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Departments ‘fall short’

THREE WA Government departments have been told to lift their game by the Auditor General, Des Pearson.

In a report tabled in Parliament last week, the WA Auditor General found the three agencies, responsible for governing the control of liquid waste, explosives, dangerous goods and poisons, did not fully comply with their legislative responsibilities.

The Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Minerals and Energy and the Health Department fell short in the administration of the Environmental Protection (Liquid Waste) Regulations 1996, Explosives and Dangerous Goods Act 1961 and the Poisons Act 1964.

The audit found the electronic monitoring of tankers, that included an alarm when the volume of liquid waste in the tanker, changed, a global positioning transmitter was often faulty and when illegal dumping had been recorded, the DEP did not always document and follow-up the “alarm”.

There were concerns about the way the manufacture, importation, classification, sale and storage of explosives and dangerous goods were regulated by the Department of Minerals and Energy.

The regulation of the manufacture, possession, sale and use of poisons was also criticised.

Mr Pearson said public sector agencies should be aware that the constitutional system legislation passed by Parliament establishes the rules for the delivery of public services.

“These findings emphasise that purposeful management by agencies is essential for the efficient and effective delivery of services,” he said.

“Effort needs to be directed to ensuring the achievement of desired results with processes playing a supportive role.

“While agencies remain primarily accountable, a more pre-eminent role needs to be played by central agencies.”

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