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Government’s double standard on here public money ends up

07.13.2019, 成都夜生活, by .

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The government has promised new laws to make sure your gold coins actually go to the sick kids and not into the pockets of fraudsters.

But what about the public money the government gives out itself?

Like the $3 billion the Department of Family and Community Services awards each year to not-for-profits meant to care for troubled children or poor old people?

Here, the politicians are not so keen on any extra oversight.

“Trust us” is the message. Even as the government investigates an alleged $20 million misappropriation that took place over four years.

This week, Fair Trading Minister Matt Kean introduced a bill to parliament that would give new powers to retired or current judges of the Supreme, Federal or High courts to investigate suspicious fundraising in special public hearings.

“I want to make sure consumers are put first and know they aren’t being ripped off by shonky operators,” Mr Kean said.

All well and good if you bought a ticket in the chook raffle.

But for money paid in tax for the government to redistribute, it’s another matter.

A parliamentary public accounts committee, including Liberal MPS, had urged the state to adopt “follow the dollar” laws that would allow the Auditor-General to look into how not-for-profits’ spend our money.

In adopting the laws, NSW would catch up with the rest of the country.

But Gladys Berejiklian has rejected the idea.

“In line with the NSW government’s commitment to minimise the administrative burden on service providers, a reporting process that would potentially duplicate existing measures has not been introduced,” a Department of Premier and Cabinet spokesman said.

Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward did not respond when the Herald asked her opinion.

Nor did she respond when asked if she thought her department had adequate processes to keep track of its billions in spending.

Ms Goward’s department insists the “normal contract management process” process led it to discover the alleged misappropriation of $19.6 million by a children’s care charity run by former Wallaby Glen Ella.

But the alleged misdealings – unauthorised transactions with subcontractors linked to former criminals – were only picked up in 2016, four years after they began.

The “detailed analysis of all financial information” FACS conducts each year missed them.

Those same processes also missed the embezzlement of funds by Eman Sharobeem, chief executive of an immigrant women’s health service, who is accused of defrauding the taxpayer over many years.

So the government is left promoting a double standard.

Where members of the public generously give money to groups so they can help the needy, it wants more scrutiny.

Where the money goes into state coffers first, a low level of oversight suits it fine.

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