The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

Media Releases Archives


Transparency needed in gifts to CEOs

Monday, 31 December 2012

Senior public servants who receive benefits worth hundreds of dollars from companies doing business with their departments should face greater transparency and accountability, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.

Mr Lucas said information compiled from two years of FOI requests revealed some CEOs received benefits up to the value of $500, such as free tickets and hospitality to major shows such as Elton John.

Benefit

CEO/Department

Company

Elton John – 2 tickets

David Swan - Health

Accounting firm

Cirque du Soleil – 2 tickets

David Swan – Health

Accounting firm

Stevie Wonder – 2 tickets

Ray Garrand - DFEEST

Accounting firm

Stevie Wonder – 2 tickets

Brian Cunningham –DTED

Unknown

Upgrade to First Class ticket – overseas trip

Tony Sherbon – Health

Airline

Titanium watch

Geoff Knight – PIRSA

Unknown

Phantom of the Opera - 2 tickets

Ray Garrand- DFEEST

Accounting firm



“However, the FOIs also established some Departments do not even require CEOs to reveal the extent of free hospitality or entertainment being received from companies or individuals,” Mr Lucas said.

“For example, in 2011 PIRSA responded that no list existed and it would take too much time and cost to provide an answer to the FOI request. Other departments also replied that no list existed and no documents existed.

“Some of these companies receive contracts worth millions of dollars from departments, and clearly CEOs and other senior officers are the ones who award those contracts.

“Evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee over the past two years has demonstrated a number of these contracts are awarded without going to tender or through a process of limited selection tender where only two or three firms are invited to tender.

“There is clearly at the very least a significant perception problem about the current situation which the Labor Government has just ignored.

“Whilst no evidence has emerged at this stage of anything illegal or improper it is clearly not a ‘good look’ in terms of sound public administration.

“This is yet another example of slack financial management by the Labor Government, which has resulted in a lack of transparency and accountability.

“At the very least, what is required is a directive that all free hospitality, entertainment or any benefit above a certain limit should be recorded on a register.

“The possibility of that register being publicly accessible should also be considered rather than FOIs being required to access this information.”

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