Page 3480 - Week 11 - Thursday, 19 September 2013

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members often have commitments. Are we going to go to a vote on this or is there going to be more debate?

Mr Rattenbury: I think we have finished, Madam Speaker.

Mr Corbell: There is no division. We will proceed, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: The other problem is that if we do not finish now we will have to come back before question time, because we have suspended standing orders.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill, as a whole, as amended, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.38 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Government—executive contracts

MR HANSON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, last month you tabled 57 long-term executive contracts. Over 45 of these executives commenced work prior to signing a contract, and the average time between starting work and signing a contract was over six months. Yesterday you confirmed that these executives were paid prior to signing their contract. You stated yesterday that authorisation for this expenditure of $60 million was in accordance with the public service management act. In the case of directors-general, section 28 of the public service management act says:

The person must be engaged under a contract with the Territory.

And it says that the contract must “be in writing” and “be signed by the person and the head of service”.

In the case of the five contracts you tabled for directors-general, in the absence of signed contracts, which section of the public service management act overrides section 28 and authorises payment?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Hanson for the question. I do not have the Public Sector Management Act in front of me, so I am happy to come back. There is a section of the Public Sector Management Act, and I will come back to Mr Hanson with the appropriate section, which talks of the fact that the employment relationship is still valid despite failure within certain areas of a contract. I think what I am trying to say is that the advice that I have from the Solicitor-General, and I did seek advice

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