Prattely sacked over credit card misuse
Gary Prattley. Picture: Claire Tyrrell/The Countryman

The head of the WA Planning Commission Gary Prattley has been sacked over the misuse of his Government credit card.

A decision was made in Cabinet on Monday and his dismissal made formal by the Governor and Executive Council of Government on Tuesday.

“The view was formed that Mr Prattley’s expenditure and lack of proper accounting for expenditure on his government purchasing card, considered as a whole, showed a failure to deal with public money in an accountable manner,” a statement to Parliament this morning said.

“Mr Prattley’s conduct caused him and the WAPC to be in breach of a number of financial management requirements applicable to the public sector. Mr Prattley’s correspondence of 19 November 2012 was not regarded as providing any reasonable basis upon which he could have formed the view that all of the expenditure was appropriate or authorised.”

In September, The West Australian revealed how Mr Prattley amassed more than $230,000 in travel expenses in less than three years.

Mr Prattley’s average monthly travel and accommodation bill was $7000.

He was given the opportunity to explain his expenditure, but Planning Minister John Day was not satisfied.

“Accordingly, the Governor in Executive Council determined that the expenditure and lack of proper accounting constituted misbehaviour which compromised his capacity to perform his statutory functions and calls into question his capacity to do so,” the statement to Parliament said.

Mr Day told Parliament in 2009 that he nominated Mr Prattley for the role of WAPC chairman from a “broad selection of local and interstate candidates”.

Mr Prattley’s travel records show he or a “D. Prattley” travelled between Perth and Canberra more than 40 times in two years at a cost to taxpayers of $51,418.

Each trip was described as “travel as per terms of appointment”.

“I am at a loss to understand why Mr Prattley would need to spend such a significant sum of money travelling in Australia and overseas, bearing in mind the Premier’s travel bills haven’t reached such heights, ” shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt said in September.

The West Australian calculated that Mr Prattley has spent almost 270 days travelling outside WA since getting the chairman’s job in 2009.

But many of those days were weekends spent in Canberra.

Attempts to contact Mr Prattley were unsuccessful, but in October he said he had no concerns about the audit of his credit card use.

“I believe so, but it isn’t appropriate I comment on that given there is a process in place,” he said. “It is under review and I have no concerns about the review process.”

The West Australian

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