Malinauskas Government shuts down Auditor General request over targeted grant payments

Monday 07 November, 2022

The Malinauskas Labor Government has refused the Auditor General access to crucial documents to justify $133 million of grant payments – promised to key seats before the March election – which were not “conducted within the public sector framework and processes”.

The damning conclusion was outlined in the latest Auditor-General’s Report.

The Auditor-General revealed he requested documents from the Malinauskas Labor Government but they were not “provided to me at the time of this Report”.

“To review grant payments made, I requested evidence of the application of controls that would usually apply to such grants, namely:

  • The types of projects these programs were intended to fund and the expected level of funding that would be made available.
  • The criteria by which funding under these two programs would be considered for approval.
  • The process by which the community as a whole was informed that these amounts
  • were available.
  • The risk management approach applied to these programs.
  • The assessment and approval process that decided which projects would be funded.
  • The assessment approach that determined whether the funding provided was likely to achieve the outcomes sought for the individual projects.

“In response, I was advised by DPC that there are no government records that capture the assessment processes and decisions about which individual sporting clubs and local infrastructure projects would receive grants or the value of the grants. This is because this process was undertaken by the South Australian Labor Party while in opposition.

“In my opinion, the payment of public money should only occur after all public sector processes are completed.”

Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Vincent Tarzia, described the Auditor-General’s assessment as “damning”.

“It is concerning and suspicious that Peter Malinauskas is desperate to avoid scrutiny over Labor’s grant payments worth a whopping $133 million,” he said.

“Peter Malinauskas and his Labor Government have a serious problem with transparency and being up front with South Australians.

“It appears that Peter Malinauskas is trying keep something secret in relation to this matter.

“Peter Malianuskas’ promises worth $133 million were clearly delivered to targeted seats during the election – that was his sole priority, not communities who are in desperate need of sport and infrastructure upgrades.

“Unfortunately, Peter Malinauskas bypassed communities in need and left them in lurch.

“That’s why we’re calling on Peter Malinauskas to hand over the documents requested by the Auditor General.”