This report deals with 2 decisions by the Minister for Health, the Hon Roger Cook MLA, not to provide information to Parliament about the business cases for the redevelopment of the:
- Geraldton Health Campus
- Valley View Residential Aged Care Facility.
Section 82 of the Financial Management Act 2006 (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 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 sets out the process we follow to arrive at our section 82 opinions, including:
- a review of entity documents
- a review of any advice provided to the relevant Minister by entities, the State Solicitor’s Office (SSO) or other legal advisers
- interviews with key entity 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.
The decisions by the Minister for Health, the Hon Roger Cook MLA, to provide Parliament with redacted business cases for redeveloping the Geraldton Health Campus and Valley View Aged Care Facility were reasonable and therefore appropriate.
In Parliament on 8 May 2018, the Hon Martin Aldridge MLC, asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health for the business case for the Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment in Question on Notice 1189. On 21 May 2018 in the Legislative Council’s Estimates and Financial Operations Committee hearing, the Hon Martin Aldridge MLC, again asked the Minister for Health for the business case for the Geraldton Health Campus and also asked for the business case for the Valley View Residential Aged Care Facility redevelopment.
On 29 November 2018, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health tabled in the Legislative Council redacted versions of the business cases for the Geraldton Health Campus and the Valley View Residential Aged Care Facility redevelopments (transcripts of questions and responses are at Appendix 1).
On 3 December 2018, the Auditor General received the Minister’s notifications of the decisions not to provide the requested information, in accordance with section 82 of the FM Act.