Government Sector Employment Act
|Government Sector Employment Act 2013 No 40
(NSW Legislation website)
|Government Sector Employment Regulation 2014
(NSW Legislation website)
|Government Sector Employment Rules 2014
(NSW Legislation website)
GSE draft Rules and Regulation vs Final GSE Rules and Regulation Comparison Tables
March 26, 2014
|PSA GSE Rules comparison table (PDF)||PSA GSE Regulation comparison table (PDF)|
The Government Sector Employment Act commences operation on 24 February 2014.
The PSA’s Research Section has prepared this briefing for the information of members.
Please email email@example.com with any feedback.
The GSE Act and ICAC
The Independent Commission Against Corruption have announced a public inquiry into the State Emergency Service, focusing on the sacking of a senior member of the SES.
This only serves to further highlight the PSA’s original concerns with the Government Sector Employment Act, which is due to come into effect next year.
Dec 4, 2013
Dec 4, 2013
By Katherine Danks
Former deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy tells ICAC she was sacked for blowing whistle on SES chief’s mate
SES deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy leaves the ICAC hearing for lunch today Source: News Limited
- Claims of abuse of credit cards and travel allowances
- Sacked because chief lost confidence in her ability
- He holidayed with subject of McCarthy’s complaints
- McCarthy saved agency money during time in post
A WHISTLEBLOWER was sacked as deputy commissioner of the State Emergency Service after raising corruption allegations about a mate of the boss, a corruption inquiry has been told.
Former deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy uncovered a series of issues surrounding the performance of Deputy Commissioner Steven Pearce during her nine months at the agency and complained to management.
She was sacked by Commissioner Murray Kear on May 13, 2013 on the basis that he had lost trust and confidence in her ability to do her job.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption is investigating whether Commissioner Kear sacked Ms McCarthy in reprisal for her making corruption allegations against Deputy Commissioner Pearce.
In his opening address today, Counsel Assisting the Commission Michael Fordham SC said both Commissioner Kear and Deputy Commissioner Pearce had a longstanding friendship and their families would often holiday together.
It will be alleged that Commissioner Kear improperly showed favour to Deputy Commissioner Pearce by failing to appropriately investigate the allegations made by Ms McCarthy, Mr Fordham said.
The Commission will also hear evidence that Commissioner Kear failed to “recognise, disclose and manage a conflict of interest arising out of his friendship with Steven Pearce in connection with the hiring, managing, performance management and investigation of Deputy Commissioner Pearce and the dismissal of Tara McCarthy”.
Commissioner Kear is also alleged to have given false statements to ICAC investigators on two occasions.
The SES “is the embodiment of many of the values a contemporary Australia purports to uphold; tolerance, lending a helping hand, sticking together in tough times and mateship,” Mr Fordham said.
“The evidence suggests that Commissioner Kear allowed the importance of that last value, mateship, to permeate the manner in which he administered a significant public entity and managed the issues raised by Ms McCarthy.”
On one occasion in January 2013, Commissioner Kear gave Deputy Commissioner Pearce a “paltry performance review” and backdated a pay rise shortly before the men went on holidays together.
Mr Fordham said Ms McCarthy was not given procedural fairness in the decision to terminate her employment. An interview was “an exercise in formality” and she was escorted from the building where a cab had already been arranged to take her home.
The Commission was told that Ms McCarthy had implemented appropriate governance strategies at the SES, including altering employee rights to overtime, use of motor vehicles, parking and travel, saving the agency a lot of money.
She drew attention to the use of corporate credit cards by Deputy Commissioner Pearce for non-approved expenditure, his potential falsification of evidence used to support termination of an SES employee, as well as his potential abuses of travel allowances.
Shortly before she was sacked, Ms McCarthy criticised the management abilities of Commissioner Kear and his handling of Deputy Commissioner Pearce at a workshop in Manly attended by various rescue authorities.
By Michaela Whitbourn
The head of the NSW State Emergency Service, Murray Kear, sacked a whistleblower who raised concerns about the misuse of funds by one of his mates, a corruption inquiry has been told.
The Independent Commission Against Corruption heard on Tuesday that Mr Kear “allowed the importance of … mateship to permeate the manner in which he administered a significant public entity”.
Mr Kear sacked Deputy Commissioner Tara McCarthy in May after she initiated investigations into the use of SES funds by her fellow deputy, Steven Pearce.
The ICAC heard Mr Kear and Mr Pearce had known each other since at least 2006 and “the two men and their families holiday together”.
Counsel assisting the ICAC, Michael Fordham, SC, said Mr Kear faced a potential criminal charge if the inquiry found Ms McCarthy was “terminated as a reprisal” for investigating Mr Pearce.
Ms McCarthy was employed in November 2012 to review procurement contracts and deliver budget savings.
In his opening address, Mr Fordham said Ms McCarthy’s moves to ensure “appropriate governance” relating to overtime, use of motor vehicles, parking and travel caused some “disquiet” in the SES ranks.
She had investigated the use by Mr Pearce of his corporate credit card to pay for roof-racks “to carry surfboards” on his SES vehicle and later to pay for electric brakes to be installed “for the towing of his camper trailer”.
Mr Kear signed off on the installations on the basis the money was repaid 15 months and two years respectively after the events.
After further credit card statements were brought to Ms McCarthy, she engaged public service auditor IAB to do a “desktop audit”, which uncovered potential irregularities totalling more than $11,000.
Ms McCarthy had also raised concerns about Mr Pearce approving $60,000 worth of overtime for one colleague, the private use of a company car by another, and entering into two consultancy agreements worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The inquiry heard Mr Pearce “provided badging and logos” so the contracts would look like SES documents. The contracts were later terminated.
“The 1902 short story about a cursed talisman that grants wishes, The Monkey’s Paw, written by W.W. Jacobs, opens with the line: ‘Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it’,” Mr Fordham said.
“Commissioner Kear and the SES needed an efficient, process-driven person to guide the SES and improve its governance. That is exactly what it got in Ms McCarthy.
“Having got governance and accountability it began to interfere with what seems to have been regarded as an appropriate status quo.”
Mr Fordham said Ms McCarthy saved the SES “significant amounts of money” during her tenure.
Despite the fact that there were “never any competence or performance issues” arising out of her employment, she was not given a chance to comment before she was sacked.
“It is telling that a cab had already been arranged to take Ms McCarthy home,” Mr Fordham said.
“Commissioner Kear openly stated that one or both of his deputies had to go. He chose Tara McCarthy.”
The inquiry heard that Mr Kear had made false statements to ICAC investigators.
He also failed to ‘identify, acknowledge of appropriately manage the clear conflict of interest that arose out of his relationship” with Mr Pearce.
Mr Kear took leave earlier this year pending the outcome of the inquiry.
The following media provide a history of the PSA’s objections to the GSE Act
Anne Gardiner ABC Interview July 2013
The PSA wrote to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on 8 August 2013, and raised concerns that elements of the Government Sector Employment Act may present a corruption risk.
The PSA wrote to NSW Treasuer Mike Baird on 28 May 2013, expressing our concerns at the Goverment’s haste in introducing the Governement Sector Employment Bill 2013.