WA Audit calls for improved screening

Western Australia’s Auditor General has handed down a report into the state’s employment and vetting processes of public servants.

Following an investigation into 8 of the state’s local government bodies, Auditor General Caroline Spencer identified serious flaws in the employment and vetting processes in the sector.

The audit found employee screening practices for a sample of 306 employees across 8 local government entities had a range of important checks that were not performed, including:

  • 89% of people did not have their right to work in Australia verified

  • 52% of people did not have a reference check

  • 26% of people did not have their identity checked prior to employment

  • 63 employees at 5 entities required criminal background checks but the checks were not done.

“Entities need sound and consistent employee screening processes to confirm the identity, integrity, track record and academic credentials of potential employees prior to them commencing in the public sector,” Ms Spencer said.

“Consistent and robust employee screening policies and procedures can reduce the risk of any inadequate recruitment practices, and protect the integrity of the public sector,” she said.

“When these practices aren’t performed on employees, it can undermine the reputation of all the dedicated, professional, hardworking public servants across the State.”

The 8 local government bodies audited in the report all accepted the report’s recommendations and would move to improve their human resources and vetting process.

The full report can be found here

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