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Zed’s timesheet troubles worsen

By johnboy - 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?

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Zed’s timesheet troubles worsen
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Indi 9:01 pm 14 Feb 12

How about a full audit of all offices in the LA? Couldn’t image the results from examining some longer term records….of all parties

Gungahlin Al 8:26 pm 14 Feb 12

Seems to me it’s more than timesheets, finances or mismanagement. And while there have been bigger screw-ups from a dollar perspective, surely that doesn’t excuse this?

If Zed’s staff were being paid by ACT taxpayers while they were off working to change the course of the federal election, then it’s a whole different kettle of rotten fish altogether.

And as JB said, Humphries only squeaked across the line. The immediate Upper House balance of power was riding on it.

BTW to those asking why Zed has 10 staff, the Liberal MLAs have chosen to pool most of their individual staff allowances into a central staff pool in the leader’s office. Hence the consistency of message from them compared to the previous term. But perhaps also explaining why some of them disappear for extended periods of time (like most of them since before Christmas!) – desperately struggling to catch up without the normal staff support?.

housebound 6:46 pm 14 Feb 12

Thumper said :

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

In that case, we should also lose a few from all sides.

I was genuinely surprised to hear on WIN TV that the Greens and ALP didn’t expand the review to do that themselves, after all – we wouldn’t want any doubt about their standards, would we?

Thumper 6:15 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.

devils_advocate 5:05 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?

DermottBanana 4:55 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.

justin heywood 4:55 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.

johnboy 4:41 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?

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.

Thumper 4:26 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.

NoImRight said :

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

+1

Mysteryman 4:17 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.

NoImRight 4:09 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.

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