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Vic scrutiny laws need overhaul: auditors

Posted on 01/31/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

Victoria’s transparency laws are out of date, making it difficult to properly scrutinise how public money is being spent.

深圳桑拿网

That’s the opinion of Auditor-General John Doyle and his three predecessors Des Pearson, Wayne Cameron and Ches Baragwanath.

They are calling for an overhaul of the Audit Act, saying that legislation has failed to keep pace with changes to the way public services are delivered.

One reason the laws need updating is the proliferation of multibillion dollar projects, such as the East West link and the desalination plant, jointly delivered by the public and private sectors, they say.

The current legislation is “seriously out of date” and an independent, vigilant integrity system is important for Victorians to trust and hold their government to account.

The need to change the Audit Act was first flagged six years ago.

“It’s even more important now as the development of alternative mechanisms to deliver public services continues, and the bill for taxpayers grows,” Mr Doyle says.

“I believe you can’t have too much transparency when it comes to the expenditure of taxpayer funds.”

Victoria’s 2013/2014 Annual Financial Report indicates total expenditure to external parties, including Public Private Partnerships, is about $55 billion – $8.8 billion of which will occur in 2014/2015.

Mr Doyle says the auditors-general are not concerned with the model of delivery, they simply want more accountability.

“Taxpayers want to know has there been waste? Are services being delivered? Are they high value? Are they a good use of taxpayers’ funds? And I can’t do that unless I get all the information I need,” Mr Doyle says.

“What we want to do is lift the veil that currently murks (sic) the utilisation of public funds.”

Premier Denis Napthine said the government had listened to recommendations by the auditor-general and the public accounts and estimates committee and supported changes to the legislation.

“What’s described as the follow-the-money provisions will be available to the auditor-general. That’s the proposals we’ve put forward in the parliament and will pursue if re-elected,” he told reporters on Sunday.

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