GOVERNMENT’S PLAN TO REDUCE TRANSPARENCY

The Abbott Government plans to remove public scrutiny and transparency measures for around $280 million worth of Commonwealth purchases, Labor has revealed.

The regulation changes proposed by the Government would see the minimum reporting value of Commonwealth purchases increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke said the proposal would result in around 20,000 transactions or roughly 30 per cent of the current reportable transactions, exempt from having to be publicly listed on AusTender.

“If this change had been implemented for the 2012-13 financial year, some $280 million of contracts would not have been reported on AusTender,” Mr Burke said.

“This is a step backwards in public accountability and is yet another example of the Abbott Government’s addiction to secrecy.”

“Labor believes transparency and accountability for government expenditure is of paramount importance and could not support the changes.”

Mr Burke said while the changes were a matter of regulation, Labor would not remain quiet.

“If this government thinks Labor will sit quietly while it tries to dismantle transparency and accountability measures, it’s got another thing coming.”