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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 3 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 721..


MRS CARNELL (continuing):

The first recommendation proposed an amendment to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1994 to provide for the Auditor-General to be specifically referred to as a proper authority for the receipt and investigation of disclosures made under the Act. The Government agrees to this recommendation.

The committee's second recommendation was that the Government report to the Assembly on the measures taken by the Department of Urban Services and by ACT Fleet to ensure that the situations which arose in relation to this disclosure about alleged mismanagement of purchasing and hiring procedures for plant and equipment do not recur. Mr Speaker, I should point out that the incidents referred to in the disclosure occurred some four to five years ago. Since then, the ACT Fleet trust account has been established, which operates on a commercial basis, with the cost-effectiveness of decisions on hiring and purchasing of plant and equipment being paramount. Procedures covering the types of problems identified in the allegations have also been tightened to minimise the possibility of such occurrences in the future. These procedures will continue to operate under the new accounting arrangements being introduced as part of the service-wide financial reform process.

Mr Speaker, the committee's final recommendation seeks a report from the Government on the action taken to counsel those officers responsible for the mismanagement of four redundancies in the then Department of Health. The Government has decided, for practical reasons, not to proceed with formal counselling of the officers concerned. Bear in mind that the Auditor-General noted the level of ambiguity that existed at the time the officers responsible were processing voluntary redundancies. Since that time the same officers have remedied the process of their own volition, initiating and putting in place new arrangements that will ensure that redundancies are managed more efficiently in the future. In light of this, the Government is satisfied that formal counselling would now be inappropriate.

Mr Speaker, my thanks go to the committee for this report. I commend to the Assembly the Government's response to the report from the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, "Review of the Auditor-General's Report No. 2, 1995 on Whistleblower Investigations Completed to 30 June 1995".

Question resolved in the affirmative.

SUBORDINATE LEGISLATION
Paper

MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General): Mr Speaker, pursuant to section 6 of the Subordinate Laws Act 1989, I present determination No. 24 of 1996, which was made pursuant to the Motor Omnibus Services Act 1955 and published in Gazette No. S51 of 26 March 1996.


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