Labor pair 'overpaid' in non-profit groupMatthewDenholm
November 24, 2006
TWO former Labor ministers who told the Tasmanian Government they would take$20,000 in annual directors payments to run builder accreditation instead paidthemselves $150,000 a year.
A suppressed audit of the Tasmanian Compliance Corporationwas released yesterday by a parliamentary committee, showing directors JohnWhite and Glen Milliner paid themselves an hourly rate of $200.
The KMPG audit shows Mr White and Mr Milliner received a combined $688,724 indirectors payments over three years, while a third director, dumped in mid-2004,received $138,602.
The TCC - owned by the two former ministers and former director David Diprose- also made a $365,000 profit over the period, the audit says.
This is despite recent evidence to a parliamentary committee by seniorbureaucrats that the state Government believed TCC would operate as anot-for-profit company. The $1.192 million in profits and directors payments isin addition to an unknown amount, believed to be about $950,000, in builderaccreditation fees TCC retained when it surrendered its role in September.
Independent upper house MP Paul Harriss said the final windfall might exceedeven this $2.13million, with the fate of reserve funds for complaintsinvestigation unknown.
Mr Harriss is proposing a private member's bill to authorise theAuditor-General to determine what further money, if any, held by TCC should bepaid to taxpayers.
TCC surrendered its role after KMPG found some payments to directors were notappropriate and that TCC was failing to sufficiently meet key serviceobligations.
Concerns about TCC's performance were held by senior bureaucrats last year,but in February this year, Mr White signed a secret deal with then deputypremier Bryan Green guaranteeing the company a three-year monopoly.
That deal - exposed by The Australian on June 13 - is at the centre ofconspiracy charges laid against Mr White, Mr Green and Mr Green's former adviserGuy Nicholson. Mr White has pleaded not guilty, while his allegedco-conspirators are yet to enter pleas.
TCC's application to run builder accreditation in 2003 advised the Governmentthat its three directors would be paid $20,000 a year.
However, the KMPG report says the directors paid themselves $50,000 each in2003-04 for work carried out in developing their application.
Mr White, former Tasmanian health minister, and MrMilliner, former Queensland prisons minister, declined tocomment yesterday. Both men, and Mr Diprose, contest elements of KMPG's findingsand deny wrongdoing.
for a listing of alternate locations.