Vic govt criticised for project secrecy


The Victorian government has been criticised for its secrecy about the cost of new major projects in the auditor-general's report on the state's finances.

The report, which looks at the state's financial performance for 2012-13, says changes introduced by the Victorian Liberal government resulted in it no longer revealing the budgets of major projects when they were announced, citing commercial sensitivities and the potential to increase tender prices.

In the 2013-14 Victorian budget, six major infrastructure projects were announced without specifying their total end costs.

"The absence of project cost information limits the availability of parliament and the public to hold the government to account for the efficient and economic delivery of projects," the Annual Financial Report of the State of Victoria says.

It recommends that once tender processes for a project are completed and contracts signed, expected project costs should be revealed to the public.

Opposition scrutiny of government spokesman Martin Pakula said the government's approach to costings transparency was the exact opposite of what it promised voters at the election.