Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today the latest government figures for 2015 indicate that 61% of investigations into alleged breaches of the code of ethics by public servants remain unfinalised as at the end of the reporting period.
The Commissioner for Public Sector Employment ‘State of the Sector’ report for 2014/2015 reports that 272 of 445 investigations (61%) were yet to be finalised. The unfinalised investigation rate of 61% is a massive rise on the 40% figure for the previous year.
“This massive increase in unfinalised investigations is outrageous and completely unacceptable,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“All investigations into alleged breaches of the code of ethics should be treated as a priority and finalised as soon as possible.
“Clearly this is not happening. If a public servant is innocent then they are entitled to be cleared as soon as possible. However if the public servant is guilty then action needs to be taken very quickly.”
It appears that one of the reasons for this unacceptable situation is the Government has been spending too much money on other priorities such as expensive consultancies and pet projects such as the “Change @ South Australia 90 Day Projects”.
In fact the Commissioner to Public Sector Employment Ms Ranieri confirmed in evidence to the Budget and Finance Committee in June that she had to advise Treasury of a $2 million blowout in her office budget last year.
This poor financial management is obviously impacting on the ability of the office to enforce the Code of Ethics.
“The Government and the Commissioner must now give a high priority to finalising these investigations before any other pet projects,” said Mr Lucas.