Queensland government departments are failing to meet benchmarks for openness and accountability over the disclosure of government contracts, according to the latest Auditor-General's report.
The report found “incomplete records, multiple systems and, in some cases, a lack of awareness or misinterpretation of disclosure requirements” had led to only around a quarter of the 90 contracts examined by the review being appropriately disclosed.
“As a result, the Queensland Government does not have a complete record of awarded contracts,” the report found.
“This means the public cannot easily access accurate data on awarded government contracts valued at $10,000 or more.”
It also found it was unable to properly assess whether confidentiality provisions were being inappropriately used in contracts due to a lack of reporting guidelines.
The report looked at 90 contracts across the departments of Premier and Cabinet; Housing and Public Works; Environment and Science; Natural Resources, Mines and Energy; and State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.
Only 22 of the contracts were properly disclosed, while 49 did not meet basic disclosure requirements.
The report made a number of recommendations, including for public servants to be made aware of disclosure guidelines and the introduction of a central disclosure database.
A government spokesman said the recommendations were accepted and the Palaszczuk government remained committed to transparency.
“The report reaffirms many of the actions that we are taking to improve procurement under our Buy Queensland strategy,” the spokesman said in a statement.
“On occasion there can be confidentiality reasons why contract information may not be made public. Where that is the case, we are guided by legal advice.”