Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 4 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1057..
The Assembly met at 10.30 am.
MR SPEAKER (Mr Cornwell) took the chair and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.
MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister) (10.33): Mr Speaker, I present the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 1995, together with its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MRS CARNELL: I move:
That this Bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Bill 1995 provides a simple, streamlined and consistent annual reporting arrangement for ACT government agencies and public bodies. Most importantly, it raises the level of accountability to the community and will encourage agencies to improve their level of service. The present system of annual reporting requires strengthening and is overly complicated. There is no legal requirement for ACT government agencies to provide annual reports, other than financial statements, to the Assembly. In the case of public bodies, a plethora of annual reporting requirements is contained within the various pieces of legislation by which they were created.
The legislation that is before you today, in combination with the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) (Consequential Provisions) Bill 1995, will ensure that the current situation is improved by creating a single reporting framework. It applies to all ACT government agencies and most public bodies. Territory-owned corporations will be excluded because they are subject to special reporting requirements under the Territory Owned Corporations Act 1990 and the Federal Corporations Law.
The new framework provides a legislative requirement to report by the date by which the Assembly shall receive annual reports. The Bill includes specific provisions for informing the Assembly when reports will be late and of the reasons for this. These provisions will apply to both agencies and public bodies. It clearly places responsibility for reporting with chief executives and makes them accountable to the Assembly for the program performance of each administrative unit under their control. It will also enable the Government to stipulate the form and content of annual reports through the mechanism of annual reporting directions and guidelines which will be issued under this legislation.