Public service must address conflict of interest: Tas Auditor-General

Tasmania’s Auditor-General raises concerns over conflict of interest and the hiring of casual and labour hire workers in a new report into recruitment transparency.

There is no specific evidence for favouritism in hiring practices in the Tasmanian public service, says the state’s Auditor-General Mike Blake. But Tasmania must  address perceptions of nepotism by amending conflict of interest rules for recruitment panels.

A report by the Auditor-General into recruitment practices in the state service found that while recruitment processes were compliant, more work needs to be done in dealing with processes surrounding conflict of interest.

Blake was concerned that there are currently no procedures in place for declaring conflicts of interest. “Selection processes tested had not identified a means to declare a conflict either explicitly or implicitly,” he said. “Instead, the conflict of interest process relied on self-disclosure by panellists or candidates and there was inconsistency in how these disclosures were made.

“While the review did not identify any specific examples of favouritism, 100% of our sample identified a lack of a strong focus on conflicts of interest.”

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