Wrong result: NSW Liberal Party lobbyist Joe Tannous. Photo: Simon Alekna
A political lobbyist's boast that his role within the NSW Liberal party can ''achieve results'' will be examined by the Premier's department for possible referral to the Independent Commission Against Corruption.
Joe Tannous, who is executive director of lobbying firm 1st State and sits on the NSW Liberal state executive, makes the claim on his LinkedIn profile.
''Joseph currently holds a number of senior positions within the NSW Liberal Party. In these roles, he enjoys contact with elected representatives from across the political divide enabling him to attain the desired results for his clients,'' the profile says.
The boast was raised with Premier Barry O'Farrell - who holds an ex-officio position on the state executive alongside Mr Tannous - by Labor's Luke Foley during a budget estimates hearing at NSW parliament on Friday.
In NSW lobbyists are required to comply with a code of conduct which includes a requirement to ''keep strictly separate from their duties and activities as lobbyists any personal activity or involvement on behalf of a political party''. It also forbids lobbyists from making ''misleading, exaggerated or extravagant claims [about] the nature or extent of their access to institutions of government or to political parties or to persons in those institutions''.
Asked if he believed the boast was a breach of the code, Mr O'Farrell deferred to the director-general of his department, Chris Eccles.
Mr Eccles said he would seek the advice of the general counsel of the Premier's department. ''We have a responsibility to review that,'' he said.
Earlier, Mr O'Farrell was asked a hypothetical question by Mr Foley about his likely response to a lobbyist making such a claim. ''That's potentially a matter I'd refer to ICAC,'' Mr O'Farrell replied. Asked by Mr Foley if he would therefore refer Mr Tannous to ICAC, Mr O'Farrell said he would ''take advice from the director-general''.
The Liberal state executive is involved in preselections in NSW but does not decide policy.
Mr O'Farrell said he has ''seen no evidence'' that Mr Tannous's role helped him obtain results and was ''unaware that I've ever dealt with any of his clients''.
If Mr Tannous is found to have breached the code of conduct, Mr Eccles may decide to remove 1st State from the NSW parliament's register of lobbyists. Mr Tannous did not respond to a request for comment.
According to the register, 1st State's lobbyists include former Liberal Senator John Tierney and former minister Peter Reith.
The register shows the company's clients include Dell Australia and China Rail 15 Group.
Mr Foley told the hearing Dell was appointed to an IT procurement panel established by former finance minister Greg Pearce. Procurement through the panel will be in the order of $93 million per year. Mr O'Farrell said ''the issue is were they appropriately appointed? If you have evidence that they weren't, Mr Foley, please present it''.
Mr O'Farrell announced in July 2011 that China Rail 15 Group would establish an office in NSW. But the Premier's office later pointed out the company was only added as a client last September.
Do you know more?