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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 2863..


Thursday, 18 August 2005

MR SPEAKER: (Mr Berry) took the chair at 10.30 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Financial Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2005

Mr Quinlan, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR QUINLAN (Molonglo-Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Business, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Sport and Recreation, and Minister for Racing and Gaming) (10.31): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

This bill provides amendments to the Financial Management Act 1996 and consequential amendments to the enacting legislation of relevant territory authorities. The Financial Management Act 1996 is the cornerstone upon which the effective financial management of the territory rests. For this reason, it is essential that the provisions of the act clearly and unambiguously convey financial requirements and obligations that result in effective, efficient and modern financial management practices. This bill strengthens the financial framework by standardising and improving governance arrangements for territory authorities.

The Financial Legislation Amendment Bill amendments will refine and enhance the corporate governance framework for prescribed statutory authorities. An effective system of corporate governance is important to facilitate responsible decision making and proper accountability. The existing governance provisions for a range of statutory authorities have been assessed as inadequate. Under existing arrangements, the governance provisions are largely fragmented in various enabling legislation and have been found in many instances to be inconsistent or incomplete. Good governance requires all concerned to be clear about their roles and responsibilities. An effective governance framework must clearly define the powers, roles and responsibilities of the responsible ministers, board members and chief executive officers. Without such definition, clear accountability for the achievement of objectives will be lacking.

This legislation will remove uncertainty and ambiguity about general roles and responsibilities concerning statutory authorities. It will provide a clearer framework for all concerned. In broad terms, the bill will provide a consistent set of financial reporting and corporate governance requirements that will be reflected in new and amended provisions contained in the Financial Management Act 1996. These changes will replace many provisions currently contained in the enabling legislation of particular statutory authorities.

The proposed amendments have been developed after consultation with each of the statutory authorities involved and the Auditor-General's Office. The bill makes it clear


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