19/11/2008 - 13:40

Public sector goes under the microscope

19/11/2008 - 13:40

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The inaugural meeting of the Economic Audit Committee, the group tasked with examining the operational and financial performance of the Western Australian public sector, has taken place today launching the four-month review.

Public sector goes under the microscope

The inaugural meeting of the Economic Audit Committee, the group tasked with examining the operational and financial performance of the Western Australian public sector, has taken place today launching the four-month review.

The group is tasked with reviewing government spending and budget performance in the recent boom years, the structure and accountability of government agencies, and their management and service delivery standards.

The audit committee comprises:

- Dr Peter Shergold AC, former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

- John Langoulant, chief executive of Australian Capital Equity

- Cathy Nance, partner and actuary at PricewaterhouseCoopers

- Tim Marney, State Under-Treasurer

- Mal Wauchope, Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC)

- Peter Conran, former Concept Economics director who takes over as Director-General of the DPC on November 30.

Treasurer Troy Buswell convened the meeting and said the committee was required to report in March, in time for its recommendations to be considered in framing the 2009-10 Budget.

 

 

Full announcement below:

 

Treasurer Troy Buswell today set in motion the most significant examination of the operational and financial performance of the Western Australian public sector since the landmark McCarrey Report commissioned by a previous incoming Liberal Government under Richard Court in 1993.

Convening the inaugural meeting in Perth of the recently appointed Economic Audit Committee, Mr Buswell said no State department or agency would escape the microscope in the course of the committee's four-month review.

"Government in this State has been gathering moss for a good decade and the time has come for a long hard look at just where it is doing its job and delivering value to taxpayers and where it is not," he said.

The audit committee comprises:

- Dr Peter Shergold AC, former Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

- John Langoulant, chief executive of Australian Capital Equity

- Cathy Nance, partner and actuary at PricewaterhouseCoopers

- Tim Marney, State Under-Treasurer

- Mal Wauchope, Director-General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC)

- Peter Conran, former Concept Economics director who takes over as Director-General of the DPC on November 30.

The group is tasked with reviewing Government spending and budget performance in the recent boom years, the structure and accountability of Government agencies, and their management and service delivery standards.

The Treasurer said the committee was required to report in March, in time for its recommendations to be considered in framing the 2009-10 Budget.

"This is the group to tell us where there is waste and duplication, and outdated programs that need to go," he said.

"It will also be examining State tax policies and options for regulatory and economic reforms.

"The three per cent efficiency dividend, which was Labor's election idea, will only scratch the surface.

"It can't stop there, so the changes we are looking for from this group will all be over and above."

Mr Buswell said the State's future financial picture was not good, with revenue contracting and government outlays continuing to climb. Without concerted action in the short-term, the Government's finances would become unsustainable.

The Australian States, including WA, had been placed on watch by the ratings agency Moody's which warned in a special report last Friday that it expected appropriate corrective responses from the States to current economic conditions adversely affecting their budgets.

"But it is not just the triple A rating we have to be concerned about," the Treasurer said.

"It's about doing the responsible thing, no matter how hard, and taking the steps necessary to keep our heads above water in the difficult times ahead."

The McCarrey Report compiled by ex-Under Treasurer Les McCarrey in 1993 put the incoming Court Government on course for a major overhaul of Government and sweeping public sector reforms that helped WA survive the Asian economic crisis of 1997 and positioned it well for the resources boom of recent years.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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