Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today accused WorkCover and Treasurer Snelling of breaching government guidelines by refusing to make former WorkCover Chief Executive Rob Thomson’s contract available for inspection.
“Since September last year the Liberal Party has been trying to inspect Mr Thomson’s contract under government guidelines issued by DPC – Circular PC027 – Disclosure of Government contracts:
“21. Copies of executive contracts will be made available for inspection on receipt of a written request to the Chief Executive of the public authority in which the executive is employed. In the case of contracts with Chief Executives, the written request must be made to the Commissioner for Public Employment and the contract provided will include the total Remuneration Package Value (TRPV) and the schedule in which the TRPV appears, though this information will not be included in the case of other executive contracts. In all cases, the address of the executive will be excluded for privacy reasons.”
“However, in an increasingly absurd series of refusals we have been told:
• The Commissioner for Public Employment doesn’t have a copy of the contract because WorkCover refuses to comply with the guidelines
• WorkCover refused to respond to the request and forwarded our letter to Minister Snelling to answer
• Minister Snelling refused to comply with his own government’s guidelines and suggested we pursue the contract under Freedom of Information. Minister Snelling argued:
“Unlike some other executive contracts within the public sector, the employment contracts of WorkCover Executives do not include terms providing for the inspection, by any person, of the contract.”
“However, Minister Snelling knows the government guidelines provide no exemption to WorkCover or him as Minister to refuse to comply with DPC Circular PC027.
“Mr Thompson resigned suddenly on 18 September 2012 for ‘personal reasons’ and no details have been provided for his resignation and the level of any termination payment he received.
“Minister Snelling must now come clean and indicate what WorkCover and the government are trying to hide by their continued refusal to comply with government guidelines, and release Mr Thomson’s contract.
“The Liberal Party has now written to the Commissioner for Public Employment Warren McCann protesting at the practices adopted by WorkCover and Minister Snelling.
“The Liberal Party believes the Commissioner for Public Employment should take action to force WorkCover to comply with the government guidelines and make Mr Thomson’s contract available for inspection.”