The Greens have received notification by the Auditor-General, Mr Mike Blake, pursuant to the Greens’ written request, that he will undertake a ‘high level compliance audit’ of the State Sector’s regulatory compliance obligations, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said today.
“Premier Hodgman must immediately place a halt on any government moves to cut public sector jobs while this independent and high level compliance audit is underway,” Mr Booth said.
“The Greens have been raising for months concerns that resourcing and staffing cuts are potentially placing some public sector workers at risk of breaching their regulatory obligations, but Mr Hodgman and Mr Gutwein have refused to address these serious concerns.”
“The government does not know whether public sector workers currently are able to comply with their legal requirements currently, let alone after the Liberals’ resourcing and staffing cuts.”
“We know, for example, that currently child protection workers are distressed at not being able to meet established timeframes for assessment and reporting processes. Potential for breaches will only increase in light of future cuts.”
“This work should already have been done. It is utterly irresponsible to embark on savage funding cuts without assessing baseline capacity and legal requirements.”
“No matter the audit’s outcome, the fact the Auditor-General has decided to undertake this work, vindicates concerns raised by stakeholders and the need for such a baseline assessment.”
“It also exposes the rash and uninformed haste with which the Liberals have embarked on their slash and burn regime.”
“This overdue State Sector audit is being conducted by an independent Statutory Officer, and therefore it is incumbent on the Hodgman government to respect this process, halt the job cuts, and instead utilise the completed audit to inform appropriate resourcing of the public sector moving forward,” Mr Booth said.