A former senior officer in the Office of the Public Trustee had made a series of damning allegations about waste, incompetence and maladministration in the Office.
Mr John Oliver, who worked in the Office of the Public Trustee for about eight years until 2006, today gave evidence to a meeting of the Statutory Authorities Review Committee, Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
Some of Mr Oliver’s claims included:
• Widespread incompetence in managing financial affairs of estates which put many clients at financial disadvantage;
• An independent audit of more than 100 estates under management had identified a significant number of errors which needed correction;
• Widespread bullying and harassment of officers, including Mr Oliver being warned for working too hard;
• Officers who regularly threw their correspondence in the rubbish bin without taking any action and managers refusing to do anything about it;
• Examples of officers physically clashing in the office and one officer who regularly got drunk on Fridays, trashed his office and yet managers only put him into a taxi and sent him home to return on Monday;
• The widespread waste and incompetence had left the Public Trustee exposed to possible claims for financial compensation.
“The Public Trustee and the Rann Government must now provide urgent and detailed responses to the serious allegations made by Mr Oliver,” Mr Lucas said.
“The claims could not be dismissed by the Rann Government as isolated and unimportant, but rather highlighted serious and systemic problems with waste and maladministration within the Office of the Public Trustee.
“If some of these claims are accurate then it is possible that significant claims for financial compensation might be lodged against the Public Trustee.”