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Tuesday, 10 May 1994
Page: 556

(Question No. 1228)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, upon notice, on 8 March 1994:

  (1) Has the department ever considered plans for a corporate uniform for its officers; if so, when was this.

  (2) How far did these plans progress.

  (3) To what stage had drawings, catalogues, etcetera, been assembled.

  (4) What was the cost of these plans.

  (5) What would the cost of the corporate uniform have been to officers of the department.

  (6) What would the cost of transport and advertising have been.

  (7) What was the reason that the plans were put on hold.

  (8) Has the department any indication whether a corporate uniform is planned for the future; if so, when, and at what cost.

Senator Schacht —The Minister for Employment, Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) A non-compulsory corporate wardrobe for the Commonwealth Employment Service Network was introduced in 1987 in response to staff interest in providing a stronger corporate identification for staff and clients.

  (2) In June 1987 the Department signed an agreement with Henry Harris Uniforms for the provision of a corporate wardrobe to staff. Henry Harris Uniforms was responsible for promotional brochures and order forms, receiving payments and orders for corporate wardrobe items direct from staff members and filling and shipping those orders.

  Henry Harris Uniforms went into liquidation in December 1991. In September 1992 the Department entered into an agreement with Maggie May Designs in which that company assumed the liabilities and obligations for the DEET corporate wardrobe from Henry Harris Uniforms.

  (3) Illustrated brochures/catalogues and order forms were produced and distributed to staff in the normal course of marketing following implementation of the contracts. For instance, Maggie May Designs produced and issued in October 1992 an illustrated "DEET Corporate Wardrobe Catalogue, Summer of 1992-93", with accompanying order form.

  (4) The costs associated with the production, marketing and supply of the corporate wardrobe was borne primarily by the contractors.

  The Department, as well as absorbing the costs associated with arranging and managing the contracts, assisted the contractor in marketing the clothing range by channelling staff inquiries to the contractor and distributing marketing material through normal distribution arrangements within the Department. This included the Department paying $3,935 in October 1989 to Henry Harris Uniforms as a contribution to the printing of corporate wardrobe brochures for distribution to staff.

  After Maggie May Designs failed to supply ordered garments to staff within the specified timeframe at the end of 1992, the Department terminated the contract with the company on 23 March 1993. The Public Service Commissioner subsequently authorised the Department to reimburse staff $17,703 for moneys they had paid for outstanding orders.

  (5) Staff members could select from a number of items such as belts, ties, coats, shirts/blouses, and wear any or all of them in the combinations of their choice. The Maggie May summer catalogue prices, for example, ranged from $18 for a women's leather belt to $185 for a men's double breasted jacket.

  (6) Transport and advertising costs were the responsibility of the contractors.

  (7) Arrangements for the ordering and supply of the DEET corporate wardrobe ceased with the non-performance of Maggie May Designs and the termination of its contract in March 1993.

  (8) The Department has no plans at present to introduce another corporate wardrobe.