Minister for Skills Chris Steel has refused to answer questions in Estimates Hearings today regarding the CIT contracts that saw almost $9 million in taxpayers’ money paid to one contractor.
Canberra Liberals Leader Elizabeth Lee asked a number of questions relating to the contracts, specifically the involvement and performance of Minister Steel and his communication with the Chief Minister and CIT Board.
Ms Lee said the refusal by the Minister to answer any questions relating to the contracts in Estimates Hearings is unacceptable and points to the culture of secrecy being fostered within the Labor-Greens government.
“While these contracts are the subject of an Integrity Commission investigation there is no reason the Minister cannot answer simple questions such as what conversations he had with the Chief Minister when he was handed the portfolio in early 2020,” Ms Lee said.
“After an entire morning of Estimates Hearings on CIT, there are now more questions than answers regarding the contracts and the public is none the wiser.
“Canberra taxpayers deserve answers from the Minister regarding his role and performance, but he continues to hide behind the investigation to not be upfront with the public."
Throughout the Estimates Hearings this morning it was revealed that CIT CEO Leanne Cover has been stood down on paid leave until the Integrity Commission finalises investigations.
Questions were also taken on notice regarding contracts between CIT and KPMG for consulting work between 2016 and 2018 during the tenure of the former CIT Chair, a Senior KPMG Partner.
“There are a number of questions that need answers but since this issue was brought to light, Minister Steel has continually abdicated his responsibility,” Ms Lee said.
“It is astounding that the Minister continues to state the CIT Board has been ‘refreshed’ despite the appointment of the chair being made in May last year, who served as deputy chair throughout most of these contracts” Ms Lee said.
“Canberrans are rightly concerned about how their taxes are being spent and they deserve full transparency and accountability from this Labor-Greens government,” Ms Lee concluded.