Page 2616 - Week 07 - Thursday, 18 June 2009

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retention over the last 12 months resulted in the organisation achieving its full employment provision of 273 FTEs on 1 April 2009.

(4) None.

(Question No 209)

Mrs Dunne asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 5 May 2009:

(1) In relation to the answer to question on notice No 108 and the attached itinerary, given that the travelling ACTEW officer spent some six days of the almost two-week itinerary on non-ACTEW business, what proportion of the total costs for the trip was met from the officer’s personal financial resources, including flights, accommodation, ground transport, meals and other out-of-pocket expenditure.

(2) If the officer outline in part (1) did not meet any costs from personal financial resources, why not.

(3) In relation to the first class travel (a) on which particular flights did the officer travel first class, (b) what was the duration of each flight, (c) why wasn’t economy class travel used instead of first class and (d) why weren’t other flight or airline alternatives considered.

(4) On what basis was a desalination plant in Monterrey, Mexico (noting it is located some 250 km inland from the Gulf of Mexico) selected for inspection over other plants elsewhere, including those in Australia.

(5) Did the travelling officer write and submit a report on the trip; if so, what were the major outcomes and/or recommendations; if not, why not.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) I am advised by ACTEW that the Member has incorrectly calculated the number of days the officer spent on ACTEW business and non-ACTEW business. The officer departed Australia on Friday 31 August 2007 and returned early morning on Friday 14 September 2007 making his total absence fourteen days. During this time, the officer travelled on five days (including to and from Australia and within the United States), there were two weekends (four days), four days on ACTEW business (two days at the desalination plant and two days at the water symposium) and three personal days. It should be noted that the officer travelled on one of his personal days and on one day on one of the weekends. These are included in the five travel days outlined above. All personal arrangements and expenses for the non business days were met by the officer.

(2) As above.

(3) ACTEW’s travel policy is for officers to travel business class overseas. If business class travel is not available on internal overseas flights, officers may travel first class if it is available. In relation to internal flights in the United States, I am advised that there are only two classes of travel available, first class (equivalent to business class in Australia) and economy. The flights taken by the officer were considered appropriate

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