Auditor-General's report on government and parliamentary publicity and advertising

21 June 2005

The Auditor-General's report on Government and parliamentary publicity and advertising was tabled in Parliament today.

"Governments and parliamentary parties can legitimately pay for publicity and advertising with public funds. However, such activities are inherently sensitive, and open to the risk of abuse", Kevin Brady said.

The Auditor-General's report reviews this area of public spending, and discusses his concerns with the existing guidelines and management framework. The Auditor-General proposes that the guidelines and framework be reviewed, and that administrative improvements be made.

"In my view, the right time to consider a new framework for publicly funded publicity and advertising is after the general election. However, I have determined that the report should be presented now, so that this difficult area can be properly understood."

"Any publicly funded advertising by political parties that does take place between now and the general election must be consistent with the existing rules, and will be subject to the oversight of the Speaker", he said.

Contact for media enquiries:

Robert Buchanan
Assistant Auditor-General Legal
Telephone: (04) 917 1500