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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 2873..


MRS CARNELL: But you need to have a good reason. I believe the approach that we have taken allows the accountability necessary for these contracts, but does not go overboard and does not start creating a chain of responsibility that cannot exist when we have just passed the previous amendment whereby it is the Minister who is responsible and the Government that is responsible for the performance of the Government, not senior managers. I think this is a very important point. Ms Tucker seemed to believe, in her statements, that it was the senior managers who were responsible directly to the Assembly. That is simply not the case. It is the Minister, and it must stay that way.

Debate interrupted.

Sitting suspended from 12.39 to 2.30 pm

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Government Service - Part-time Employment

MS FOLLETT: I have a question for Mrs Carnell, the Chief Minister. This morning in the debate on the Public Sector Management (Amendment) Bill you said that an executive contract could provide for part-time employment, but the explanatory memorandum to the Public Sector Management (Amendment) Bill says:

Proposed section 59A defines "an office" in Division 2 of Part IV to exclude an office of Chief Executive and Executive, thereby excluding these executive positions from provisions dealing with part-time offices. This is because all executive jobs will be full-time.

I ask Mrs Carnell: Could you advise the Assembly whether the explanatory memorandum to the Bill is wrong or whether you were wrong this morning; or is this another case where, as usual, the Government has no idea what its policy is?

MRS CARNELL: The position that I stated this morning is absolutely correct. As under Ms Follett, all of our senior executive people are full time. There was a capacity under the previous Government for SES officers to be part time, but I understand that that was rarely, if ever, taken up. It means that in any contract we can stipulate how many hours the person has to work. That is our intention. In any contractual arrangement, there is a capacity to set the conditions of that contract. Therefore, if there is a situation in the future - unlike in the past where there have been very few circumstances where that may have happened - then there is a capacity under a contractual arrangement for the number of hours to be set. Removing from the Act the capacity for part-time employment as such in no way precludes our setting the number of hours that are appropriate in a contract.


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