Figures attained from the office of the Auditor General highlight that the McGowan Government has refused to answer more questions in Parliament in one term, than the previous two terms of the former Liberal National Government.
“This is the most secretive first term State Government since WA Inc,” said Libby Mettam.
McGowan Government Ministers have issued Section 82 Notices 70 times in three and a half years, compared to 67 times in the previous eight and half years of the former Liberal Government.
Section 82 is an obscure clause of the Financial Management Act which allows Ministers to decline requests for access to documents or data on the basis that it’s commercially sensitive or Cabinet in confidence.
“The McGowan Labor Government clearly has an issue with delivering it’s promised gold standard transparency, given the significant volume of information that has been hidden under Labor’s watch. Incredibly this has also occurred following the release of the Langoulant Review which as one of findings supported greater transparency of government practices.
“Damning reports by the auditor general around such decisions as the withholding of Metronet taskforce minutes have been of significant concern, as the auditor general has withholding this information was deemed inappropriate and unreasonable.
“This information relates to the Forrestfield Airport Link which has been plagued by safety issues under the McGowan Labor Governments watch, so there is obvious public interest in being transparent in this information.
“This secrecy is creating a mountain of work for the Auditor General.
“It is concerning how much of the Office of Auditor General’s resources are being dedicated to cover up the McGowan Labor Government failures – resources that could be invested in real issues such as exposing fraud in the public sector.
“Ministers should be committed to delivering projects not covering up mistakes.”