The Labor Government’s ‘Cartridgegate’ report has only revealed the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of widespread abuse relating to the purchases of printer cartridges and other products.
“The Weatherill Labor Government is obviously hoping that this whole issue will just disappear now that the report has been released,” Shadow Finance Minister Rob Lucas said.
“However, a significant number of abuses have not been included in the report, including:
• Any consideration of abuses which occurred prior to June 2009 (except for one agency) even though evidence exists in a number of agencies
• Public servants in some agencies who were implicated in purchases yet the invoice didn’t list a benefit were not even questioned or interviewed – even though evidence exists where gifts were provided to home addresses and the benefits were not listed on the invoices
• Agencies covering education, health and primary industries have still not produced final reports
“The report also makes no specific reference to a former officer in Minister Caica’s office purchasing up to $20,000 worth of cartridges and what action, if any, the Government has taken in relation to that officer.
“The fact that the report reveals more than 20 public servants are still being investigated for possible charges makes it clear that the Government has been ‘asleep at the wheel’ for a number of years whilst widespread abuse has been occurring.
“The only way all of these examples of abuse can be exposed is if there is a truly independent investigation by the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General will also be able to report on the adequacy of the Government’s financial management and whether all cases of abuse have been pursued in the same manner and with equal vigour.”