Victorian Government Withheld CenITex Report From Ombudsman

In the final report released by the Victorian Ombudsman into corrupt activities at CenITex, Victoria’s whole-of-government IT services enterprise, it was revealed that the Victorian Assistant Treasurer – (and also the Minister for Technology, and Minister for Aviation), Gordon Rich-Phillips, ignored a request for the provision of a copy of a report prepared by State Services Authority (SSA) on the matter.

Quoting from the executive summary of the report:

“On 13 September 2011, the Hon. Gordon Rich-Phillips MLC, Assistant Treasurer, requested that the State Services Authority (SSA) undertake a review of CenITex and prepare a report for consideration by Cabinet. The terms of reference were to review:”

  • CenITex’s governance arrangements
  • CenITex’s processes for providing improved service delivery
  • CenITex’s financial performance
  • The current shared services operating model and its viability going forward.

“The final SSA report was provided to the Assistant Treasurer in February 2012 and has not been made public.”

“My officers invited the Assistant Treasurer to provide me with a copy of the SSA report in order to inform my investigation and avoid any potential overlap or duplication between the SSA review and my investigation. However, I did not receive a response to this request.”

What was in the SSA report that Rich-Phillips didn’t want the Ombudsman to see?

It should be remembered that CenITex was established under the previous Labor government in Victoria, and that much of the allegedly corrupt activity was initiated while that government was still in power.

However, the apparent secrecy on a matter of public service corruption is concerning. The allegedly corrupt activities continued after the change of government.

We may never know the full story on this – but watch this space. I’ll be keeping an eye on happenings.