The government released a review of the handling of government grants on Saturday, which Perrottet commissioned after former prime minister Gladys Berejiklian’s appearance at a corruption probe reignited controversy over the pork barrel in seats marginals.
The review said ministers must give written reasons for approving taxpayer-funded grants, and all grant programs must be publicly available on a central website, including any records of a minister deviating. advice from officials.
Perrottet said he would take the recommendations to the cabinet, with changes to grant management processes to be made “as soon as possible.”
“I’m focused on spending government money where it makes a real difference,” Perrottet said.
Meanwhile, as part of an effort to stop the cleanup of government spending and improve the way laws are made, Labor – with backing from heterogeneous MPs – is set to change the House’s rules of procedure high for insisting that government legislation must include a so-called statement of public utility.
The statement should outline six key points, including why the new law is needed, its objectives, what other options were considered, the timeline for delivery and who was consulted.
Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House, Penny Sharpe, said NSW Labor “wants our laws to be transparent and grounded in the public interest”.
“Requiring a declaration of public interest will help the community understand the rationale for new laws and develop a more rigorous evidence-based approach to policymaking and law-making,” Sharpe said.
‘Labour hopes the public interest declaration motion will find the support of the upper house and become standard practice in the scrutiny of legislation in the future.’