Decision on request to inquire into the management, governance, and oversight of Solid Energy Limited
In late March, the Auditor-General was asked to carry out an inquiry into the management, governance, and oversight of Solid Energy Limited. The Auditor-General does not intend to carry out an inquiry into this issue.
“I have given considerable thought to requests that I carry out an inquiry into the management, governance, and oversight of Solid Energy Limited. My staff have visited both the Treasury and Solid Energy to obtain enough information for me to make an informed decision. Such an inquiry is within my mandate, and my Office has conducted similar inquiries in the past. However, I have decided not to carry out such an inquiry in this instance.
There are several reasons for my decision. There are already a number of reviews under way about Solid Energy’s performance and the monitoring of the Crown’s investment in the company, and the Treasury has released a range of information on these matters. Those reviews need to run their course. Naturally, I would want to see accountability to both Parliament and the public on the key issues raised with my Office, and I trust that those who are carrying out those reviews of Solid Energy will make any relevant information publicly available in due course. I also note that the company is undergoing significant restructuring, with effects on governance and staffing at all levels.
The company is already subject to a significant amount of review, scrutiny, and change. Given these circumstances, it is my judgement that an Auditor-General’s inquiry at the moment would not add enough value to justify the additional burden on the company and the taxpayer.
I will reconsider my position if circumstances change to such an extent that proper public accountability is undermined.”