From July 2006 to December 2010, 11 departments and five
agencies spent over $1 billion on advertising and
Government spending on advertising and communications is
significant and has grown consistently since 2002. Given the
political sensitivity and significance of this annual expenditure,
full and fair disclosure of all advertising costs incurred is a
critical accountability issue. However, currently, the level of
transparency and accountability for government advertising and
communications expenditure continues to be inadequate.
Public reporting is partial and inaccurate, and there is
inadequate oversight of government advertising activities.
Estimated total expenditure exceeds publicly reported costs by up
to 97 per cent.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has not adequately
monitored and overseen advertising and communications activities
across government. It has not provided clear leadership and
guidance, and departments and authorities are not complying with
advertising and communications guidelines, particularly in such
areas as evaluation and sponsorship.
DPC has not effectively managed the major advertising and
communications contracts. It has not been able to demonstrate that
value-for-money has been achieved, nor that the quality of services
acquired has been adequate.
While the 2009 Victorian Government Advertising and
Communications Guidelines (2009 Guidelines) are comparable
with those in other jurisdictions, there is obvious scope for
improved transparency of and accountability for this significant
and contentious element of taxpayer funded expenditure.
A compliance assessment of five advertising campaigns shows
general compliance with the 2009 Guidelines. There were, however,
notable breaches that departmental oversight processes failed to