Evidence given to a Parliamentary Committee has confirmed that a Spin Doctor in Premier Rann’s office was being paid about $80,000 per year more than previously revealed by Mr Rann.
In evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee, Chris Eccles, CEO of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, confirmed that Mr Rann’s Chief of Staff Nick Alexandrides’ total remuneration package was in the band $250,000-$259,000, rather than the $175,201 claimed by Mr Rann.
“Mr Eccles confirmed his department had made the remuneration calculation and they were given to the Auditor General in a standard table which didn’t identify Mr Alexandrides and published in the Auditor General’s Report,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“At a time when Mr Rann is cutting critical hospital, school and family services, South Australians will be outraged at Mr Rann hiding how much he is really paying his Spin Doctors.”
Mr Lucas said this attempt to conceal secret payments to Spin Doctors would appear to be a clear breach of the Public Sector Act.
Section 71 of that Act requires the Premier to publicise in the SA Government Gazette the “remuneration” of all his Spin Doctors. The Act clearly defines remuneration as salary, allowances and other monetary benefits.
“The Liberal Party has been advised by a well placed source with knowledge of Mr Rann’s deals with his Spin Doctors that there are others who are also receiving “hidden” payments,” Mr Lucas said.
“For example, the Liberal Party understands that another of Mr Rann’s Spin Doctors, Jill Bottrall, has a total remuneration package of up to $25,000 higher than Mr Rann’s claimed figure of $155,733.
“Mr Rann must come clean immediately and reveal whether Mr Alexandrides receives an extra superannuation payment of $45,000 per year and why this and other monetary benefits are hidden from disclosure in the SA Government Gazette.
“Mr Rann must also reveal how many other Spin Doctors are being paid additional hidden payments similar to those being paid to Mr Alexandrides and Ms Bottrall.
“It is now clear why Mr Rann for seven years has refused to answer Parliamentary questions on notice asking for the total remuneration of each of his Spin Doctors.
“It is typical of Mr Rann’s arrogance and political spin that on many occasions he has dismissed the need to answer these questions as he said the answers were available in the SA Government Gazette each year.”