Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (24 August) . . Page.. 4013..
MS MacDONALD (continuing):
The matter I particularly want to mention is recommendation 1. The Auditor-General suggested that the public accounts committee have responsibility for approving the annual reports directions. The committee was of the view and this was not its role, so it agreed with the government on that one and said that it should remain as part of the executive's responsibilities.
As would be well known, the issue here is that the committee has the right of input with regard to approving the directions. That was a change that went through that I appreciate as a member of the public accounts committee. I am sure that future public accounts committees will find it appropriate to be involved in that, but it is beyond our purview to approve or disapprove the final directions that go out to government departments as we do not have control over the government departments.
The committee also asked the government to revisit suggestions 3 and 13 of the report. Suggestion 3 was that the act be amended to provide for whole-of-government reporting. It was suggested that such a report might be prepared by the Chief Minister and presented to the Legislative Assembly and that the report could give an aggregated account of the operations of the public sector during the reporting period. The government disagreed with that suggestion.
Suggestion 13 was that agencies be required to subject their annual reports to a systematic assurance process prior to their being published. We made a recommendation about that as well-recommendation 2. I do not think that these are big issues that the government would have major problems with revisiting, so I have no issue with those suggestions being revisited by the government.
In regard to this report and the next report which is about to come out, I would like to thank Stephanie Mikac, the secretary of the committee, for her work on these reports. I appreciate everything that she put into them. She has done an excellent job in my time on the committee.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Public Accounts-Standing Committee
MR SMYTH (Leader of the Opposition) (11.46): I present the following report:
Public Accounts-Standing Committee-Report 13-Review of Auditor-General's Report No 4 of 2003: Management of fraud and corruption prevention in the public sector, dated 20 August 2004, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.
I seek leave to move a motion authorising the report for publication.
MR SMYTH: I move: