Thursday, May 30, 2024

Former Cambridge council staff refuse to repay $300k in super ‘overpayments’

Six former Town of Cambridge Council senior staffers who were overpaid around $300,000 in superannuation payments have refused to repay the miscalculated payments.

“In April 2018, the Town of Cambridge Council became aware that additional superannuation contributions had been made, to the Trustee of WA Super, for the benefit of the former Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jason Buckley, despite there not being a contractual obligation for the Town to do so,” Council said in a statement.

The total additional payment was calculated to be $99,407.41.

“In May 2020, the Town’s newly appointed Payroll Officer raised an anomaly in the amounts being paid to some other senior staff at the Town,” Council said.

“An internal audit was commenced and it identified overpayments that total $193,763.52 to six senior employees.”

The Town then requested that the former CEO, and the six former senior employees, repay the additional amounts that total $293,170.93.

“This request has been declined,” Council said.

“The Town has now received legal advice, that due to the long-standing nature of the issue, the statute of limitations means that the Town is only able to commence a legal action in regarding the overpayments in the previous six years.”

Council says this legal limitation has reduced the recoverable amount to just $85,923.36.

Town of Cambridge Mayor, Keri Shannon said while the Town intends seeking reimbursement of the overpayments, it believes the superannuation audit may also have highlighted an issue within the local government sector.

“We encourage all local governments in WA to do an internal audit of the additional superannuation contributions made to senior employees and their Chief Executives,” she said.

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