Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee has raised concerns following confirmation from Minister for Skills Chris Steel that Deputy Chair and former ACT Labor Senator Kate Lundy will commence as chair of the CIT Board next month.
Ms Lee said the decision to still promote the current Deputy Chair who has been in that position since April 2020 and presided over these contracts as a member of the board is yet another failure by the Minister for Skills.
“Appointing the Deputy Chair, a former ACT Labor Senator who has been on the board for most of these contracts to the position of Chair raises serious concerns,” Ms Lee said.
“The Deputy Chair was on the board when concerns over these contracts were raised with the Minister for Skills in March 2021.
“The Deputy Chair was on the board when it responded to the Minister’s concerns with reassurances that the contracts represented value for money.
“The Deputy Chair was on the board when the latest contract for $4,999,990 was signed in March this year.
“Since this issue was brought to light, the Minister has attempted to evade scrutiny by saying he is at arm’s length from CIT but we know that is not the case.
“The Act clearly states CIT must comply with any direction of the minister. In fact, he used those powers over a year ago to promote the Deputy Chair to Chair of the Board from 1 July 2022.
“With this appointment being made on 17 May 2021, over a year ago, the Minister’s claims last week that he is taking strong action including refreshing the board is simply not true.
“In responding to the CIT board last week, the Minister said he was underwhelmed with their response to his questions, but it is the Canberra public that are rightfully underwhelmed with the Minister’s response and lack of accountability regarding these contracts.“Over two weeks since this issue was brought to light there are still many questions to be answered by the Minister, Chief Minister and CIT Board,” Ms Lee concluded.