The Age has obtained a report by outgoing Auditor-General, Des Pearson, on the Brumby Government years in government in Victoria. It looks at problems in the public sector. Although the report was not tabled for various reasons, the key findings are worth discussion, if policies – reflecting voters’ needs and wants – are to be effectively implemented.
Des Pearson – after six years in the office and 200 audits – says Victorians have missed out on services because of:
“failures in the planning and delivery of infrastructure, the lack of quality information available for decision making, governance and oversight problems, a lack of transparency and below-par procurement practices.”
“It concerns me that, time after time, our audits identify the same shortcomings and the same failures to meet common challenges at the core of effective public administration.”
?Repeated failures in the public sector to collect enough information for sound decision making, sometimes even failing to provide information to decision makers. Several audits found major projects were approved without a business case.
?There were often no outside experts verifying the accuracy or completeness of data and methodologies of the public service.
?There was insufficient collaboration and accountability on big projects needing a whole-of-government approach.
?The public sector’s reporting on its performance was below best-practice and had declined in the past 10 years.
?Government procurement of goods and services often lacked transparency, regularly leading to missed opportunities to improve performance and save taxpayers’ money. Some agencies failed to encourage sufficient competition and could not demonstrate how they had evaluated competing bids.
Voters have an idea this goes on, but nothing changes…WHAT is the answer?