Premier Rann should cut waste in his own department before cutting funding to country hospitals and eating disorder units, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today.
Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee by the Department of Premier and Cabinet Chief Executive Officer Chris Eccles highlighted numerous examples where savings could be made:
• $246,000 wasted on remodelling the CEO’s office and then remodelling it again to return it to the original layout!
• Boston Consulting Group was paid $500,000 for a consultancy on “mega trends” without advertising and competitive tendering
• Mr Rann’s Special Envoy to Puglia Nicola Sasanelli was being given special permission to fly business class to Italy at an extra cost of $4500 per trip
• The total $40,000 cost of a Masters Degree program at a Melbourne university for a public servant in the CEO’s office being paid by taxpayers
• New office being refitted for Minister Portolesi with costs unknown at this stage
• Public servants in DPC were all offered a $70 subsidy towards any gym membership
• Costs of up to $23,000 per year to Mr Rann’s friend Bob Ellis for “speech writing ” purposes and yet payments were not revealed in the department’s annual report
• Payments to consultants The Nous Group, associated with the former Deputy CEO of DPC, were not all revealed in the department’s annual report
“Mr Eccles also made it clear that decisions about further significant cuts in spending in DPC for 2012-14 had not been decided or announced,” Mr Lucas said.
“It is clear that the Labor Government has got its spending priorities all wrong. Rather than cutting critical programs in school and hospitals, wasteful spending on consultants, office upgrades and business class travel should be targeted first.”