Thursday, April 17, 2014

Home insulation scheme consultant paid $1800 a day but could not recall any ideas provided

Janine Leake, who was hired to provide “strategic project management assistance” for the scheme, faced lengthy questioning from the royal commission
probing management flaws in the scheme.

Ms Leake, who acknowledged having no qualifications in risk management, workplace safety or insulation work, helped facilitate the $3 billion scheme by working with ­bureaucrats, attending meetings and keeping tasks moving.
The scheme ultimately led to the death of four installers.

“I wasn’t specifically focused on safety,” she said.

“I was a generalist, providing helpful ideas about the process. I was careful not to overstep the mark. As a consultant, I was observing interactions with people. I wasn’t taking a leadership role.”
She rejected earlier testimony from Kevin Keeffe, former assistant secretary in the Department of the Environment, that her expertise was needed to “guide the ultimate decision-makers” on steps to manage the program.

Ms Leake, employed by Sydney-based Everything Infrastructure Pty Ltd, which charged the government $1840 a day, including accommo­dation and airfares, was asked what strategic advice or helpful ideas she gave to the department.
Could the deaths of four men have been prevented? The Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program begins in Brisbane
“I’d have to think about that more,” she replied. She could not recall anything specific.

The consultant said when she joined the effort in April 2009 she was “very surprised” the government intended to launch the scheme by July 1, and even doubted whether it could be done.

The timetable was set by ministerial announcement and seemed “absolutely a given”, she said.

Concerns raised about the lack of compliance regime in place by the rollout were answered with the need for money to stimulate the economy.

“Just hurry up and get the money out the door, that was the priority,” she said, although she was unable to identify a specific document making the statement.

Government staff believed their planning for the insulation scheme was a success even before the launch, with the planning team telling a workshop that things could have been done better if there had been a celebration, such as “lunch and after-work drinks”.

She said she provided professional services “to the extent I was asked” but Mr Keeffe was the actual project manager and she only provided assistance to his staff. 17 Apr 2014

This is just one example that has made it out into the public arena of government corruption, which facilitiates 'Money for Mates' deals.

Australia's corrupt government costs tax payers billions of dollars annually.

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