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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 6 Hansard (6 June) . . Page.. 1753..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

departed chief executive of Rhodium Asset Management that were disputed by the corporation's board of directors or the ACT government? What were the reasons behind the chief executive's departure, and was there a request made by either the Rhodium board of directors or the ACT government for the chief executive to leave? Finally, can he advise the Assembly of the brief given to, as well as the role being fulfilled by, Maximus Solutions Australia in relation to the current operations of Rhodium?

MR STANHOPE: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. May I take the opportunity to congratulate Mr Stefaniak on his appointment to the position of Leader of the Opposition. It is an honour to be elected by one's peers and colleagues to the position. I congratulate Mr Stefaniak on the honour that his colleagues have bestowed upon him. I take the opportunity to acknowledge the significant contribution which Mr Smyth made in that role.

There are aspects of the question which the Leader of the Opposition has asked which I will have to take on notice. I am, however, able to advise the Assembly that the then chief executive of Rhodium has resigned. The chief executive, in her resignation, as I understand it, indicated that she was resigning as a consequence of personal and health issues. It is, however, the case that, in relation to the management of Rhodium, some issues which arose as a result of assessments by external auditors of the management of Rhodium are being pursued. A consequence of those has been a significant review and assessment of management practices across the whole of Rhodium's operations.

I am aware that the company which the Leader of the Opposition referred to, Maximus, was engaged by Rhodium, I believe, as a result of the departure of the chief executive and as a consequence of the need by Rhodium for some expertise in relation to operational and management issues and that Maximus was engaged in light of the departure of the chief executive and as a result of issues in relation to management that were revealed and have been highlighted and investigated as a result of auditing of the records of Rhodium.

I am not sure that there is much more I can say in response to the specific aspects of your question, Mr Stefaniak, other than to say that, yes, the then chief executive of Rhodium has resigned. My understanding is that the reasons provided for the resignation were for personal and health reasons. But there has been an external audit of Rhodium which has revealed some issues in relation to management. Maximus has been engaged as a result, I believe-and I will confirm in further detail the nature and timing of the engagement of Maximus-specifically to provide management expertise and advice to Rhodium in the circumstance of the departure of the chief executive and issues that were identified in an audit.

I am not aware, to the extent that your question goes to the nature of appointments or otherwise, of any issue in relation to supposed appointments by the then chief executive around which there are any issues. I am not aware of those. I will have to perhaps take some advice on that. To the extent that your question went to issues around the appointment or engagement of staff or individuals, I am not aware of any issues on that. I will take some advice, Mr Stefaniak, and give you further detail on the specifics you raised.


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