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Getting the bank back together

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The state’s most senior bureaucrat has appointed a former confidant from his Bank SA days to a senior role in the Premier’s Department as he embarks on a broader overhaul.

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Nick Reade – who left Bank SA this year to helm the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and also chairs the state’s influential Transition Committee – has announced he will create a raft of new executive roles at the agency.

Jayne Flaherty, who was head of corporate affairs at the bank for five years from 2013 under Reade’s tenure, was appointed to a senior strategic communications role that was not advertised either internally or publicly, the department confirmed on Friday.

It’s also understood she’s declared her new role to the board of SA Tourism, on which she also sits.

Flaherty, who has worked with the RAA and in the public sector for the Department of Human Services since leaving the bank, told InDaily: “I’m looking forward to the new challenge that working in DPC will bring and can’t wait to get started on July 5.”

A departmental spokesperson said “it was identified that there was a need for an Executive Director Strategic Communications to further strengthen our across-Government strategic communications”.

“After consultation across Government to identify potentially suitable candidates, Jayne Flaherty was appointed to this newly-created role and will join the Department of the Premier and Cabinet from the Department of Human Services on 5 July 2021.”

DPC this weekend also advertised for a new deputy CEO, a decision the agency says “was made after significant consultation”.

“This is a newly-created role to help the Chief Executive drive the Government’s strategic agenda,” they said.

Further executive roles will also be created for a new strategy and policy unit.

In his first appearance at parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee this month, Reade was asked whether he had brought staff “over to the public sector” that he had “worked with at BankSA”, to which he responded: “No.”

“When you left BankSA were there contractual impediments to you bringing staff over… was there any restriction on you bringing staff you worked with over to the public sector for a certain period of time?” he was asked by Labor MLC and committee chair Kyam Maher.

“I would have to check exactly in my contract. It’s possible,” he replied at the time.

“I haven’t needed to employ anybody, so it hasn’t been an issue to concern me at this point.”

“Again, just to be very clear, is it your evidence you have not employed anyone you formerly worked with at BankSA since you have taken up your role in the public sector?” Maher asked.

Reade replied: “Not directly, no… it’s possible someone in BankSA, because it’s a big company, has joined the Public Service, but I am not aware of it.”

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