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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 109

(Question No. 773)

Mr Braithwaite asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice, on 17 December 1993:

  Since 1 January 1990, have any former employees of agencies for which the Minister has portfolio responsibility subsequently been engaged by the same agency (a) as consultants or (b) on contract; if so, (i) how many and (ii) in each case, what was the (A) employee's previous salary as a public servant, (B) new salary conditions, (C) reason for departure from the Australian Public Service and (D) interval between departure and reengagement.

Mr Beazley —The Minister for Defence has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

  The Defence Organisation and the other agencies within the Defence portfolio are required to take all reasonable steps to avoid the engagement of former staff as consultants or on contract where there might be possible conflicts of interest, or where it would otherwise be inappropriate. Equally, Defence organisations have made use of the expertise of former staff in a variety of circumstances when it has been perfectly proper to do so.

  Since January 1990 organisations within the Defence portfolio have entered into a large number of contracts, including for consultancy services. It would be extremely costly to now review these contracts to determine which former Defence employees might have been involved in them. Indeed, in many instances it would have been unnecessary to attempt to collect information of this kind.

  In these circumstances, the Minister is not prepared to commit the resources that would be necessary to answer this question.