‘Risks’ in lo­cal job pro­gram

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - PETER LAW

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”.

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