Top 12 state auditors sacked

by Chris Griffith
Published 16 October 1994 in The Sunday Mail


my face


Twelve Queensland's most experienced auditors attached to the Auditor- General's office had their employment terminated between January and May this year, Auditor-General Barry Rollason confirmed yesterday.

Mr Rollason said the staff were contract employees and had been replaced following the restructuring of the Audit office in line with recommendations of the Electoral and Administrative Review Commission.

"Certainly there's been a loss of knowledge, but in my view the loss of knowledge has been compensated by the staff that have replaced them," he said.

"I don't want to put it as if the place has been denuded of talent - It's been denuded of people, but they've been replaced - they've all been replaced by highly competent people."

Mr Rollason also defended a recent change to the state's freedom of information law which further restricts public access to documents held in his office.

In August, the government exempted from FOI access documents prohibited by disclosure in the Financial Administration and Audit Act "unless disclosure is required by a compelling reason in the public interest".

Mr Rollason said it would "give the game away" for the public to access documents held by his office. He said the release of some documents would also breach commercial confidentiality undertakings.

"Auditors need to be capable of making fairly frank and fairly forthright comments," he said.

Meanwhile government sources say State Cabinet is about to set up a group to review the first two-years of operation of the freedom of information laws.

Originally the review was to be conducted by the Parliamentary EARC committee, but it is now unclear whether the review will be conducted by parliament or by the government itself.

by Chris Griffith