Volume Eight 2010 focus on Law and Order and Emergency Services

The Auditor-General, Mr Peter Achterstraat, today released his Volume Eight Report to Parliament for 2010. The report includes comments on his financial audits of NSW Government emergency services and law and order agencies for 2009-10. The audits of these agencies’ financial reports for the year ended 30 June 2010 each resulted in an unqualified Independent Auditor’s Report.

Significant backlog in victims’ compensation claims

The Department of Justice and Attorney General paid $63 million in compensation to victims of crimes but only received $4.2 million from offenders in 2009-10. Over $222 million worth of victims’ compensation claims are to be processed by the Department. The number of outstanding claims increased thirty-five per cent from 13,384 to 18,118 in 2009-10.

“The Department is making changes to improve the schemes sustainability by reducing its operating costs and changing its funding arrangements,” said Mr Achterstraat. “Nevertheless, there is an increasing liability that needs to be addressed”, he added.

Increasing cost of the Police Partial and Permanent Disability Scheme

The NSW Police Force needs to do more to prevent officers from leaving due to career ending injuries and ensure it has sufficient money to meet the increasing costs of its Partial and Permanent Disability Scheme.

“The scheme’s liability has more than doubled from $87 million in 2007 to $190 million in 2010”, said Mr Achterstraat. “The annual number of claims paid has increased more than four times from 68 to 282 and the average claim size has increased from $373,307 to $421,958”, he added.

IT project over budget and time

The Lifelink IT project to replace the Births Deaths and Marriage registry system has expanded in scope and is expected to cost $20 million, more than double the original budget of $8 million. It was expected to be completed by 2008 and is now due by March 2012.

Natural Disasters

Mr Achterstraat highlighted the significant contribution of the State’s emergency services agencies in responding to a large increase in the number of natural disasters. In 2009-10 there were 43 natural disasters declared, which affected 122 local government areas. 

Further information

Barry Underwood, Executive Officer, on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664