Auditor General reports on abuse and mismanagement of travel and hospitality spending
The Auditor General, Alastair Swarbrick, made public today his Office’s performance audit report on the government’s management of travel and hospitality expenditures. Mr. Swarbrick’s report is very critical of Government’s management practices for approximately $8.6 million of expenditures over three years and concludes that there is a potential waste of significant public funds. Because of deficient record keeping, the Auditor General was unable to determine exactly how much travel and hospitality expenditure was incurred and wasted over the three year period he audited.
The report includes eleven recommendations for the Deputy Governor and his officials to implement. The recommendations build on Government’s action taken in 2013 to provide public servants with a global travel policy.
In his report, the Auditor General provides many examples of potentially wasteful government expenditure relating to travel and hospitality. Mr. Swarbrick outlines how a lack of good management led to a litany of inappropriate behaviour in the departments he audited including misinforming the public about how much is actually being spent on travel and hospitality.
“While the Government has taken an important first step by implementing a travel policy, the problems my auditors found will not be fixed by simply doing this one thing.” said Mr. Swarbrick. “I have reported to the Legislative Assembly on a number of occasions that there are insufficient controls and practices for government expenditures, and the problems I have reported in respect of travel and hospitality expenditures are indicative of these wider concerns. I have been assured that further work will be undertaken to address these problems.”