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SSC Should Have Alerted Minister-Williamson

State Services Commissioner Michael Wintringham should have alerted his Minister to the lack of information he was receiving from the board of the Lotteries Commission over its contract negotiations with Chief Executive David Bale, Acting State Services Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

In a meeting with Mr Wintringham this morning, Mr Williamson expressed his extreme disappointment that State Services Minister Simon Upton had not been informed of the lack of forthcoming information from Lotteries.

"Although Mr Upton would not have been able to be shown detail of the package, he certainly could have been told of the lack of consultation and passed it on to the relevant Minister, who could then have taken it up with board chair Geoff Thompson.

"The SSC had requested the information in January 1998, and although they were drip-fed details, weren't informed of the salary package until early May this year."

"Although Mr Upton or the Minister responsible for the Lotteries Commission could not have affected the salary, they certainly could have improved what in the SSCs view was inadequate consultation, had the SSC advised them of it."

Once the SSC finally had the details of the package, it wrote to Lotteries Commission chair Geoff Thompson, stating that they believed the salary was excessive. Despite this, the Lotteries Commission signed the contract, unchanged, with Mr Bale.

"Although they must consult with the SSC, the decision on the package rested entirely with the Lotteries Commission. But I must say, I believe the salary is excessive and I'll be expecting Mr Thompson to justify it."

"Thankfully, the Government's Crown Entity initiatives put in place on July 15, where Ministers must be alerted if the State Services Commissioner has concerns, should go a long way to preventing a reoccurrence of this event," said Mr Williamson.


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