The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has raised concerns about the number of annual reports that have had their public release delayed this year.
“The Premier/Treasurer has today advised Parliament that the release of nearly fifty Departmental annual reports will be delayed until next month, which is concerning” Dr Thomas said. “Although delays are sometimes unavoidable and have occurred often enough in the past, the sheer scale of the delay is concerning.”
“It is additionally concerning that annual budget estimates will happen in the lower house next week, and MPs that would have been able to use the annual report information will now be denied that capacity.”
Dr Thomas said that one of the annual reporting delays was to the Annual Report on State Finances, which will now not be seen until October.
“Given that all the information that needed to go into the 2021 state budget would also be in the Annual Report on State Finances I would have thought this document in particular might have made it on time.”
“There has been a trend in recent years away from timely and adequate accountability in this state, as highlighted by repeated Auditor General’s reports.”
“In 2017 we were promised a “gold standard” of openness and accountability, but while that term could describe the Government’s revenue in the current boom it is not a fair description of its accountability.”
“Of course, if the Opposition could get real answers to our parliamentary questions it might be different, and our reliance on Departmental reports would be reduced. But while the Government plays politics by refusing to provide proper answers, we will have to rely on the now delayed reports.”