An organisation which promotes the cause of women in senior management in Australia is interested in this case from a gender equality perspective. Prima facie, it would appear that the damage suffered by Ms Holgate far outweighs the gravity of what Maddocks appears to have considered to be an innocent mistake in financial administration. The organisation wonders whether a male CEO would have suffered the same consequences.
However, before this organisation decides to take up Ms Holgate’s case, it would like to be sure of the accounting and financial management ground on which it would be standing. The organisation has issued a request for tender to examine the accounting and financial management issues involved and advise it accordingly.
The organisation has requested that in preparing the report, the successful tenderer have regard not only to the PGPA Act and Rule, but also to other relevant guidance issued by the Government, in particular Resource Management Guide (RMG) 126 for Government Business Enterprises (GBEs). This Guide is available at: https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/resource-management-guides/government-business-enterprises-gbes-rmg-126#_ftn1.
Moreover, should the organisation choose to take up Ms Holgate’s case, it would strengthen its arm if, in doing so, it could make recommendations directed at broader improvement in accounting and financial administration within the public sector. Accordingly, your final report should consider what happened from an accounting and business perspective and then come to a view on whether the current financial governance arrangements enable Australia Post to compete in the marketplace. The organisation would welcome a report which included recommendations which address any deficiencies you identify.
Some further issues: