16/05/2017 - 15:19

Legislation to allow AG to audit local councils

16/05/2017 - 15:19

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The state government has introduced priority legislation that would give the auditor general new powers to audit local government councils, in order to raise the standard of accountability in the sector.

Local councils will be required to publish annual reports under the new legislation. Photo: Attila Csaszar

The state government has introduced priority legislation that would give the auditor general new powers to audit local government councils, in order to raise the standard of accountability in the sector.

Under the Local Government Amendment (Auditing) Bill, the auditor general’s powers will be extended to audit local government councils and provide independent oversight of the sector.

The legislation will also give ratepayers better access to an independent assessment of their council’s financial position, as local governments will be required to publish their annual reports.

“This legislation is long overdue and will address issues concerning the lack of accountability and transparency in some local governments,” Local Government Minister David Templeman said.

"There is absolutely no reason why local governments should not have the same accountability standards as state government departments and agencies. 

This legislation brings them in line with the rest of the public service and other jurisdictions.

"It will enable ratepayers to hold their councils to greater account and better protect community interests and funds.”

Mr Templeman said the legislation followed recent Corruption and Crime Commission investigations into a number of local governments for allegations of serious misconduct and corruption. 

It also responds to recommendations made by the Legislative Assembly Public Accounts Committee.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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