The Australian Greens are calling for a significant overhaul of the IAS following a report by the ANAO that the Department had not developed a reliable methodology for measuring outcomes and its evaluation procedures are still being developed, five years since the program rollout.
“I am horrified by the ANAO findings and outraged that it took two years for the Government to even get an evaluation process up and running”, Australian Greens spokesperson on First Nations issues Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“I would like to say that I was surprised by the findings of this report but as I and many people have been saying for years now, the IAS was poorly designed, poorly implemented and poorly overseen with little accountability and transparency.
“Because there is no evaluation of the IAS, the Government isn’t able to say with certainty what has worked and what hasn’t.
"We are seeing from the current approach that we aren’t even coming close to meeting the Close the Gap targets.
“Decision making processes have been ad-hoc at best which has seen many interventions from community to get funding reinstated.
“If the Government is serious about closing the gap they must at the bare minimum reinstate the over $500 million that was cut from First Nations programs through the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
“If we are actually serious about addressing these issues, First Nations issues and organisations would have been given priority, long term funding support and certainty.
“We need a serious change in approach, that is better directed, transparent and accountable. As a nation we need to reset and take a new approach.
“We have to ensure that the money we are spending on First Nations programs is properly and transparently targeted, with decision making led by First Nations communities.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180