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Maharey Decision Wastes Millions - ACT

Papers released by the Minister of Social Services and Employment, Steve Maharey, expose what a sham public policy decision- making has become under his leadership, says ACT Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman.

“Stunningly, the Cabinet papers expose that Mr Maharey ignored advice from Treasury, the State Services Commission, and the Department of Work and Income in his decision to relocate the Community Employment Group,” she said

Dr Newman said advisors to the Minister strongly opposed a transfer until a review of the likely costs and effectiveness of a transfer was completed.

“The advice was ‘do not proceed,” Dr Newman said.

“Even worse, Treasury’s final comments were that even though it would cost an extra $1.2 million a year to deliver the same outputs, there was simply insufficient information to make an informed decision.

“ About $1.6 million was wasted on the one -off transfer costs because the Minister failed to heed advice and it will cost the taxpayer yet another $1.2 million every year in extra running costs.

“There is also a real risk that the service will not be as effective as under Winz.”
Dr Newman said that Winz, the most affected Department, was hardly involved in the process until the decision was almost made.

“Clearly Mr Maharey has little time for the views of the Department of Work and Income, and its Chief Executive.

“This is simply another example of how Mr Maharey has treated officials with near contempt by ignoring their authority and advice,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS

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