The Senate Legal Affairs Committee is currently conducting a special investigation into the performance and integrity of the administrative appeal system, including the process for selecting AAT members and the importance of transparency and parliamentary accountability. . He is due to submit his report by the end of March.
Ms Leathem was originally appointed for a five-year term in April 2015 and received a two-year extension in 2020, with her term scheduled to end in April 2022.
She was criticized during Senate hearings on the estimates in October because of the workload of tribunal members, accusations of misleading parliament and concerns about damage to the tribunal’s reputation.
She apologized to the Legal Affairs Committee for a year-long saga of answering questions about how the AAT answers parliamentary questions. Committee chair Liberal Senator Sarah Henderson also criticized Ms Leathem during the hearing for attempting to keep details of part-time members’ payments and hours worked secret in order to avoid discrediting the AAT.
Senator Henderson said at the time that the committee was “very disappointed” by the claim of secrecy.
Tuesday the Herald and Age reported that the tribunal was seeking legal advice on how it pays part-time members and has switched to a timesheet system to ensure people are not paid for more work than they didn’t.
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