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Lotteries Commission Acts On Minister's Concerns

Lotteries Commission representatives travelling overseas on official business with their spouses will in future pay for their partners' travel themselves, unless there are exceptional circumstances, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Jack Elder, said today.

The Commission has also told Mr Elder an "attitude of restraint" will apply to the number of representatives attending overseas conferences.

Mr Elder asked the Commission to review its travel practices after two Commissioners and three staff attended a conference in Norway. Spouses accompanied four of them. Mr Elder said in most cases it was inappropriate for spouses' travel to be paid for by the Commission.

The Presiding Member of the Commission, Geoff Thompson, told Mr Elder the practice of attending overseas conferences was established from the launch of the Commission in 1987 as part of its investment in research and development.

"Nevertheless the Commission acknowledged that the current political attitude does require a change in policy and has resolved that in most cases, travel with a spouse will only occur if the spouse's travel is paid by the staffer or Commissioner," Mr Thompson said.

Mr Thompson said there could be exceptions such as employment contract conditions or if there was an important representation role to be filled.

"The Commission believes that overseas travel should therefore be considered on a case-by-case situation, applying its resolution and an attitude of restraint," Mr Thompson told the Minister.

Mr Elder said the Commission's review has allayed his concerns and he welcomes its undertaking to exercise restraint in its travel practices.

ends

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