NSW government consultancy process exposed

NSW government agencies are under-reporting how much they spend on external consultants, the state’s auditor has said, while criticising the body tasked with policing the system as ineffective.

Auditor-General Margaret Crawford on Tuesday released a scathing review of 12 government departments, finding not one of them materially complied with procurement guidelines.

The audit report found eight agencies did not comply with annual reporting requirements in the 2016/17 financial year.

Another three agencies failed to report expenditure on consultants that had been capitalised as part of asset costs, while another didn’t disclose agency fees incurred by its subsidiaries.

The agency charged with overseeing the process, the NSW Procurement Board, was described as “not fully effective”.

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