The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC


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Wider Auditor-General inquiry now essential

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas today welcomed the Government’s announcement that a Department of Premier and Cabinet staff member has been suspended over allegations relating to improper purchasing of printer cartridges, and that the matter had been referred to SAPOL and the Auditor-General.

In yesterday’s Budget and Finance Committee meeting, the Liberal Opposition raised concerns that staff in the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division of DPC had purchased more than 200 cartridges valued at more than $80,000 in just two months earlier this year.

“It is now clear that a wider Auditor-General inquiry into all government departments and agencies is required,” Mr Lucas said.

“The inquiry by the Victorian Ombudsman this year identified nine departments and up to 66 schools which had purchased printer cartridges from a particular Victorian company.

“The Labor Government cannot assure taxpayers these practices are not also occurring in other departments, and therefore the Auditor-General must conduct the inquiry into all departments.

“It will be a major concern to taxpayers that the financial management practices approved by Premier Rann and Minister Portolesi were so slack they were blissfully ignorant of a scandal within their own department.

“No wonder Mr Rann wants to get rid of the Legislative Council, because it was the Legislative Council’s Budget and Finance Committee which identified the scandal in his own department!”.

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