Liberal Nationals to subpoena Tim Pallas to appear before Public Accounts and Estimates Committee

The Public Accounts and Estimates committee (PAEC) will be asked to subpoena the Treasurer Tim Pallas and Victorian Government Departmental Secretaries, after they withdrew themselves from public hearings due to begin next week.

The move, led by Liberal Nationals committee members, comes as PAEC will inquire into the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) and cuts made to its office.

Public hearings will still be held next Monday and Tuesday, but at the last minute, government officials pulled out to avoid questions about Labor budget cuts and poor performance by Departments.

The subpoena will also call on the Secretaries of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions to appear.

In February 2016, Treasurer Tim Pallas said the “PBO will be an authoritative, independent and credible body” and “have power to obtain relevant information from the Victorian public sector”.

Representatives from the Liberal Nationals and the Greens will appear at the hearings on Monday.

Comments attributable to the Shadow Minister for Public Sector Integrity, Kim Wells

“Every week we are witnessing new examples of Labor avoiding scrutiny, accountability and transparency in Victoria.

“The Parliamentary Budget Officer has already expressed serious concerns about Labor’s funding arrangement and transparency for major projects, yet key officials continue to turn their back on answering questions.”

Comments attributable to the Deputy Chair of Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, Richard Riordan

“In April 2020, Daniel Andrews said PAEC was the pre-eminent committee in our parliament and it ought to be given the opportunity to review the performance of the government, yet now Labor and their handpicked officials are avoiding it.

“The failure of Departments not to provide timely and relevant information to the PBO may constitute serious breaches, and that’s why the Treasurer and Secretaries should be subpoenaed to appear.”

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