Government Consultants

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:19 :37 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Leader of the Government a question about government policy on consultants' out-of-pocket expenses.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I have been delivered some leaked documents, and it has come to my attention—

The Hon. K.J. Maher interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Maher, the honourable Leader of the Opposition has the floor: can you please let him ask his question?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Thank you for your protection, sir. In particular they relate to Mr Göran Roos, who at the time I think was the chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Council. Looking at yesterday's Auditor-General's Report it indicated that he may have been paid nearly $75,000 a year for that role. Mr Roos was on the Invest in South Australia board, and his company, Intellectual Capital Services, has been made significant amounts of money for consultancy services to the South Australian government.

It is interesting to look at the copy of some of the invoices. I will not trouble the chamber with all of them, but one relates to $202.69 for dry cleaning. Another interesting one, for a dinner with Mr Roos and his wife and Ms Erma Ranieri, and I assume her husband or another E. Ranieri as well, was in excess of $300. Also it is interesting to note that a book was purchased, called Integrative Production Technology for High-Wage Countries, for a total of $522.60 for that book.

The Hon. R.L. Brokenshire: For a book?

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: For a book—$522.60 for the book. The interesting one is for Vlado's, a charcoal grill in Richmond in Victoria, where Mr Roos had two dinners totalling $186 (so that is $93 per dinner) and one bottle of red wine at $98. But the interesting item for South Australian taxpayers would be the $50 tip he provided to that company and then claimed it back. My questions to the minister are:

1.What is the government policy on out-of-pocket expenses for consultants?

2.Is there a cap on the expenses?

3.Is spending $202.69 on dry cleaning, $520.60 on a book and $50 on a tip at a dinner something that the minister sees as being a wise and prudent use of taxpayers' funds?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:22 :15 ): I thank the honourable member for his questions and will take them on notice and bring back a response.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:22 :25 ): By way of supplementary question, as a minister of the Crown, you do not know whether there is a policy on consultants out-of-pocket expenses, even in your own department?

The Hon. G.E. GAGO (Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, Minister for Science and Information Economy, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Business Services and Consumers) ( 14:22 :35 ): I have answered the question. I said I will take it on notice and bring back a response.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:24 :13 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the leader of the chamber, representing the Premier, a question about consultants' out-of-pocket expenses.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: As members will recall, I asked some questions yesterday in relation to the out-of-pocket expenses of Mr Göran Roos, who has been a consultant to the government here on a number of fronts. I know he was a Thinker in Residence, but in recent times he took up permanent residency. Yesterday I had the good fortune to come across a couple of invoices, and I have had that same good fortune and have discovered a couple more. It is of interest to the chamber that Mr Roos is becoming a permanent resident, and I have a copy of an invoice here from a local Adelaide firm for migration and relocation services for Professor G. Roos and his family for $22,500, plus GST, taking it to $24,750.

Of interest also is an invoice I have for the cost of freighting his personal effects—the shipment of household and personal effects. The cost of that was some £7,412. If you do the conversion on today's rate, it's $13,469 to ship his personal effects out. Of added interest, in the details of that invoice is the insurance which is, I think by the look of it, £2,945. I thought that was exorbitant, but then I realised it was based on the value of the goods being shipped. There were £105,190 worth of goods, which worked out to be, on today's exchange rate, $191,158 worth of goods that were shipped out here by the taxpayers of South Australia.

Mr Roos has gone on to do a number of consultancies, and I am fortunate to have a copy of his professional fee for the GM Holden project of some $200,000, and his invoice for the defence project Land 400 supply chain visit to Europe, $100,000. Of course, we know he is the chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Council, and he has been paid $75,000 for that.

He was also chair of the VTT organisation in Finland, which is the Technical Research Centre of Finland. It is interesting to note that it was, I believe, Mr Roos who recommended to the government that VTT do the cellulose fibre chain value study in Mount Gambier. My questions to the minister are:

1.What is the government policy on out-of-pocket expenses and is there a financial cap on those out-of-pocket expenses?

2.Does the minister think spending $13,500 on freight and nearly $25,000 on migration and relocation services is good use of taxpayers' money?

3.Can the minister bring back to the house what the selection process was that saw VTT chosen for the fibre chain value study, did it go to tender and who were the unsuccessful bidders for that project?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:27 :51 ): I thank the honourable member for his most important question directed at the inspirational leader of this council on behalf of the Premier in the other place. I undertake to take that question to the appropriate person in the other place and seek a response on his behalf.

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