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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (7 June) . . Page.. 1847..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

The opposition leader asked me whether there had been disputes between the Rhodium board and its CEO. I am advised that the board disagreed with the former chief executive's decision to proceed with the purchase of a new IT system. The board has since decided not to implement the new system as it would not meet all of Rhodium's requirements and would go over budget. That decision was taken independently of the departure of the former chief executive officer. The former chief executive officer resigned on 31 March 2006, for health and family reasons. Prior to this, the board had expressed concerns to the chief executive officer about the management of some issues, including the use of credit cards and hospitality. There have also been some concerns with staffing appointment practices. I am advised that the core business operations of Rhodium were not of concern in these areas.

I am also advised that the Rhodium board has decided that the acting chief finance officer will act as the chief executive officer for Rhodium from 7 June 2006, to take Rhodium through the scoping study process that was announced in the budget. The scoping study had been initiated with a view to the future sale of the business. Maximus Solutions Australia has provided a temporary chief finance officer at Rhodium following unsuccessful attempts to recruit a permanent employee. Rhodium has been searching for a chief finance officer in a very tight employment market, and this has been difficult.

There have been concerns with some financial management and staffing practices at Rhodium. The Rhodium board has taken a number of steps to address these concerns and to ensure robust controls are in place. The board commissioned several independent reviews by KPMG to assist in that process. In addition, Ernst and Young, on behalf of the ACT Auditor-General's Office, has conducted an annual interim audit of Rhodium's financial accounts. The board was advised of various financial and management control measures, and new policies have been introduced as a result of these processes.

The government agrees that it would be desirable for the Auditor-General to provide a report on these matters. Indeed, I am advised that the Auditor-General has been briefed in detail by the board and has been kept informed of all developments mentioned above. I will be writing to the Auditor-General seeking a report on the relevant matters and asking the Auditor-General to provide a report at the earliest opportunity.

Schools-closures

MR BARR: Mrs Dunne asked me for an exact figure on estimated savings over four years. I can inform the Assembly I was right. It was between $30 million and $40 million. The correct number is $34 million.

Answers to questions on notice

Question No 1053

MR SMYTH: Under standing order 118A, question No 1053 is overdue. It expired on 1 June 2006. It was to the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation and referred to the active ageing framework. I wonder whether he has an explanation as to why that question is overdue.


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