Poor data managment and information handling were the causes of the inaccurate or incomplete data that affected candidates in schools and colleges, Mr Morton repeated.
"The situation is very capable of remedy," he told the education committee's inquiry, pledging to establish a new culture within the organisation. He had been impressed by the "commitment and professionalism" ofstaff who had been "shaken badly" by the events of the summer.
Mr Morton dismissed questions about lower standards of marking but admitted administration had been poor. Quality assurance systems "by and large" had worked.
However, he added: "We did less moderation this year than we would have wanted. The units completed early on in the session would be unlikely to be moderated because we did not have the entry data."
The SQA was urgently reviewing how schools and colleges could help simplify the data to make it easier to process.