Jillian Pyle

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:24:35): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Further Education a question about Ms Jillian Pyle.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: I think it was 23 September this year, almost two months ago, that I asked the minister a question about Ms Jillian Pyle. I will repeat parts of that question, if I may, as follows:

In May this year it was revealed on Today Tonightthat a senior public servant in the minister's portfolio—in fact, in the minister's department—Ms Jillian Pyle, was using public sector resources to run a pub she owns at Semaphore. The program broadcast email after email between Ms Pyle and hotel staff, which left no doubt that from her Public Service office in Waymouth Street, where taxpayers were paying her salary to help prepare young South Australians for the workforce, she was working on what should be on the pub menu, seeing if she could get more trade through a street fair, and even discussing whether she could get away with substituting cheaper species for expensive fish without disclosing it on the menu.

On 23 July 2015, the minister told the estimates committee that an investigation had been launched in May, that the investigation was still underway, and that Ms Jillian Pyle had been stood down on full pay while the investigation was underway.

I then asked four brief questions:

1.Has the investigation been completed?

2.What was the result of that investigation?

3.What action has beentaken against Ms Jillian Pyle for breaching the Public Service code of ethics?

4.How much was Ms Pyle paid during the period she was stood down...?

The minister's response was to thank me for my very good question and she said that she had not received any further information in relation to the particular incident. She continued:

As indicated, it was under investigation and to the best of my knowledge that investigation is continuing. However, I am happy to take that on notice and bring back a response. As I said, I am confident that all appropriate actions and responses have been taken in relation to this specific incident.

So my questions today are the same ones that I asked some two months ago:

1.Has the investigation been completed?

2.What was the result of the investigation?

3.What action has been taken against Ms Pyle for breaching the Public Service code of ethics?

4.How much was Ms Pyle paid during the period for which she was stood down?

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)(14:26:45): I thank the honourable member for his important question. I believe the investigation is still underway, and I have no further information about that particular case, but I am happy to report back to the chamber when there is an outcome from that investigation.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:27:08): By way of supplementary question, can the minister explain to the chamber why the investigation was launched in May, some six months ago, and now towards the end of the year, 18 November, she is unable to provide any further position to the chamber, notwithstanding the fact that two months ago she said she would bring back a response?

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)(14:27:26): It is because we are thorough, we are comprehensive and we are diligent.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:27:38): By way of further supplementary, has the minister received any briefings or advice as to when she is likely to expect an outcome for this inquiry?

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)(14:27:46): As I said, the agency is thorough, diligent and comprehensive, and I expect them to do a thorough and comprehensive investigation in relation to this matter.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY(Leader of the Opposition)(14:28:04): By way of further supplementary, can the minister confirm that Ms Pyle is still on full pay, notwithstanding that she has been stood down since some time in May?

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)(14:28:12): No, I cannot confirm that.

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