and health insurers as lying with the Financial Directorate.  

“The error that caused problems in calculating social and health care deductions occurred on the part of the Financial Directorate,” KDH MPs Pavol Zajac and Miloš Moravčík said after meeting Imrecze on Monday. “The error occurred in one of its information systems, which provides data for health insurers. As many as 900,000 [people] in Slovakia were left in doubt as a result.”

Zajac and Moravčík also commented on claims that the fault presumably concerned one particular employee of the Directorate.

“The Financial Directorate president says that one IT worker failed,” said Zajac. “We believe, however, that an IT system should be set in a way that provides for checks.”

Moravčík noted that the Directorate is seeking to lay the blame on a single person.

“After today no single employee of the Financial Directorate can be sure that when a major failure occurs next time the blame will be heaped on them,” said Moravčík. “We find this to be inconsiderate. It’s a system error, not one of an individual; and it’s systemic because there were no checks of data during their output.”

As for errors in data sent out to SP, Imrecze said that he is not able to determine the exact number of self-employed people affected by the errors.

“As soon as we found that there were errors in the data, we put everything on hold,” said SP head Dušan Muňko. “At any rate, everything is fixed now, and we’ve re-launched the processing.”

The Dôvera health insurance company has sent wrong annual calculations of paid health insurance levies to about 300 self-employed people.

Health insurance companies have until September 30 to send the annual calculations of paid health insurance levies.

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