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Auditor-General shakes things up to ensure govt is keeping its promises


Normally, the government is subjected to routine performance audits, but this year Brendan Worrall wants to shake things up a bit.

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The Auditor-General told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday his agency normally did around 10 performance audits each year.

Recently published audits have revealed ongoing problems with data and information security, financial record-keeping, and problems delivering major projects.

Worrall said he had circulated among stakeholders a proposal to do things differently, intending to check back with government departments and agencies to see whether they are meeting previous commitments to do better.

“This goes back to recommendations that have been made since 2015-16,” Worrall told the committee.

“That will at least put their tracking of recommendations out in the public domain.”

Worrall made the comments after explaining a previous child safety audit, in which he had called on agencies to improve their information sharing, be more alert to the build-up of concerns over children, and improve triaging arrangements, so that “those most in need get the most attention”.

Worrall said the government had responded to the recommendations, with plans to implement various changes between the end of last year and 2022. While he thought the timelines were “quite reasonable,” performance-tracking will ensure reform is not delayed.

In parliament today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk faced questions over the government’s decision to release a highly-critical report, on events leading to the 2016 death of Mason Lee, on Friday afternoon – after she had held a press conference.

Palaszczuk said they were “very difficult portfolios” and “complex issues” in child safety but the government had sought to do better, including by appointing extra staff in the local office after cuts made by the Newman Government.


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