This report deals with a decision by the Attorney General, the Hon John Quigley MLA, not to provide information to Parliament about legal advice sought in relation to an ex gratia payment to Mr Gene Gibson.
Section 82 of the Financial Management Act 2006 (the FM Act) requires a Minister who decides that it is reasonable and appropriate not to provide certain information to Parliament, to give written notice of the decision to both Houses of Parliament and the Auditor General within 14 days of the decision.
Section 24 of the Auditor General Act 2006 (AG Act) requires the Auditor General to provide an opinion to Parliament as to whether the Minister’s decision was reasonable and appropriate.
The Audit Practice Statement on our website (www.audit.wa.gov.au) sets out the process we follow to arrive at our section 82 opinions, including:
- a review of agency documents
- a review of any advice provided to the relevant Minister by agencies, the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) or other legal advisers
- interviews with key agency persons including discussions about our draft findings and the Auditor General’s opinion.
Our procedures are designed to provide sufficient appropriate evidence to support an independent view to Parliament on the reasonableness and appropriateness of the Minister’s decision.
We have not performed an audit, however, our procedures follow the key principles in the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards.