Page 3110 - Week 10 - Thursday, 15 August 2013

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MS GALLAGHER: The first thing I am doing is fixing up a problem that has existed for many, many years over many different chief ministers. So that is the first thing. The other thing I would point out is that, if this is simply a reporting requirement, it is not errors in relation to people’s salary or misleading anyone about people’s salary. The contractual arrangements are not entered into by the ACT Legislative Assembly. The process around executive contracts is an important accountability measure, as I have said in recent days, and we are looking very closely at what needs to change to ensure these errors do not occur again. One of those might be amending the Public Sector Management Act, because at the moment—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: No, I think the Assembly needs to consider it and debate the merits of it. But one of the issues is whether or not the reporting requirements as they are outlined now deliver the outcome the Assembly wants. With respect to the reporting of short-term contracts that might be entered into for one week, for example, do those require tabling, or are members of the Assembly more interested in the long-term contracts for the most senior positions?

I have not formed a view on this. I am just putting it out there that the level of reporting, the level of red tape associated with this requirement, I think has contributed to the failure. I am not trying to excuse the failure. I am not saying that it is acceptable. But I think the extent of the requirements have assisted in contributing to it. So the answer is: I am fixing it, and I am being up-front to the Assembly with the failures as they occur. But it is quite different—

Mr Smyth: So there is one rule for him and one rule for—

MS GALLAGHER: No, Mr Smyth. It is not one rule for him and one rule for another. They are quite different to the misleading information that was provided to shareholders and the Assembly, a very significant error, in relation to the ACTEW managing director’s salary.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Chief Minister, given that you tabled 34 contracts for senior executives who were being paid before they had legal contracts, who will you now be holding responsible for this mismanagement, in the way the chairman of ACTEW was held responsible for his mismanagement of one executive’s pay?

MS GALLAGHER: Again, I think the issues are different. I am not sure in terms of what the Leader of the Opposition is alleging around the responsibility of the chairman of the ACTEW Corporation. Certainly I had robust discussions with the chair of ACTEW.

Mr Hanson: You made some pretty strident public comments.

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