A senior public servant has claimed that cyclist Stuart O’Grady was on a $40,000 contract to promote South Australia, but has not done a day’s work in the last financial year.
Chief Executive of the Department for Trade and Economic Development (DTED), Ray Garrand, today gave evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee and confirmed that $40,000 had been paid to Mr O’Grady in 2005/2006 as a consultancy payment to be an Ambassador for South Australia in Europe.
Liberal Member of the Legislative Council Rob Lucas said today that Mr Garrand stated that the DTED had not yet made a payment for last financial year and would now consider whether to make the payment or not.
“Mr Garrand was unable to outline what the contractual arrangements were with Mr O’Grady in terms of what the Department had contracted to receive in exchange for the annual payment, and in particular whether Mr O’Grady had been told how many days work was expected,” Mr Lucas said.
In response to other questions, Mr Garrand outlined that cricketer Darren Lehmann received $50,000 per annum for work in India and had actually spent about 28 days in the last year as part of his contract.
Mr Garrand confirmed that the appointment of Mr O’Grady and Mr Lehmann were not as a result of a formal submission from the DTED, but rather were decisions taken by Premier Rann and the Government.
“The Liberal Party had raised these questions about the O’Grady contract as a result of a Department leak expressing concern at the lack of value from this contract at a time when other cost savings are being imposed on DTED by the Rann Government.
“It seems incredible that Mr Rann could have approved such an open-ended contract with Mr O’Grady without clear expectations of what was required of Mr O’Grady. Any contract like this should have very clear requirements incorporated into the contract before any payment is made.
“On the basis of the evidence so far, it would appear that any criticism of this contract should be directed at Mr Rann and his Department, and not Mr O’Grady.
“The Budget and Finance Committee has directed Mr Garrand to provide a copy of the contract details of total payments to Mr O’Grady and work undertaken by Mr O’Grady under the terms of the contract.”