Government must act on public sector corruption

The State Opposition has called on the McGowan Government to undertake an urgent, independent review into public sector procurement practices, in the wake of two Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) reports which revealed corruption within the WA public sector.

Shadow Minister for Government Accountability Tjorn Sibma said the Opposition shared the public’s anger at CCC findings of corrupt behaviour by bureaucrats at both the North Metropolitan Health Service (NMHS) and Horizon Power.

“Given the alarming revelations in these two reports, and Commission’s concerns this systematic bribery and corruption could be more widespread, it is important for all senior executives in the public sector and indeed the entire Cabinet to take this matter exceptionally seriously,” Mr Sibma said.

“We need an independent reviewer to perform a detailed examination of the issues highlighted in the reports to identify why we have a system that permits corruption like this to occur over the course of many year, and to provide recommendations for improvement.”

Mr Sibma offered the Opposition’s bipartisan commitment to assist the Government to address this problem in order to restore public confidence in the WA public sector.

“It is concerning that we have a system that seems to rely on whistle-blowers at the bottom and independent agencies at the top” he said.

“We need to drive better systems of accountability within the agencies and also hold these directors general of these departments responsible for the performance of their staff.

“There is opportunity to bolster internal audit and performance management to limit the misappropriation of public funds, restore public confidence, and protect the reputation of the overwhelming majority of public servants who do the right thing.

“We also need to provide confidence to the vast majority of private sector contractors who behave ethically when dealing with the State Government.”