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Friday, 16 June 1989
Page: 4308

(Question No. 781)

Senator Colston asked the Minister representing the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 28 February 1989:

Were any officers who were on recreation, sick, maternity, special, long service, or any other type of leave during 1988 employed as consultants for the Department while on leave either under their own name or under a business name, in which business they had an interest; if so, who were the officers concerned, for what purpose were they employed as consultants, what remuneration was paid for the consultancies and what was the type and duration of their leave.

Senator Tate —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

No officers on leave were employed as consultants during 1988. However, enquiries have revealed that one officer in Queensland was engaged as legal counsel on a number of occasions while on leave made up of long service leave on full pay, annual leave and leave without pay. The total absence on these various forms of leave was from 12 August 1988 to 26 May 1989. The officer was engaged under his own name. He is Mr D. O'Gorman, a Senior Legal Officer in the Brisbane Office of the Australian Government Solicitor. He was engaged to advise and/or appear in various cases. To 12 April 1989 he had been engaged in 13 matters and had been paid a total of 14137.10. There may yet be further bills lodged. The officer was granted leave, and permission to engage in employment while on leave, under local delegation to allow him to gain experience at the private Bar which would be of long term benefit to the Department. In the event he resigned from 26 May 1989.

I regard it as inappropriate for an officer to be engaged as counsel while on paid leave from the Department and have instructed the Secretary of my Department that there are to be no further such engagements.