Millions wasted in end of year spending binge

The Weatherill Labor Government is wasting millions of dollars on end of financial year spending binges by Ministers and Department Chief Executives, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. “Evidence provided to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee shows some Departments are spending up to 54 per cent of their total capital works budget…

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$2 million owed to employees still not repaid

Department for Communities and Social Inclusion employees are still owed more than $2 million, 15 months after the Auditor-General identified the problem. Audit staff raised concerns in April 2011 about errors in rostered staff leave records. Departmental officers advised audit staff that errors had occurred ‘over many years’ in leave loading payments, which were estimated…

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Caica must clarify ‘Cartridgegate’ claims

Minister Paul Caica must clarify statements made by DEWNR Chief Executive Allan Holmes on the ‘Cartridgegate’ scandal. “At this week’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting, Mr Holmes confirmed he told the media in March he had moved an officer out of Minister Caica’s office prior to allegations of ‘Cartridgegate’ abuses being raised in the Budget…

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Weatherill’s review ‘rank amateurish’

Premier Weatherill’s review into “Mad March” events has been a “rank amateurish” process which has insulted and angered a key stakeholder. “Mr Weatherill appointed his own “internal consultant” Warren McCann to conduct the review, which recommended moving the V8 race forward to February and the June public holiday to May for a rescheduled Adelaide Cup,”…

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Appropriation Bill

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:30): I support the second reading of the Appropriation Bill. In so doing, I indicate that I made some comprehensive remarks during the debate on the Supply Bill not too long ago about the state’s financial and budgetary position, and I do not propose in the Appropriation Bill to repeat all…

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Monopoly salary sacrifice contract review needed

Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas is calling for Minister Wortley to review urgently the tendering process which led to the Labor Government giving one company, Maxxia, a monopoly contract for salary sacrifice arrangements to all public servants. Earlier this month the Queensland Government revealed Remserv, one of two salary sacrifice providers in that state, had…

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273 Ministerial staff and spin doctors

The number of Ministerial staff and spin doctors in the Weatherill Government is far greater than the 107 published in this week’s Government Gazette, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. The true figure (including media monitoring staff) is 273, according to a leaked copy of the Government’s confidential Ministerial staff directory for December 2011.…

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Massive payout for Weatherill Deputy CE

Former Department of Premier and Cabinet Deputy Chief Executive Pauline Peel’s termination will cost taxpayers between $300,000 and $400,000. Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee today revealed Ms Peel was entitled to a three or four month payout for early termination and then another three or four month payout for every unexpired…

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Labor’s $1.7 million budget blowouts

Massive budget blowouts of $1.3 million at the Art Gallery and $410,000 at the South Australian Museum have been confirmed by Department of Premier and Cabinet executives. Evidence to the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee from Arts & Cultural Affairs Executive Director Alex Reid confirmed $1.7 million was provided to the institutions last month…

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$600k wasted on schools now closed

$600,000 of Building the Education Revolution (BER) funding was wasted on two schools which have now closed, Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) executives have confirmed. DECD Chief Financial Officer Julieann Riedstra told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee $250,000 had been spent on new toilets and $50,000 on building refurbishment at Salt…

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Auditor-General may use ‘coercive powers’

An undertaking by the Auditor-General today to use his ‘coercive powers’ if necessary to uncover all costs associated with ‘Cartridgegate’ has been welcomed by Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas. Auditor-General Simon O’Neill told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee he was aware of a number of criticisms about the Government’s investigation into ‘Cartridgegate’, including:…

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Supply Bill

The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (15:37): I rise to support the formality of the second reading of the Supply Bill, but in doing so want to have a look at some of the facts in relation to what are the crises confronting the state in terms of its financial management and look at some of the…

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Budget saving delays employment appeals

Budget saving decisions have led to significant delays in appeal hearings by public servants against allegedly unfair employment decisions, Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said today. “The Public Grievance Review Commission provides an avenue for an independent hearing of any claim by a public servant alleging nepotism, patronage or any other serious irregularity in an…

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