Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says that the Auditor General has again highlighted a lack of accountability and lack of structure to prevent corruption by a Government that promised a gold standard in 2017 before it was elected.
“Today the Auditor General tabled two reports that should alarm every Western Australian who cares about Government accountability and the risk of corruption” Dr Thomas said.
In her report entitled “Fraud Risk Management – Better Practice Guide” the Auditor General highlighted the lack of preparedness and structure to prevent fraud in a multitude of Government Departments.
“Today we have been told that of the twelve Government entities sampled for fraud risk management “that a significant proportion had not assessed their fraud risks”” Dr Thomas said.
“In addition the AG told us that –
• Some entities did not have an overall risk framework
• Several larger entities provided insufficient details to show they had undertaken a fraud risk assessment
• Many entities did not have a fraud risk register despite this being a requirement, and
• Fraud risks that were identified were excessively general, with little evidence that specific fraud risks were identified.”
“This is a massive concern that the Government has obviously been ignoring despite the risks of reputational damage to the public service” Dr Thomas said. “It’s as if the recent discoveries of corruption have been ignored.”
Dr Thomas said that a second AG report released today also highlighted the risks and concerns that the McGowan Government were ignoring.
It her report entitled “Forensic Audit – Construction Training Fund” the AG noted that “While we can never provide absolute assurance that there has not been financial wrongdoing, we are confident that the multiple concerning findings in this case represent a level of incompetence or lack of care, rather than corruption. However, all the pre-conditions were in place for fraudulent activity to occur undetected.”
“These are damning reports that highlight that the Government is turning a blind eye to the risk of fraud and corruption, and the Western Australian community deserves better” Dr Thomas said.
“It is time for the Government to take this seriously, or we will be back to a WA Inc situation before we know it.”