Thursday, March 03, 2016

At least we're not paying them much

Last month I highlighted an FYI request about the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC), which appeared not to be fulfilling its statutory duties. They haven't performed their core function of advising the Minister of Foreign Affairs on disarmament issues, or the Prime Minister on nuclear issues, for the last six years - despite plenty of such issues arising. Which invites the question: who are these people and how much are we paying them to not do their job?

A followup on FYI has answered these questions. The membership of PACDEC, appointed in December 2015 without any public announcement, is Natasha Barnes, Treasa Dunworth, Ross Miller, Sarah Paterson, Kevin Riordan, Paul Sinclair, Angela Woodward, and (of course) former National MP and nuclear-ban-abolitionist Wayne Mapp. They're paid according to the standard Cabinet fees framework as a group 4, level 5 committee, which translates to $140 - $190 per meeting (and $190 - $245 for the chair). Which is appropriate for a group which largely spends its time handing out grants. At the same time, these people have a statutory duty, and no shortage of issues to advise on; shouldn't they be doing it?