Sunday, December 21, 2008

Chapter 8 - State Superannuation Board

I was then submitted an application for the position of Assistant Accountant with a “B” Classification, at the State Superannuation Board of Victoria. After an interview with the then Secretary and Accountant of the Board, I was informed that my application was un-successful. The Public Service Board of Victoria had an appeals process in place, where if an applicant was of the opinion that he or she had a superior knowledge, experience and qualifications for the advertised position than the recommended candidate, they could appeal to the PSB giving reasons for an appeal, to appear before the Board. This was not my first experience of the process and while very nervous at the prospect of appearing before the three members – one representing the employer, one the Public Service Union and an independent Chairperson, I convinced the PSB that I should appointed to the position – I had been unsuccessful on several other occasions.

Treasury Buildings

I was informed that my appeal was successful and took up the position of Assistant Accountant at the State Superannuation Board of Victoria, with offices in the Treasury Buildings at Spring Street. The Board later purchased an office building at the corner of Flinders Lane and Spring Street and we moved into the 9th floor not soon after. My immediate superior was Mr Whitman. State Superannuation Board Offices

As I had a car parking space in the basement, I bought a Fiat 500 to save on the cost of travel, as the car used hardly any petrol to go to town and back. It was a pale blue when I bought it, but later changed the colour to “Orange”. It was a great thrill driving along the South Eastern freeway in my “bug”.
Walking beside the Yarra River at Heidelberg

The State Superannuation Board accounting system was “Cash Accounting” and designed to fit in with the Government’s Treasury Cash Accounting. The Board decided that it was time to modernise its reporting functions and I was given the job of evaluating the existing systems with a view to having an integrated computerised system for the whole operation.
Fiat 500 – 1957 Model Datsun Station Wagon

The existing pensions system was computerised and run by the Government Statistician in conjunction with the Treasury Department, the Education Department Contributions system was computerised and integrated with the Education Department Payroll system. Billy Carting down the driveway at 10 Gillon Court, Oakleigh

All other records such as the contributions from other departments were maintained on a card system and the accounting records were also maintained on a manual card system.

The Tender Board was asked to appoint a consultant to specify a suitable system to integrate the State Superannuation Board operation processes. The consultant appointed was based in Sydney and this caused endless delays in the finalisation of the documentation of the system that we required and in the end the proposal that was that was submitted to the Board, was less than what I required. Unfortunately, Mr Whitman approved the final document against my wishes.
The Datsun Blue Bird and the Datsun Station Wagon

I assisted in the process, until my frustration got the better of me and when I was an advertisement for the position of Finance & IT Manager with an “B1” Classification, at a new organisation that was being established in the Department of Labour, that was situated on the 6th Floor of our building, I applied for the same without any hesitation. The process that I went through to get the job at the State Superannuation Board was again repeated and I had to appeal to the Public Service Board to be appointed to the position. I was getting used to being a first time reject.
Christmas at 10 Gillon Court, Oakleigh

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