In excess of $200,000 dollars had been wasted on a consultant developing a “new model” to handle surplus public servants, which was now not being used.
“Senior executives from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC) gave evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that consultant Hunters Management & Consultants had been employed to develop the “new model” for handling surplus employees from the Rann Government’s controversial Shared Services project,” Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said.
“In an earth shattering revelation this “new model” evidently involved options such as transferring to new job, retraining or offering a separation package!”
Mr Lucas said Bridgid Connors, Acting Executive Director Services, told the Committee that:
Ms Connors: “The end result of that project was a report detailing a proposed model to manage large numbers of excess employees in the event that that should arise. At this point in time, it has not been deemed necessary to implement that model, given that large numbers of excess employees have not resulted from the formation of Shared Services SA.
Hon R Lucas: “So, we have a $217,000 model we are not using?
Ms Connors: “At this point in time we are not using it, because there is no need to use the model.”
Other evidence to the Committee included:
• Budget cuts totalling $102 million over the period to 2012-13 had to be implemented with annual cuts peaking at $30 million in 2012-13;
• The Mid Year Budget Review had added $20 million in cuts to the agency target and DPC’s share of the 1600 full time equivalent (FTE) staff cuts was 86 FTE;
• One public servant in the protocol section of DPC had been disciplined and reassigned within the department after an investigation into irregular practices – detailed answers to be provided on notice;
• $38,399 had been spent on a consultant last year to “provide advice to the Premier on East Timorese matters”;
• DPC had funded a commitment given by Treasurer Kevin Foley to Kerry Stokes to spend more than $200,000 on helping purchase the Badcoe Medal – detailed answers to be provided on notice;
• Whilst cutting other services and programmes, DPC had more than doubled expenditure on “marketing and promotion”;
• Confirmation was given that $9 million in government advertising cuts promised by Mr Rann had been deferred and it was being recommended that agencies meet the savings target without necessarily having to cut government advertising!
“Today’s evidence from the DPC was similar to other agencies in that they have no clear idea yet of how they will implement the big budget cuts required of them after the 2010 state election.”
“Whilst it is now clear that agencies will have to cut important services and programmes, Mr Rann continues to waste millions of taxpayer dollars on government advertising and consultants.”