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Disallowing gifts just the start, now clean up hospitality



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GEOFF PROSSER, MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE

Disallowing gifts just the start, now clean up hospitality

New Customs boss, Lionel Woodward, has moved to stop the rampant practice of businesses showering gifts upon officers of the Australian Customs Service. This practice compromises the integrity of the Service and Mr Woodward's move is a good one.

I recently requested information on gifts received by Customs officers and hospitality expenses incurred by the Customs Service under the Freedom of Information Act.

The file on gifts received by Customs officers makes extraordinary reading. Officers received gifts including: large amounts of alcohol, interstate travel, concert tickets (eg U2, Sonic Youth, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney), theatre tickets, watches, clocks, accommodation, cameras, clothes, books, stationery, tickets

to sporting events, sporting equipment, cutlery, porcelain and more.

A report in the Financial Review today notes that CUB offered former Customs boss Frank Kelly a first-class trip to Adelaide to see the Grand Prix with accommodation and other gifts included for himself and his partner. When this became public knowledge Senator Schacht intervened to disallow the trip.

Mr Kelly, however, received an extraordinary range of gifts from a number of organisations before the Adelaide Grand Prix incident. These included the Gold Coast Grand Prix (airfares, accommodation and corporate box tickets for himself and his partner), Caltex Sports Star of the Year awards (Sydney), AFL State of Origin (Melbourne), Rugby League Grand Final (Sydney) and other events.

The file on hospitality expenses incurred by Customs raises serious questions and Mr Woodward's next target in his campaign to clean up Customs should be to eliminate wasteful spending and improve accountability.

While many families are struggling to put three square meals a day on the table, thanks to the boom-bust economics of the Labor Government, Customs officers are jumping at every half-chance to take someone out to lunch or dinner.

On an overseas trip, Frank Kelly dropped into the ACS office in Brussels and took some staff and their partners out for dinner - the cost to the taxpayer almost $700. When he was in Hong Kong Australian taxpayers picked up the $2180 tab for a dinner with Hong Kong Customs officials.

I have documented records of at least 15 other functions where the taxpayer picked up a $1000 plus tab and numerous more in the $500 plus range. COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY

MICAH Geoff Prosser: (06) 277 3400

Suite RG52, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Phone: (06) 217 4717, Facsimile: (06) 277 2060

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INITIALS - CGD 10:

-7 APR 1993

DATE OF EFFECT: / 04 / 93

Schedule I

REQUEST FOR OFFICIAL Fr OSPITALrre

PROPOSED FUNCTION: PURPOSE:

ESTIMATED COST:

ATTENDEES: • ACS OFFICERS SUB-PROGRAM REASON FOR ATTEND ANCE I 4: -. lc I 'At - -

I i' .C; S rf I d

I N ), ,

rn r

• INVITED GUESTS COMPANY/AGENCY REASON FOR ATTENDANCE

C 4:4

1

_

METHOD OF PAYMENT: (Circle required rnode) Account/ Cash/ Cheque/ Credit Card'

ADVANCE REQUIRED: (Circle as appropriate) Yes REQUESTING OFFICER:

PROGRAM CODE: ACCOUNT CODE:

APPROVED: YES /..NCI-

. Z_ c

C lommittment of Funds3:-/ f7 /tg a . ploval (Constitution‘l Power))' 7/ 9 3

ACQUITTAL OF EXPENDITURE (To be comp leted post-function) Item of exp enditure (please list) I Cost (5) Receipt (YIN

Siczned /

PLEASE PROVIDE WRITTEN EXPLANATION WHERE ACTUAL EXPENDITURE EXCEEDS APPROVED EXPENDITURE. rN SUCH CASES, THE DELEGATE WILL NEED TO AUTHORISE THAT ADDMONAL EXPENSE.

INITIALS - CGD 10:

• - 7 APR 1993

DATE OF EFFECT: / 04 / 93

Schedute . •

REQUEST FOR OFFICIAL HOSPITALTTY

PROPOSED FUNCTION: PURPOSE:

ESTIMATED COST: ATTENDEES: I ACS OFFICERS

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I . INVITED GUEST L

SUB-PROGRAM REASON FOR ATTENDANCE

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COMPANY/AGENCY i REASON FOR ATTENDANCE

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METHOD OF PAYMENT: (Circle required mode) Account/ Cash/ Cheque/ redit Car. ADVANCE REQUIRED: (Circle as appropriate) Yes 0 REQUESTING OFFICER: (I/

PROGRAM CODE: ACCOUNT CODE:

APPROVED: YES /,140-

'Commitment of Funds 3e. / 3 A-pproval (ConstitutiorX Power ! 7/ c/

ACQUITTAL OF EXPENDITURE (To be comp leted post-function) Item of exp enditure (please list) I Cost (S) Receipt (Y/N)

Signed / /

PLEASE PROVIDE WRITTEN EXPLANATION WHERE ACTUAL EXPENDITURE EXCEEDS APPROVED EXPENDITURE. IN SUCH CASES, THE DELEGATE WILL NEED TO AUTHORISE THAT ADDITIONAL EXPENSE.

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otX.. by

F I KELLY - COMPTROLLER-GENERAL

RETURN OF GIFTS AND OTHER BENEFITS INCLUDING TRAVEL AND ACCOMMODATION 1992/93 AND 1993/94 TO 19 NOVEMBER 1993

3 November 1992

4 February 1993

Melbourne Cup function, Canberra Race Course sponsored by Colquohon and Murphy, Solicitors

Caltex Sports Star of the Year Award, Sydney (dinner only)

19/21 March 1993 Gold Coast Grand Prix, sponsored by Philip Morris (air fares, accommodation and corporate box hospitality for self and partner in terms of normal industry standard for corporate hospitality on such occasions)

8 April 1993

1 June 1993

19 June 1993

4 August 1993

ACT v NSW Rugby Football at Rugby Park, Canberra, sponsored by ASK Solutions

AFL State of Origin, Melbourne, sponsored by Ansett (Corporate Box entertainment)

Madam Butterfly, Canberra Theatre, sponsored by Telecom

ACT v South Africa Rugby Football at Bruce Football Stadium, sponsored by ASK Solutions

26 September 1993 Rugby League Grand Final, Sydney, sponsored by UNISYS (tickets to corporate box for self and son)

15 October 1993 Australian Chamber Orchestra, National Library, sponsored by OPTUS

Range of gifts (plaques and Customs memorabilia of no commercial value) presented during overseas visits and used for office decoration and ACS history displays.

Overseas Travelling Allowance

, Accommodation Allowance Miscellaneous Allowance (-3ntertainment - DomT/A + Vehicle

3585.53 5831.90*

6285.00 7341.98

250.00 2806.31

2000.00 1858.29

1050.00 300.00

Mr F Kelly IMOUITTAL OF OVERSEAS TRAVEL ADVANCE New Zealand, Japan, U.K, Belgium, France & Singapore 04/12/92 23/12/92

SUMMARY

$A $A

ADVANCE ENTITLEMENT

Total 13170.53 18138.48

* Spouse entitled to meals component of OSTA at Secretary rate.

CREDIT A$ 4967.95

Mr F.Kelly Switz,Tanzania,London, Bangkok 26/6/93 to 1417193

SUMMARY

ADVANCE ENTITLEMENT

Overseas Travelling Allowance: Accommodation Allowance: Miscellaneous Allowance: Dom TA: Tropical Clothing Allowance: Basic Equipment Allowance Entertainment Allowance

TOTAL

1753.64 4500.00 250.00 Nil

Nil Nil

1200.00

7703.64

1870.73 248/.52 743.30 Nil

Nil Nil

790.64

5887.19

Advanced: $7704.00

Total Debit

Rounded Down

AS1816.81

A$18 16.80

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