Auditor General finds improvement needed in management of concessions

Office of the Auditor General

In a report released today, the Auditor General found the management of concessions by agencies was generally satisfactory, although there was room for improvement.

Auditor General Colin Murphy said the State Government provides the community with more than 100 rebates, concessions and subsidies worth approximately $2.6 billion.

Mr Murphy said of the 8 agencies audited who offer an estimated $227 million per annum in concessions, 7 could improve their handling of concessions.

'All agencies had adequate concession policies and procedures, although most could be enhanced by ensuring they contain sufficient detail for staff processing applications, reflect current requirements and are approved by the appropriate level of management.

'Six agencies checked a person’s eligibility when they first applied, but at two agencies evidence of checks was either not retained or not consistently retained to enable us to confirm the eligibility of applicants,’ Mr Murphy said.

In addition, 2 were not checking eligibility for ongoing concessions.

'Good practice would dictate that ongoing concessions are periodically checked to ensure circumstances haven't changed over time and the recipient is still eligible.

'Evidence was also not available at some agencies to sustain their estimate of the value of concessions provided to Treasury for inclusion in the State Budget papers.

'We have recommended that agencies retain the documentation needed to support the information they provide to Treasury,' Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy encouraged agencies who manage concessions to ensure their policies and procedures are comprehensive, regularly reviewed and approved by the appropriate level of management.

The Auditor General’s report, Management of Government Concessions (Report 3 – March 2016), is available on the Office of the Auditor General website at www.audit.wa.gov.au/.