WA to curb mandarins' golden handshakes

By David Donaldson

June 26, 2017

The Western Australian government’s shakeup of the public service continues, as the Premier Mark McGowan says he is looking at ways to curb “excessive” payouts to departing mandarins.

His comments follow a major machinery of government realignment, with the number of departments falling from from 41 to 25, and a reshuffle of department and agency heads.

The payouts are not quite what one sees in the private sector, but are causing tension in a state struggling to meet its budgetary costs. Recently departed Lotterywest CEO Paul Andrew was given a year’s salary — $340,000 — after it was “mutually agreed” he would leave his post. He was two years into a five year contract.

Premier Mark McGowan thinks remuneration for outgoing senior public servants needs to be reconsidered.

“What I’d like to do, and something we’re working on, is reducing the payout to people who leave,” he said, according to the West Australian. “We’re looking at how we can do that. Clearly the payouts to people are excessive.”

The government is looking into whether the situation can be changed by writing up contracts differently, or if legislative amendment is needed. Large payouts are one of the issues being examined in WA’s service priority review.

The premier also plans to introduce performance pay incentives for public service bosses.

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