The Australian Post chief says Cartier would not have been allowed to buy the watches if he had been in charge two years ago.
President Lucio de Bartolomeo addressed a Senate appraisal hearing on Monday night, paying tribute to Christine Holgate, who resigned as Australia Post chief executive last week following an investigation into the purchase of luxury watches.
Ms Holgate was asked to step down as CEO of Scott Morrison after it was revealed two years ago that he used the company’s credit card to buy Cartier watches worth $ 12,000 as a bonus for employees.
Mr de Bartholomew’s trial would not have allowed it to happen if he had been in the chair at the time.
“If I had been the chair in 2018, if I had been informed about the plan to buy Cartier watches, I would have vetoed that purchase,” he said.
“While highly appreciative of the excellent work of the staff involved … I agree that the purchase of the watches has not met the expectations of the general public or my own expectations.”
Mr de Bartholomew said the Australia Post was in a unique position as a state-owned business owned by taxpayers.
“I am well aware that our ownership organization has a unique responsibility to wisely manage the resources of this business and will ultimately be fundamental partners and clients for the benefit of all Australians,” he said.
Mr de Bartholomew said the Australia Post was cooperating with investigations into the watch purchase.
He paid tribute to Ms. Holgate’s hard work in an “extraordinary” year that included bushfires and epidemics.
As the Christmas peak approaches, parcel volumes are projected to be about 50 percent higher than last year, the largest peak ever seen by a $ 7.5 billion government agency.
Australia Post hired and trained an additional 5,000 employees this year.
In a statement, Ms Holgate said Cartier did not accept watches.Pass the pub test”.
“I’m very sorry that a decision backed by the president two years ago to recognize the outstanding work of four employees has caused so much debate and distraction.