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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 3452 ..

(6) Were there no senior members of ACTEW's staff considered suitable to act in the position and, if so, why is the managerial ranks of ACTEW so short of talent;

(7) When will the board appoint a permanent Chief Executive and how will this person be selected;

(8) Will the appointee continue to write a weekly article of current political issues as CEO of ACTEW in the Australian. If so, will he make it clear that it represents his personal views and not those of the board of ACTEW.

Mr Quinlan

: The answer to the members' question is as follows:

(1) The ACTEW Board considered that the appointee, Mr Michael Costello was the most suitable person to fill the position temporarily pending a permanent appointment.

(2) Mr Costello was not present at any discussions regarding his appointment.

(3) As a corporation, the ACTEW Board is not required to consult with the shareholders on employment matters. ACTEW staff are not public sector employees and therefore their employment is not subject to Government scrutiny, agreement or disclosure. However as a courtesy, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of ACTEW informed the Chief Minister and myself of the Board's decision to appoint Mr Costello.

(4) ACTEW advises that Mr Costello's remuneration is no more than his predecessor. Income paid, or payable, to directors by ACTEW and related parties in connection with the management of affairs of ACTEW or its controlled entities, is shown in ACTEW's annual report. This indicates, among other things, the amount paid to ACTEW's CEO.

(5) The ACTEW Board considers that Mr Costello has the necessary management and strategic policy skills, knowledge, qualifications and experience to fill the position. As a member of the Board, he is acutely aware of the business and the issues facing the Corporation. Mr Costello was Chief Executive of two major Commonwealth Government departments. He was also Deputy Managing Director of the Australian Stock Exchange.

(6) The ACTEW Board considers that all ACTEW staff are highly qualified and skilled specialists and experienced to perform their respective duties. The ACTEW Board has full confidence in their ability. As the position is a temporary one, pending permanent appointment, the ACTEW Board considered Mr Costello's appointment to be in the best interests of the Corporation at this time. Apart from operational staff who are permanently seconded to ActewAGL, ACTEW employs 10 people. An additional 6 people are currently contracted to the Drought Management Task Force. The ACTEW Board does not consider that the Corporation needs a large managerial staff.

(7) The selection process to appoint a permanent Chief Executive has commenced and will be completed by November 2003. The ACTEW Board has appointed an executive search company to undertake the process.

(8) The ACTEW Board does not consider Mr Costello's personal activities or interests a conflict of interest and they do not impact on the performance of ACTEW, or affect his role as Acting Chief Executive. As stated above, all ACTEW staff, including the Chief Executive, are not public sector employees.

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