3 Apr 2009

Deputy State Services Commissioner resigns

8:35 am on 3 April 2009

A deputy State Services Commissioner, Laurence Millar, has resigned following the release of a review into the handling of a multimillion-dollar contract with an IT company.

The independent review was conducted by former Foreign Affairs secretary Neil Walter and examined the way the State Services Commission handled information technology contracts worth about $7.5 million.

Independently owned company Voco was contracted to plan and implement parts of the Government Shared Network, a telecommunications network shared by government agencies.

The network was shut down earlier this year because of poor participation.

The review found that Dr Millar's previous association with Voco was not well managed.

It also found a number of irregularities about the way the commission handled contracts and weaknesses in its support systems.

State Services Commissioner Ian Rennie says the report shows there is no evidence of deliberate wrongdoing, but has accepted Dr Millar's resignation.

Mr Rennie said on Thursday that Dr Millar had previously worked as a short-term contractor for Voco and should have made this known to the commission.

"Mr Walter takes the view that he thinks it would be unlikely that his association influenced the decision, but it was a technical breach of the guidelines and policies in force at the time. It shouldn't have happened."

Voco director Michael Foley says he feels vindicated the report makes it clear there was no wrongdoing by the company.

Mr Foley says he still thinks the network is a worthwhile concept