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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 10 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 4437..


Mr Quinlan: We did put through some naff resolutions in this place.

MRS DUNNE: No, they were not naff. If we had not put through those naff resolutions, we would not be here today. The government has had a bit of a change of heart. Part of it has been as a result of work of members of this Assembly. I congratulate members for this initiative. But it is only the beginning. It means that there is a lot more work for this government to do between now and the caretaker period. After the election the new government will need to be in tune with the needs of the environment and address many issues such as the quality of our housing and our buildings. That is where we will get the real benefits.

Remainder of bill, as a whole, agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Auditor-General Amendment Bill 2004

Detail stage

Clause 13.

Debate resumed.

MS TUCKER (11.18): Having had time since the adjournment of the debate to understand the effect of the government's amendments, the Greens will not be supporting the amendment to proposed new section 32C (4) and will not be supporting Mr Smyth's amendment to the amendment.

These amendments relate to proposed new section 32C (4), which defines offences for contravening the Auditor-General's direction to prohibit or restrict the disclosure of information relating to a function of the Auditor-General. The former Auditor-General explained his request for this amendment as follows on pages 2 and 3 of his letter to the Chief Minister dated 14 January 2002:

During the course of audits it is common for information to be provided to persons who are not performing a function of the Auditor-General and who are not employed or contracted to the Auditor-General. This is because it is essential to provide information to those persons in order to seek explanations, for natural justice reasons and for third party verification purposes.

To date recipients of such information have been advised that Section 34 of the Act applies to them and that they could be subject to penalty if the information was revealed to others. This advice may be incorrect as the section can reasonably be interpreted as applying only to persons employed by or contracted to the Auditor-General to undertake audits. As a result, the conduct of some future audit could be severely hampered if a recipient of "confidential" information considered that section 34 did not apply to them and as a result made the information available to others.

The main purpose of the government amendment to the bill is to make clear that there are two distinct types of offences-one that applies to a person who actually receives the


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