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Wednesday, 16 February 2000
Page: 11942

Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 23 August 1999:

(1) How many departmental liaison officers are employed in, or were seconded to, the Minister's office as at 23 August 1999.

(2) (a) What are the names of the officers; (b) what are their employment classifications; and (c) what duties are they assigned, that is, to which policy areas or agencies are they allocated responsibility.

(3) What was the total cost to the department of these officers.

Senator Vanstone (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Two

(2) (a) Ms Sonali Rajanayagam, Mr Michael Argy

(b) Principal Legal Officers

(c) The duties of departmental liaison officers (DLO's) were outlined in the Prime Minister's response to part (3) of Question No. 313 (Hansard, 31 March 1999, p.3688). In undertaking these duties the DLO's have responsibility for specific portfolio issues as determined from time to time by me.

(3) I am advised that the total cost to the department for the period 21 October 1998* to 23 August 1999 was $177,071 which included salary, superannuation, ministerial allowance, travel and other administrative expenses. This figure also includes the costs incurred by the predecessors to Ms Rajanayagam and Mr Argy, as follows:

Ms Sonali Rajanayagam $41,378 (22 March 1999 to 23 August 1999)

Ms Annette Willing $45,260 (21 October 1998 to 21 March 1999)

Mr Michael Argy $4,753 (9 August 1999 to 23 August 1999)

Ms Catherine Hawkins $85,680 (21 October 1998 to 8 August 1999)

* The date on which the second Howard ministry was sworn