31 May 2018

A new independent report has laid bare the Turnbull Government’s lack of transparency when it comes to the way taxpayers’ money is being used in the public service.
The Draft Report of the PGPA Act 2013 and Rule Independent Review released today is scathing of the current lack of transparency around the use of contractors and consultants and the reporting of executive remuneration for Government entities.
On the use of contractors and consultants, it found:
“Current arrangements for reporting spending on contracts and consultancies do not provide sufficient transparency to the Parliament and citizens.” (p. 6)
And on reporting of executive remuneration it found:
“Current arrangements for reporting executive remuneration across Commonwealth entities and companies does not provide sufficient transparency and accountability for the use of public resources for this purpose.” (p. 5)
It’s well past time for Malcolm Turnbull and Mathias Cormann to reveal just how much taxpayer money they are wasting through labour-hire firms instead of hiring permanent staff.
The report’s recommendations validate the current major inquiry by the Government-controlled JCPAA looking into these issues.
Labor has already committed to greater transparency concerning the use of contractors, consultants and labour-hire firms in the public service, and it’s time the Turnbull Government got on board too.
On executive remuneration, Labor has already committed to the report’s recommendations, they’re consistent with the Auditor-General’s views (p. 9), and the overhaul was a key recommendation in a Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit report as well.
The Liberals made amendments which created the problem in the first place – a loophole that subsequently allowed Australia Post to avoid disclosing the former CEO’s salary of $5.6 million in its annual report.
The Liberals have since informally asked some Commonwealth entities to revert back to the previous reporting regime, but these half-hearted, piecemeal requests don’t go far enough.

If the Turnbull Government doesn’t act on this, a Shorten Labor Government will. 
Taxpayers have a right to know how much of their money is going to contractors, consultants and well-paid executives, and it’s about time the Liberals realised that. 

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