IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman have called out Daniel Andrews for spending $1.7 million of taxpayer funds on an anti-Federal government campaign, telling the Premier that the law must change so that such a campaign can never be repeated.
The Andrews Government’s ad campaign was a partisan use of taxpayer funds designed to attack the Federal Coalition and help Bill Shorten. IBAC and the Ombudsman found that it was “inconsistent with apolitical public sector conduct” as required by law.
It is clear that publicly funded advertising should not be used for political advantage.
However, IBAC and the Ombudsman found that “public perception of the recent advertising campaign would be at odds with that intent”.
IBAC and the Ombudsman have also called for “prompt amendment of the Act and Regulations” so that such an abuse of taxpayer funds cannot occur again, finding that it is in the wider public interest for this to occur.
Shamefully, Daniel Andrews has compromised the independence of the Victorian Public Service which now acts as a campaigning arm of the Labor Party.
Premier Andrews must immediately commit to changing the law as proposed by IBAC and the Victorian Ombudsman to prevent further disgraceful abuses of taxpayer money on partisan political campaigns.