‘We’re not going to be able to do the audit,’ Defence Minister says
Posted March 04, 2020 09:02:48 Defense Minister Michael Keenan says he is “very, very sceptical” that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will be able keep the audit program running past the end of 2021.
Key points:Mr Keenan was the Chief Executive of the Australian Navy when it was run by the former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Peter DuttonThe Defence Minister has said the ADF needs more funding to run the audit processThe auditor-general’s office said last week it had identified a “significant” gap in the ADI’s funding plan in an audit last monthThe Government’s auditor-General, Angus Taylor, last week said the Defence Department was facing “significant financial challenges” and the ADB needed to make “significant investments”.
“The ADF has been operating in a challenging environment,” Mr Keenan told ABC Radio Melbourne’s Today program on Thursday.
“I’m very, very wary that the ADAs funding will be sufficient, I think, to cover the audit for the full term of the ADFs life,” he said.
Mr Keenans comments come after the Auditor-General announced it had found a “critical gap” in the $12 billion ADI funding plan.
“We’ve identified a significant gap in ADI (Australian Defence Force) funding for the remainder of the period in the financial year 2021,” the audit said.
“In this interim period, ADIs (Australian Defense Force) and the Government are working to ensure that the audit and other funding obligations are not impacted.”
The auditor said there was a “very high likelihood” the gap would need to be plugged.
“The Department has identified significant gaps in the funding and accountability arrangements between the ADs (Australian Department of Defence) and ADB (Australian Federal Government),” the audit found.
“This gap should be addressed in the next few weeks, but has not yet been addressed.”
Mr Keenanes comments came after Defence Minister Michael Keating told the ABC the ADFA was in a “dire financial situation” as a result of its lack of funding.
“There is a very high likelihood that this gap will need to closed by mid-2019,” Mr Keating said.