NSW Labor is calling for an investigation into the use of taxpayers’ money to survey attitudes to the Government ahead of the 2019 State Election.
The inappropriate use of taxpayer funds came to light in the latest NSW Auditor General report into Government Advertising.
The report also found the agency of Service NSW breached its own procurement policies by directly negotiating with one supplier for an advertising campaign that was ultimately worth $5 million.
It prompted the Shadow Minister for Better Public Services, Sophie Cotsis, to write a letter to the NSW Attorney General, warning of the ramifications for democracy.
“This is very concerning. The NSW Liberals used a public Government agency like Service NSW right before the 2019 election to conduct polling on attitudes toward the NSW Government,” Ms Cotsis said.
“According to the Auditor General’s report, Service NSW breached NSW Government procurement rules with a rushed campaign that may have misled people about their eligibility for rebate schemes.
“Instead of obtaining quotes from multiple suppliers, the Government agency, Service NSW, negotiated directly with a single advertising company and directed them to start work on the campaign before it had been formally approved.
“This is why I am calling for the Department of Communities and Justice to investigate.”
Ms Cotsis has also written to the NSW Electoral Commission.