Details of salaries paid to senior federal public servants are no longer included in government departmental annual report, according to a news report in today’s Herald Sun:
In a blow to transparency, a requirement for the reports to reveal specific data on senior public servants’ remuneration has been quietly removed.
A Finance Department spokesman said this represented financial reporting “best practice”, and aligned the public sector with private firms.
But Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam said the public deserved to know the pay details.
“After all, it’s our money and we’re paying for them. There’s no excuse for not being open and transparent about public service salaries in annual reports,” he said.
“It’s things like this that have the public lose faith in politics and politicians.”
Until recently, departmental annual reports included a list of salary bands for senior executives and the number of people in each band getting those salaries.
For example, the Department of Finance annual report for 2013-14 showed that the top earner enjoyed a total remuneration of $1.3 million while the second-highest-paid official got $408,223.
But such detailed information is missing from the department’s latest annual report – it provides only one figure of $20.9 million, showing the total remuneration for all senior executives.
The Herald Sun checked the 2014-15 annual reports of 16 other federal agencies, including the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and found the same situation.