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Senator Patrick refers Government's political appointments to Auditor-General

6 April 2022

Senator Rex Patrick has referred the Coalition Government’s last minute appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and other statutory agencies and bodies to the Auditor-General to review whether required merit and transparency procedures and other due diligence have been properly carried out. 

“This last minute rush to make political appointments to the AAT and other bodies bears all the hallmarks of a desperate Government dealing out one final round of favours and rorts for its friends and allies,” Senator Patrick said. 

“While the Government pays lip service to merits processes, their actions have long suggested that they have little regard for proper standards of merit selection and due process.”

“This final round of appointments looks too much like jobs for mates in the most politically shameless manner, and perhaps a last minute attempt to entrench Coalition supporters within government agencies and decision making in the event of a Labor victory.”

“Accordingly, I have written to the Auditor-General asking him to investigate the process, or lack thereof, in making these recent appointments, including advertising of roles, candidate shortlisting and due diligence in respect of the qualifications, experience, background and appropriateness of the appointments.”

“A variety of legislative requirements apply to statutory appointments. In addition there is a requirement that appointments be made through processes that are consistent with the Government’s Merit and Transparency Policy.” 

“Scrutiny by the Auditor-General will show whether these appointments were properly made and that will greatly assist the Senate in examining these matters further in the new Parliament after the Federal election.”

A copy of Senator Patrick’s letter to the Auditor-General can be found here