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Latest twist in Australia Post watches case

Lucy Dean
·2-min read
Melbourne, Australia - Auguest 28, 2015: Sign of Australia Post outside its office in Bourke Street, Melbourne
(Image: Getty).

An audit of Australia Post expenses has revealed ex-boss Ahmed Fahour also approved the purchase of expensive watches during his tenure.

Around $7,000 was spent on luxury pens and smart watches for executives during Fahour’s seven years as the boss. The six smart watches were worth $579 each, while there was $2,400 spent on a farewell gift for departing chair David Mortimer. Another $1,108 was spent for another reward pen.

Corporate expenses at the government-owned corporation are being heavily scrutinised following former Australia Post boss Christine Holgate’s claims she was unfairly bullied and ousted from her role after approving the purchase of four Cartier watches worth $20,000 as gifts for executives.

She claims her predecessors had also supplied gifts to employees.

“I have been told that employees have received watches for great performance for many years at Australia Post; some had received cars and others spoke about trips to the Olympics paid for by the organisation,” Holgate stated in a submission to a Senate inquiry examining her departure.

However, the Australia Post board, which conducted the audit into Fahour’s tenure said its discovery didn’t support Holgate’s claims that employees had received huge rewards under her predecessor.

“No evidence has been identified by the review that would indicate that a car or any other vehicle or similarly valued item has been provided to Australia Post personnel or to any third party,” Australia Post said on Monday.

The board noted, however, that its review was not “exhaustive”.

Australia Post also noted Senate records from 2012 showing that it has spent $280,000 to send 11 staff to the London Olympics. It was sponsoring the Australian Olympic team.

The entire Australia Post board is due to give evidence at the Senate inquiry on Tuesday.

Image: Yahoo Finance
Image: Yahoo Finance