Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas today accused Minister Snelling and WorkCover of suppressing information on the reasons for the sudden resignation of former WorkCover Chief Executive Officer Rob Thomson, and details of his termination payout
“On 18 September WorkCover announced Mr Thomson had resigned immediately for ‘personal reasons’ after serving just over two years of his contract,” Mr Lucas said.
“On 28 September the Liberal Party under Freedom of Information laws requested a copy of any letter sent to Minister Snelling and the Chairman of the WorkCover Board ‘expressing concerns about the behavior and/or actions of the CEO.”
WorkCover’s response confirms there was a letter, but they have refused to release it under clause 6(2) of the Freedom of Information Act:
6—Documents affecting personal affairs
(2) A document is an exempt document if it contains allegations or suggestions of criminal or other improper conduct on the part of a person (living or dead) the truth of which has not been established by judicial process and the disclosure of which would be unreasonable.
“It has been three months since the FOI request was lodged, and Minister Snelling’s office has still not responded,” Mr Lucas said.
“WorkCover has also refused to release two documents under FOI relating to the termination payment made to Mr Thomson on the ground it related to the personal affairs of Mr Thomson.
“WorkCover and Minister Snelling have also refused to allow the inspection of Mr Thomson’s contract even though Government Policy (DPC Circular PC027 – Disclosure of Government Contracts) makes it clear that all CEO contracts must be made available for inspection.
“It is unacceptable that both Minister Snelling and WorkCover are doing whatever they can to prevent the release of any information on this issue.
“Minister Snelling must explain why he doesn’t believe the public is entitled to know details of the reasons for the Mr Thomson’s sudden resignation, and in particular the level of termination payment made to him.
“The Liberal Party will lodge internal and external appeals to the Ombudsman if required against these decisions to refuse access to documents.”