Liberal Leader Zed Seselja’s efforts to distract from his timesheet woes have taken a spectacular new turn with Zed getting hold of a scathing audit report on the Chief Minister’s own staff management and timesheet issues:
In a major embarrassment for the Chief Minister, it has been revealed that Katy Gallagher, who has run a malicious witch hunt on timesheets against the Opposition, faces her own timesheet problems including an Auditor General finding that ‘the failure to account for leave taken amounts to improperly obtaining a benefit’ in Ministers’ offices.
“The Chief Minister has set the standard and called late time sheets ‘the biggest scandal in territory history.’ It is now apparent the biggest perpetrators may be the Executive she leads,” ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja said today.
“ACT Labor Minister’s staff claimed at least $15,000 in leave which the Auditor General found amounted to ‘improperly obtaining a benefit ‘and according to reports, Katy Gallagher is unable to confirm that this money has been paid back.
“The facts speak for themselves. An Auditor General’s report from some of the same period the Opposition is being reviewed has found that:
— Ministers ‘offices had only a 57 per cent submission rate for timesheets. (p32)
— ‘Internal control over submission of attendance and leave forms, particularly by staff of some Ministers was inadequate.’(p4)
— ‘Ministers’ staff recorded 39 days leave in their timesheets that were not deducted from their leave.’(p6)
‘Where necessary, arrange for the recovery of overpayments in salary and LAMS allowance from staff on leave.’(p10)
— ‘The failure to account for leave taken amounts to improperly obtaining a benefit.’(p35)
We’ve asked the Liberals exactly which audit report they’re quoting and if we can have a copy as the Auditor-General’s website has no activity since Maxine Cooper took up the role.
UPDATE 23/03/12 09:12: All becomes a bit clearer. Fast on the uptake as ever Zed is referring to a 2009 Audit Report which found fault with all in the Assembly. His own office’s alleged breaches continued after things were supposed the be cleaned up.
[Photo by Conor Hickey]