Auditor General in broadside at Major Projects Victoria

State infrastructure delivery body damned for fudging reform

Auditor General in broadside at Major Projects Victoria
John Doyle says MPV has done little worth commending.

Victorian auditor-general John Doyle has blasted the state’s infrastructure agency for failing to implement recommendations years after damning findings by his office.

The Victorian Auditor General’s Office (VAGO) reported on weaknesses in the engagement of contractors and their value for money, risks around fraud and project management at Major Projects Victoria and the former Department of Business and Innovation in October 2012 but the agency had failed to make meaningful reforms to its practices.

Now, in a follow-up audit report, Doyle has questioned its focus and called into question the value of its existence, despite the state budgeting to spend $5.2 billion on infrastructure in 2015-16.

"The 2012 audit Managing Major Projects identified a range of weaknesses that culminated in our conclusion that MPV lacked organisational integrity and accountability," he tells state parliament.

"I made 22 recommendations to improve MPV's operations.

"MPV has done little worth commending to address my recommendations and their underlying issues.

"The bulk of its effort has been focused on improving its administrative practices and associated governance.

"While important, this has simply got MPV to the standard at which it should always have been.

"Regrettably, little meaningful action has occurred to address the core weaknesses.

"In 2012, sufficient weaknesses were identified to warrant the recommendation for a fraud risk assessment, however, the assessment undertaken was inadequate.

"It appears to be a review that was done to address a recommendation, rather than a serious effort to understand and address the risks of fraud."

Doyle takes the department for task for continuing to adequately justify secure highly expensive contractors without justifying the cost.

"Given the diminishing number of major projects that MPV has to manage, there are significant questions about the value it provides to Victoria," he adds.

"I am not satisfied that MPV has fundamentally improved its performance."

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