Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Minister apologises for ‘error of judgment’ over bank shares

Victorian Assistant Treasurer, Danny Pearson, has apologised for what he has claimed was an “error of judgment” in holding shares in Commonwealth Bank while carrying out his ministerial duties.

In a statement released by the Mr Pearson this morning, he said he was “not a decision maker” in the awarding of a multi-million dollar Government banking and financial services contract in 2021.

“The process was run by senior independent public servants and there was a probity auditor engaged throughout who signed off on the process. I noted the outcome of the tender once it had been determined by the Department of Treasury and Finance,” said Mr Pearson.

“Despite this, I accept that it was an error of judgement to not recognise and manage the potential for a perception of conflict of interest and I unreservedly apologise for this oversight.”

He said it was brought to his attention yesterday that a long-standing bank shareholding – which reportedly dates back to 2014 – may have given rise to questions about a potential for a perceived conflict of interest with ministerial duties.

Mr Pearson says he had declared the shareholding to Parliament at every reporting period since becoming an MP.

“For avoidance of doubt, I have spoken to the Premier and advised him that I will place all of my shareholdings in a blind trust,” he said.

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