Premier Mike Rann had agreed to pay the former CEO of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC), Warren McCann, $360,000 per annum for a new job managing only 13 people.
Mr McCann yesterday confirmed in evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee that when he was appointed Commissioner for Public Employment in November 2008 he had only two staff to manage, which had now been increased to 13, Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“The previous Commissioner for Public Employment, Jeff Walsh, was paid about $250,000 per annum at a time when staff numbers at one stage were up to 60 and the Commissioner’s powers and responsibilities were much greater,” Mr Lucas said.
“For the last five years, Mr Rann and Mr McCann have gutted the Commissioner’s office of staff, resources and responsibilities. For example, in 2004 the office was restructured and halved in size from about 60 to 30 and after another restructure in 2005-06 it was further reduced to five staff.
“When former Commissioner Walsh gave evidence last year to the Budget and Finance Committee, he had only two other staff members.”
Mr McCann’s evidence on this issue is clear:
Hon R Lucas: “All the powers have been and are going away from the Commissioner’s office to the Chief Executive. That is a philosophy that you have personally supported for five or six years.
Mr W McCann: “I have.”
“Mr Rann’s decision means taxpayers are paying more than $100,000 too much to Mr McCann for a job which has been reduced significantly in importance by Government policy over recent years. Mr McCann is being overpaid massively for his new position,” he said.
Mr Lucas said that Mr Rann’s own Executive Classification Structure guidelines showed:
F-Executive Classification: CEO of very large multifaceted agency accompanied by very large service delivery (responsibilities) or Strategic central agency with a whole of government focus
C-Executive Classification: CEO of a small agency/independent division with a focus on a specific function, discipline or service including policy development, program enhancement and quality service provided
The previous Commissioner for Public Employment’s position was classified at the “C” level, whereas Mr Rann has now agreed to Mr McCann being paid at the “F” level, or three levels higher.
In other evidence, Mr McCann confirmed:
• There were now 416 surplus employees in the public service, up from 266 in June 2007;
• Government definitions of “surplus” employees did not include “unassigned” employees who had no substantive position to work in;
• He had been the subject of a whistleblower complaint and investigation by the former Commissioner of Public Employment’s delegate in relation to allegations of nepotism, patronage and conflict of interest whilst he had been CEO of the DPC – Mr McCann claimed that all of the allegations were dismissed and in particular denied there had been a finding of conflict of interest against him;
• The new name for his office was the Office for Ethical Standards and Professional Integrity.