SES chief faces axe for sacking whistleblower Tara McCarthy - The Australian - Public Service Association

SES chief faces axe for sacking whistleblower Tara McCarthy – The Australian

The outcome from the ICAC investigation into the sacking of PSA member Tara McCarthy was given extensive coverage in The Australian.

Read the article HERE.

NSW’s State Emergency Service boss Murray Kear is facing the axe after being declared corrupt.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) today ruled the SES commissioner acted corruptly by sacking a senior whistleblower and for failing to investigate serious allegations raised about an SES deputy commissioner.

ICAC recommended that Emergency Services Minister Stuart Ayres sack Mr Kear.

NSW Premier Mike Baird, who has staked his leadership on ridding the state of corruption, says he will consider the report.

“It’s clear in light of the report today, there needs to be cultural changes (within the SES),’’ he told reporters in Sydney.

“There needs to be changes and we’ll be responding shortly.’’

The ICAC says Mr Kear engaged in corrupt conduct by failing to properly investigate allegations against deputy commissioner Steven Pearce and by sacking deputy commissioner Tara McCarthy in 2013.

Ms McCarthy reportedly made allegations against Mr Pearce regarding two SES contracts, the use of SES funds to purchase roof racks and electric brakes for Mr Pearce’s car, the obtaining of an SES vehicle for an SES manager and the potential falsification of diary entries.

ICAC said that Ms McCarthy was sacked on May 14, 2013, without notice or explanation and says she was escorted from her workplace after she had reported corruption to her superiors.

Mr Kear allegedly told her he had lost trust and confidence in her.

The report noted Mr Kear and Mr Pearce were both former SES officers and had known each other since at least 2006.

ICAC has recommended Mr Kear be investigated under the Public Interest Disclosures Act.

The Public Service Association of NSW says it welcomes the ICAC report.

“If the Baird government wants to demonstrate its commitment to transparency, then Deputy Commissioner McCarthy should be immediately reinstated,’’ association general secretary Anne Gardiner said in a statement.

“Misuse of these unfair contracts is clearly a recipe for corruption.’’

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