Auditing changes

LOCAL government finances are set to be overseen by the auditor general.

The move follows a report by the corruption and crime commission — launched after massive rorting was uncovered at a northern suburbs council — that found all local governments were vulnerable to fraud, corruption and other misconduct.

Local government minister Tony Simpson has introduced legislation to make the change, saying there’s no reason for councils to be less open and accountable than other levels of government.

He says it will allow them to take “timely” action if problems are unearthed by the auditor general.

The bill also introduces a new category of audits known as performance audits which look at how effective particular programs are.

Cockburn, Fremantle and Melville councils said they had no issue with further scrutiny, but fear it might increase auditing costs.

Cockburn, which already has performance audits done independently, worries the proposed reform will double-up costs.

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