A new report shows Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin and her department have failed to lead and co-ordinate delivery of more than $25.4 billion of taxpayer funding meant to close the gap for Indigenous Australians, Shadow Minister Senator Nigel Scullion said today.
“The report said ‘a more active approach by the department is required to tangibly address some of the critical strategic issues in indigenous affairs.’
The Australian National Audit Office report , Australian Government Coordination Arrangements for Indigenous Programs, reveals that the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs is failing to adequately perform its lead agency role and needs to be more proactive in monitoring and reporting on expenditure Senator Scullion said.
“This report goes to the very core of government efforts to close the gap and is a damning indictment on Minister Macklin and her department for failing to do their job,” Senator Scullion said.
“The report shows that Minister Macklin and the department have been more focused on information sharing and departmental processes than on results.
“The report said the department ‘has considerable scope to improve its financial reporting and take a more strategic oversight role in monitoring expenditure’.
“I have been trying to get a list of Indigenous programs and expenditure from this department for years. Now I find out that they were not being obstructive –they simply do not know.”
“Indigenous Australians want to see better value from the money that is meant to reduce Indigenous disadvantage. The department and the Minister must improve co ordination nationally and integrate service delivery on the ground.
“Sadly the Gillard Government is more concerned with departmental requirements and red tape.
“It is a tragedy for Indigenous Australians and the country that the Labor Government’s incompetence and mismanagement is hampering the nation’s commitment to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage” Senator Scullion said.
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ANAO Indigenous cooridnation release.pdf