Today, I have agreed to waive debts to the Commonwealth owed by Mr Bob Day AO.
On April 5 2017, the Court of Disputed Returns found Mr Day was incapable of sitting, or being chosen, as a Senator due to a pecuniary interest in an agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth relating to the lease of his Adelaide electorate office. The Court found he was incapable of sitting as a Senator from 26 February 2016.
Following that decision, officials in the Department of the Senate and Department of Finance wrote to Mr Day notifying him they would be required to pursue a debt owed for salaries, allowances, superannuation and staff payments.
Mr Day wrote to me on May 20, 2017 requesting a waiver of debts he owed to the Department of the Senate and the Department of Finance.
As the Minister responsible for the waiver of Commonwealth debts, I considered this request under subsection 63(1) of the PGPA Act.
Taking advice from officials in the Department of Finance I have agreed to waive Mr Day’s debts to the Department of the Senate and Department of Finance. The waiver of this debt is consistent with the outcome in previous similar cases.