This is the personal blog of Ian Ker, who was Councillor for the South Ward of the Town of Vincent from 1995 to 2009. I have been a resident of this area since 1985. This blog was originally conceived as a way of letting residents of Vincent know what I have been doing and sharing thoughts on important issues. I can now use it to sound off about things that concern me.

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Monday, July 14, 2014

Cop-Out By The Auditor-General

A while back, I asked the Auditor-General whether he would investigate the Department of Local Government and the Local Government Advisory Board over the forcing of local government amalgamations without any assessment of costs and benefits ( - along the lines of his criticism of the administration of the Royalties for Regions program.

Predictably, his response is that he will do nothing. He replied, on 7th July:

As your email notes, it is my role to scrutinise the public sector for potential instances of wastage, inefficiency or ineffectiveness, and to report the findings to the Western Australian Parliament.  However, it is not my role to assess the decisions of government.

A common misunderstanding is that the Auditor General can criticise government policy. By convention, the Auditor General will not comment on or criticise government policy as this risks politicising the position and diminishing my perceived independence. However, what I can do is assess whether government policy has been effectively implemented.

As such, there is no scope for us to look into the decisions by the Minister for Local Government in relation to Local Government reform.

This misses the point entirely - my request was about the implementation of policy without either a business case or guaranteed funding. So I responded, on the same day, as below:
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