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Zed’s timesheet troubles worsen

By 14 February 2012 33

The Canberra Times is still running with the timesheet woes of Liberal Leader Zed Seselja.

Having belatedly filed timesheets for 8 of his ten staff for a period of around a year Zed now faces the uncomfortable possiblity that his political enemies can now make merry with the backdated timesheets while comparing them to reality.

Let’s face it, an office able to backdate eight year’s of timesheets to a standard that will hold up to hostile examination is usually an office that doesn’t let itself get behind with such things.

If you missed the first instalment of what is becoming a bit of a saga it looks a bit like this.

    – In the 2010 Federal election numbers of Zed’s staff, paid for by the ACT taxpayer, busied themselves helping Liberals get election federally, mostly it appears helping Senator Humphries hold off the Greens’ Lin Hatfield Dodds.

    – This was justified as “time in lieu” being taken by the staff.

    – Justifying time in lieu in the Assembly is supposed to be done with timesheets.

    – Eight of the ten staff stopped filing timesheets between 2009 and 2010.

    – Someone poked the Canberra Times into FOIing the timesheet issue.

Zed’s trying to brush the issue off as “just about timesheets” but one can’t help feeling he’s dug himself a very big hole with this one and with the Greens fighting for the political lives of half their members in this election year it seems likely they’ll join the government in happily crucifying him.

Labor headkicker John Hargreaves, who seems to have little better to do with his time than pursue this, is reportedly putting a motion to the Assembly requiring Zed to answer 13 questions which will no doubt lead to further embarrassing questions.

One wonders when it will become expedient to throw a member of staff under a bus?

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33 Responses to Zed’s timesheet troubles worsen
#1
MrPC9:47 am, 14 Feb 12

Throwing a staffer under a bus would be risky, as the buses now have forward facing CCTV cameras recording to help cut down on fake insurance claims and to give witness to incidents. Whoever does the throwing would likely be in the footage.

;-)

#2
dungfungus11:27 am, 14 Feb 12

It this is the best anti-Liberal election issue Labor can dig up then I would suggest they start cleaning out their offices now. Take note Labor people, we are not interested in this petty nonsense while there is grass to cut and potholes to fill.

#3
johnboy11:31 am, 14 Feb 12

Dunno DF, a fraud conviction (if it came to that) would be a pretty bad look.

What’s the bet Labor has better records of Zed’s staff movements during the period than Zed’s staff do?

#4
HenryBG11:48 am, 14 Feb 12

I think there are far more interesting questions that could be put to John Hargreaves about stuff that actually matters…

#5
NoImRight12:04 pm, 14 Feb 12

So we are OK if ACT Tax payer funds were used to fund the Liberal Party? What happened to our Don Quixote’s who were so aghast about ACTEW maybe having a box at the Rugby? I guess its nice if you dont just have standards you can afford to double them.

#6
chewy1412:48 pm, 14 Feb 12

NoImRight said :

So we are OK if ACT Tax payer funds were used to fund the Liberal Party? What happened to our Don Quixote’s who were so aghast about ACTEW maybe having a box at the Rugby? I guess its nice if you dont just have standards you can afford to double them.

Who are you talking about? Or is it the mysterious “they”?

Looks pretty dodgy by Zed and his crew but I’d still like to know where the story came from? Someone’s been building a nice little collection of dirt.

Just reminds me that in politics it’s only wrong if you get caught.

#7
JessP12:50 pm, 14 Feb 12

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

#8
pajs1:07 pm, 14 Feb 12

Zed has ten staff? What do they do?

#9
Thumper1:13 pm, 14 Feb 12

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1000

Obsolete the day it opened. Good planning you numpties.

#10
devils_advocate1:28 pm, 14 Feb 12

Thumper said :

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1000

Obsolete the day it opened. Good planning you numpties.

+1001. If there’s to be a spanish inquisition, it should be about the GDE debacle. Sometimes incompetence is so blatant it bleeds into the realm of wrongdoing.

#11
NoImRight1:36 pm, 14 Feb 12

chewy14 said :

NoImRight said :

So we are OK if ACT Tax payer funds were used to fund the Liberal Party? What happened to our Don Quixote’s who were so aghast about ACTEW maybe having a box at the Rugby? I guess its nice if you dont just have standards you can afford to double them.

Who are you talking about? Or is it the mysterious “they”?

Looks pretty dodgy by Zed and his crew but I’d still like to know where the story came from? Someone’s been building a nice little collection of dirt.

Just reminds me that in politics it’s only wrong if you get caught.

A poster not a million miles from the start of this thread has ranted at least twice recently about misuse of ACTEW funds and asked the important questions like who gets the sponsor box at the rugby? That important stuff but this is petty it seems.

Seperately why is the defense of these things so often “there are more important questions”. I agree there are but arent we capable of asking more than one ? Are our resources so limited we can only focus on trying to keep one politician accountable at a time? Are we really satisfied with “well yes this is waste/fraud but they do it too and worse”?

#12
Thumper2:31 pm, 14 Feb 12

pajs said :

Zed has ten staff? What do they do?

Got to admit, I’m struggling to see why he needs ten staff members as well.

#13
54-112:37 pm, 14 Feb 12

I just think that the ALP needs to be just a little cautious about this.

Can they say, hand on heart, that there was no similar skullduggery going on in their ranks during the last election?

Katy would need to make sure that all her partys’ staffers are squeaky-clean. I would doubt that – this could just backfire. The Greens are likely to have less concern, but if I was Meredith, I would have a quick check just in case.

#14
colourful sydney rac2:46 pm, 14 Feb 12

dungfungus said :

It this is the best anti-Liberal election issue Labor can dig up then I would suggest they start cleaning out their offices now. Take note Labor people, we are not interested in this petty nonsense while there is grass to cut and potholes to fill.

This is not petty nonsense. It goes to accountability. The fact that Zed chose to ignore repeated instruction on this matter shows that he is not fit to lead the liberal party.

#15
Mysteryman2:59 pm, 14 Feb 12

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1. When it comes time to vote, I won’t be remembering who did or didn’t fill out their timesheets correctly. I’ll be remembering which party it was that blew millions of dollars, and caused years of inconvenience on the GDE. I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself. I’ll be remembering the party who presided over massive rate rises, registration increases, and the disproportionately large increase in the cost of living in Canberra.

I won’t be thinking about timesheets.

#16
colourful sydney rac3:10 pm, 14 Feb 12

Mysteryman said :

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1. When it comes time to vote, I won’t be remembering who did or didn’t fill out their timesheets correctly. I’ll be remembering which party it was that blew millions of dollars, and caused years of inconvenience on the GDE. I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself. I’ll be remembering the party who presided over massive rate rises, registration increases, and the disproportionately large increase in the cost of living in Canberra.

I won’t be thinking about timesheets.

It is not simply about filling out timesheets correctly. It goes to financial accountability.

#17
Mysteryman3:30 pm, 14 Feb 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mysteryman said :

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1. When it comes time to vote, I won’t be remembering who did or didn’t fill out their timesheets correctly. I’ll be remembering which party it was that blew millions of dollars, and caused years of inconvenience on the GDE. I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself. I’ll be remembering the party who presided over massive rate rises, registration increases, and the disproportionately large increase in the cost of living in Canberra.

I won’t be thinking about timesheets.

It is not simply about filling out timesheets correctly. It goes to financial accountability.

Sure does. Same as the money blown on the GDE. Although I suspect that’s in the order of many magnitudes greater than any misspent on staffing.

#18
colourful sydney rac3:44 pm, 14 Feb 12

Mysteryman said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mysteryman said :

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1. When it comes time to vote, I won’t be remembering who did or didn’t fill out their timesheets correctly. I’ll be remembering which party it was that blew millions of dollars, and caused years of inconvenience on the GDE. I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself. I’ll be remembering the party who presided over massive rate rises, registration increases, and the disproportionately large increase in the cost of living in Canberra.

I won’t be thinking about timesheets.

It is not simply about filling out timesheets correctly. It goes to financial accountability.

Sure does. Same as the money blown on the GDE. Although I suspect that’s in the order of many magnitudes greater than any misspent on staffing.

An overspend or money spent in a way that you do not agree with is completely different and nowehre as serious as this matter.

#19
maloomike3:49 pm, 14 Feb 12

JessP said :

“I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself”

True, but it was carved out of endangered Tasmanian timber. They should have made it robotic with the eyes closing during the day.

#20
Mysteryman3:56 pm, 14 Feb 12

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mysteryman said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Mysteryman said :

JessP said :

To be honest I am more offended by our Government who built the GDE as a single lane major road and then had to spend millions more to duplicate it not to mention the years of bloody inconvenience for the public.

+1. When it comes time to vote, I won’t be remembering who did or didn’t fill out their timesheets correctly. I’ll be remembering which party it was that blew millions of dollars, and caused years of inconvenience on the GDE. I’ll be remember the idiot who spent $400,000 on an “owl” that looks more like a portrait of himself. I’ll be remembering the party who presided over massive rate rises, registration increases, and the disproportionately large increase in the cost of living in Canberra.

I won’t be thinking about timesheets.

It is not simply about filling out timesheets correctly. It goes to financial accountability.

Sure does. Same as the money blown on the GDE. Although I suspect that’s in the order of many magnitudes greater than any misspent on staffing.

An overspend or money spent in a way that you do not agree with is completely different and nowehre as serious as this matter.

You’d have to be completely braindead to see the GDE debacle as merely “an overspend”. It was a waste of millions of dollars due to mismanagement and poor planning, not to mention the inconvenience it caused to a great percentage of Canberrans for years on end. I think that is FAR more serious than the timesheet fiasco.

#21
NoImRight4:09 pm, 14 Feb 12

Closely related but mismanagement is not the same thing as potential fraud. Its not just about them not filling in timesheets.

#22
Mysteryman4:17 pm, 14 Feb 12

NoImRight said :

Closely related but mismanagement is not the same thing as potential fraud. Its not just about them not filling in timesheets.

That’s a pretty valid point.

#23
colourful sydney rac4:23 pm, 14 Feb 12

NoImRight said :

Closely related but mismanagement is not the same thing as potential fraud. Its not just about them not filling in timesheets.

+1

#24
Thumper4:26 pm, 14 Feb 12

This could all backfire on Katy if the electorate this is simply a petty political attempt to destabilise Seselja.

Which it appears to be.

#25
colourful sydney rac4:40 pm, 14 Feb 12

Thumper said :

This could all backfire on Katy if the electorate this is simply a petty political attempt to destabilise Seselja.

Which it appears to be.

read the Zed’s homework post. He is in real trouble.

#26
johnboy4:41 pm, 14 Feb 12

I dunno Thumper, it looks increasingly like John Hargreaves has been setting this up from a ways back.

But just because Labor is enjoying and abetting the process doesn’t take away from appears to be the possible abuse of what limited resources a leader of the opposition has available.

If this is as bad as it looks then would you want to give these jokers the run of a government?

#27
justin heywood4:55 pm, 14 Feb 12

johnboy said :

If this is as bad as it looks then would you want to give these jokers the run of a government?

How much worse could they be? Regular readers of this site will be familiar with a long list of dodgy deeds by the current incumbents, generally on a much larger scale.

My theory is that Canberra’s politicians are so poor becasue too many people – many who ‘claim’ to be swinging voters – will, in the end, find a reason to vote the way they always have.

#28
DermottBanana4:55 pm, 14 Feb 12

In the real world, if they weren’t putting in timesheets (assuming that’s a requirement) why were they being paid?
One of the main duties of a political staffer is to not cause their politician-boss drama in the media. And in that role, one or more of his staff are quite inept, and so I expect a head will roll. If only to allow Zed to say “I’ve dealt with it” and allow the focus to move onto other issues, which I am sure he can think of many.

#29
devils_advocate5:05 pm, 14 Feb 12

johnboy said :

If this is as bad as it looks then would you want to give these jokers the run of a government?

One possible reason would be if you cared less about breaches of administrative red tape and more about multi-million dollar bungling of major public projects.

I’m not saying the former should be excused, I’m just saying that we appear to be in the unfortunate position of having to choose between strict compliance with regulations (which, admittedly, are designed to promote a separation between “political” and other work) and some basic ability to run our little country town in a sensible way.

Would love to have both but who is offering that?

#30
Thumper6:15 pm, 14 Feb 12

johnboy said :

I dunno Thumper, it looks increasingly like John Hargreaves has been setting this up from a ways back.

But just because Labor is enjoying and abetting the process doesn’t take away from appears to be the possible abuse of what limited resources a leader of the opposition has available.

If this is as bad as it looks then would you want to give these jokers the run of a government?

Oh I agree JB.

Seselja needs to be able to show he run an office before he should be let loose on our economy.

But it doesn’t excuse the grubby gutter politics of Gallagher and especially Hargreaves who doesn’t have to worry about any backlash as he’s retiring anyway.

If anything good comes out of the whole sordid affair it will be that Seselja will lose the leadership and someone with more competence takes over.

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