The West Australian government has orders an independent audit

into management of state housing tenants after the skeletal remains of an elderly man were discovered in a unit up to two years after his death.

Seventy-five-year-old Robert Roll’s corpse went undetected until July 7, despite neighbours urging housing department officials to check on him.

Housing Minister Troy Buswell said he was not satisfied with the explanation provided by the Department of Housing, whose records incorrectly stated that Mr Roll’s home had been inspected in 2010.

“The information I received contained discrepancies in regard to the last contact the department had with Mr Roll, and my main concern is that the department’s systems showed that an inspection was undertaken in 2010, when an inspection did not actually occur,” Mr Buswell said.

“Whether this was caused due to human error or improper actions, we need to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“The audit will examine the circumstances around the discovery of Mr Roll’s body, as well as the department’s tenancy management actions throughout the history of Mr Rolls’ tenancy.

“It will also look at the actions taken to identify and test safety devices in Mr Roll’s unit, and overall tenancy management at the complex at 601 Wellington Street.”

The audit will also consider the extent to which the department has implemented the recommendations of the Auditor General’s 2010 report into the fitting and maintenance of safety devices, records systems and procedures such as property inspections.

“While the department is finalising a report on its own response to the Auditor General’s report, it seems logical to have an independent body also scrutinise this response, particularly when we are engaging someone to look at similar issues relating to Mr Roll’s case,” he said.

“I expect the audit will identify any key concerns or weaknesses in the department’s management of Mr Roll’s tenancy and any continuing issues around systems and procedures, with recommendations as to how these may be improved.”

The audit will be undertaken by KPMG. It will commence this month and is expected to take eight weeks.

Police said last month that it appeared Mr Roll had cancer and died of natural causes. A report has been prepared for the WA coroner.

They have since established Mr Roll was a former boilermaker, believed to be from Newcastle in England’s north but had moved to Australia several decades ago.

Residents in the same apartment block began to grow concerned when Mr Roll’s mail began piling up.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

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