Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 2 June 2022) . . Page.. 1577 ..
MS CHEYNE: To clarify, there was an unfortunate misreporting in the ABC article this morning. This was an issue that was self-identified by the CFC in March 2020 through an internal audit, and the CFC subsequently engaged external expertise to ensure that all staff are correctly repaid. It has taken a long time—it has taken until now—to resolve this issue, but that is due to the volume and complexity of data analysis and the cross-checking that was needed, including reviewing 69,000 individual pay slips. The CFC also needed to engage external expertise to fully identify and to quantify the underpayments, including a specific dollar figure for each person whose super payments were affected.
I note, as well, that not only has the CFC been investigating this issue, but they have resolved the issue in the time that has passed.
MR CAIN: Minister, what assurance can you give Canberrans that this is not happening to other ACT public service employees?
MS CHEYNE: This was a result of an incorrect software setting that came about due to human error.
MS LAWDER: I have a supplementary question. Minister, by what date will this issue be completely fixed, and how much is owing to ACT PS employees at the CFC.
MS CHEYNE: I thank Ms Lawder for the question. The CFC has already paid the total underpayment sum to the Australian Taxation Office, and they will pay it, with interest, into the super accounts of the impacted staff in the coming months. So the timing of this is now in the ATO’s hands. The CFC has done everything it is required to do.
I note that this has been a regrettable situation. I know that CFC has apologised, and I would like to echo that apology. All past and present affected CFC staff have been contacted. There was an all-staff meeting earlier this week and there will be another one next week. The combined underpayment amounts total $315,704, and the average underpayment is just under $500. As Mr Cain noted before, there are 633 staff. But, to the extent that the CFC has done all that it can to resolve this issue, it has.
Health—alcohol and other drugs strategy
MR DAVIS: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, given Mr Pettersson’s private member’s bill to decriminalise the possession of drugs and the subsequent committee inquiry, I have been meeting with a lot of stakeholders in the alcohol and other drug sector space. One of the things that have been brought up with me regularly is their ambition to see the government do more around tobacco control and smoking cessation. Can you outline how tobacco control and smoking cessation are going to be included in the next ACT drug strategy?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Davis for the question. I note that he is asking for an announcement of future policy, which I will not be making at this point in time. But what I can inform him is that the drug strategy action plan 2018-2021 includes