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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1997 Week 3 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 863..


MR BERRY (continuing):

It became clear that the Government was not in the mood to do that and was taking great steps to justify an unjustifiable position. Therefore, I issued drafting instructions to have legislation drafted to fix the problem. That legislation has been introduced into the chamber under the title of Health and Community Care Services (Validation of Fees and Charges) Bill 1997. It is described in the minutes of proceedings No. 84 of Wednesday, 9 April 1997, as:

... a Bill for an Act to remove any doubt about the validity of certain determinations of fees and charges under the Health and Community Care Services Act 1996.

I therefore urge members to support my motion to discharge order of the day No. 1.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS - STANDING COMMITTEE
Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 6 of 1996

MR WHITECROSS (Leader of the Opposition) (12.12): Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 24 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 6, 1996 - Collection of Court Fines", together with the extracts of the minutes of proceedings, and I move:

That the report be noted.

Auditor-General's Report No. 6 of 1996 was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 16 May last year. It was on an efficiency audit which found that, with certain qualifications, while the recording of court fines had been effective, the collection of fines had not been effective. The lack of performance information prevented the audit from reaching a view about the efficiency of administration in the collection of fines.

The specific findings of the audit included findings that 53 per cent of Magistrates Court fines are not collected within the time specified by the magistrate and 30 per cent of Magistrates Court fines were uncollected after 12 months; that some 850 persons were in default, for which no warrants had been issued; that current legislation prevents alternative ways of recovering fines; that unauthorised extensions of time to pay fines were given by Magistrates Court staff; that the Supreme Court had no power to set default terms or issue warrants and no other agency takes responsibility for the recovery of Supreme Court fines; that no realistic sanctions can be applied to interstate offenders by the Motor Registry for defaults on fines; and that procedures for Children's Court fine collection do not allow for the courts to enforce payment if the offender cannot be located, and there are some 500 outstanding orders which could not be served.


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