Boyle agrees with Auditor-General report on Indigenous Councils

Queensland Local Government Minister Desley Boyle has agreed with the Auditor-General’s findings that about half the state’s Aboriginal and Island Councils have “unacceptable governance practices and concerns over financial accountability.”

Current strategy good but there is long way to go, says Boyle

“The positive news is that just over half our indigenous councils are fully meeting financial management requirements," Ms Boyle said. “Some of the other councils still have qualified audits but have made significant improvements while yet others still have a long way to go."

According to Ms Boyle, there have been a number of successes through the Community Governance Improvement Strategy (CGIS), which supports aboriginal councils as they transition to full shire status. CGIS is a four year strategy with two years left to run.

“However, it is now time for a stronger system which includes, where necessary, intervention for those indigenous councils still not meeting accountability requirements," Ms Boyle said.

Options the Department is considering include:

* greater use of financial controllers; or

* the use of financial administration units, which is an outside bureau service that could be contracted to manage the finances of three or four councils.

“The idea behind this intervention is to step in and get finances back on track before an administrator needs to be appointed," Ms Boyle said. “These options are in keeping with the Auditor General’s comments that the use of the financial controllers needs to be considered."

26 July, 2006

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