Fear factory: Report reveals alarming culture created by Dan Andrews

Ombudsman report reveals a culture of fear and excessive secrecy undermining Victoria's public service, with the Premier's Private Office amassing unprecedented power.

Fear factory: Report reveals alarming culture created by Dan Andrews
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Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass has exposed the adverse impact of Premier Dan Andrews' centralised power, stating that it has given rise to a public service dominated by secrecy and fear.

The report highlights concerns over the politicisation of the public service and the lack of transparency in major projects.

Glass expressed apprehension over the premier's office employing as many staff as the Prime Minister and NSW Premier combined in 2022, fostering a culture that compromises the proper use of taxpayer funds.

She specifically criticised the secretive handling of the $125 billion Suburban Rail Loop, emphasising the absence of rigorous public sector scrutiny.

The 280-page report, stemming from a two-year investigation, underscores the challenges faced in probing due to cabinet secrecy, poor record-keeping, and witnesses' reluctance to participate.

Glass called for urgent attention to address the pervasive politicisation and recommended reforms, including appointing an independent public servant to oversee Department Secretaries.

Replacement Premier Jacinta Allan, yet to comment on the report, acknowledged the hard work of the public sector but faces mounting pressure to address the systemic issues identified.

The report comes in the wake of previous findings by the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission, indicating a broader crisis in the Victorian government's integrity and decision-making processes.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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