‘Risks’ in local job program
THE Auditor-General has identified “control weaknesses” and “shortcomings” in the McGowan Government’s Local Projects, Local Jobs program.
The $38 million scheme was set up to deliver promises made by WA Labor at the election. Most of the 858 projects are for community clubs, groups and schools.
The Auditor-General tested 40 projects “to confirm that the funds were applied in accordance with agreements”. “Shortcomings” were found at the Education Department, where there were three cases of schools that “used the funds for a purpose that differed from the agreement”. For one of these, “there was no documented approval of the change”.
For the other two, the change in scope was approved by the local MP. This was despite local members not having the authority to approve changes.
The report warned that if MPs, who do not have responsibility for a department, determine the use for project funding “there is a risk that the funds may not be used for the best purpose”.