Dr Allan Hawke completed his Review of the Administration of the Home Insulation Program on 6th April 2010, and his final report [PDF] was just released to the public, coinciding with the Rudd Government’s decision to terminate its insulation rebate scheme. What is clear from Dr Hawke’s report is that the overriding imperative for a speedy implementation of the program undermined its integrity.
From page 28:
The Early Installation Guidelines required that homeowners arrange a minimum of two quotes and pay their installer upfront. These requirements were intended to generate householder ownership over installer selection and potentially to drive competitive pricing. However, they were dispensed with at the full program launch in July 2009 as they were thought to slow the program and were inconsistent with the stimulus imperative.
And on the following page:
… the lack of an upfront payment and no requirement for quotes (between June and November 2009) meant there was little incentive for householders to take the normal level of responsibility for the quality and performance of the installers.
It certainly sounds as though the Rudd Government’s drive to stimulate the economy actively encouraged the suspension of common sense by homeowners. “Buyer beware”, indeed.
ELSEWHERE: Robert Merkel laments a decent idea gone awry at Larvatus Prodeo.