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Thursday, 29 March 1984
Page: 947

(Question No. 616)


Senator Messner asked the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 15 December 1983:

(1) Have any staff been employed to work on the proposed assets test program; if so, in which State and Territory were they (a) appointed; and (b) presently working.

(2) Was Public Service Board approval sought for their recruitment; if so, when was approval (a) sought; and (b) granted.

(3) What is the total number of new officers that the Public Service Board has approved for the Department of Veterans' Affairs to appoint for the proposed assets test program.

(4) How many other officers of the Department are working on the proposed assets test program.

(5) From which source are funds being used to pay the new recruits for the proposed assets test program.

(6) How many of the new officers are (a) permanent; and (b) temporary.


Senator Gietzelt —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) (a) and (b) On the assumption that you are seeking information about new staff recruited to work on the assets test program, in the Department's central office in Canberra two persons have been employed to undertake work on the proposed income/assets test program. One has since been appointed permanently and one is a temporary employee.

In addition, 112 staff were employed, to undertake formal and on-the-job training to enable existing experienced staff to be released later in the year for the proposed income/assets test program. The 112 were made up as follows:

New South Wales-31

Victoria-31

Queensland-22

Western Australia-10

South Australia-13

Tasmania-5

(2) (a) and (b) The Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Public Service matters agreed to staff intake plans until the end of March 1984 to allow for the recruitment of staff.

(3) The Department sought establishment approval from the Public Service Board for 543 positions for the income/assets test program. Of these positions, 498 were proposed to form a reserve pool to be allocated on a needs basis for work directly on the income/assets program. The Public Service Board had agreed to the establishment of 386 positions.

(4) One hundred and twenty-two other officers of the Department were working directly on the income/assets test program. The location of these staff was as follows:

Central Office-30

New South Wales-23

Victoria-19

Queensland-11

Western Australia-16

South Australia-14

Tasmania-7

Officers of the Department's systems division in central office were also providing assistance.

(5) Payments to staff working on the proposed income/assets test program and those undertaking formal and on-the-job training (see (1) above) have been made from the Department's normal appropriation pending augmentation from appropriation Division 312 (see my answer to Question No. 617).

(6) (a) and (b) With the exception of the one person referred to in (1) above, all recruitments are permanent officers.