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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 2 Hansard (6 March) . . Page.. 155..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

Agency appropriations include an element of funding for employee entitlement payments. This level of funding may not be adequate, however, if significant numbers of retirements and/or resignations occur in a financial year, requiring the payment of often significant accumulated long service leave.

Now that agencies' cash holdings have been reduced to a "buffer", a mechanism is required for agencies to obtain cash to fund abnormally high levels of employee entitlement payments. When agencies anticipate a requirement for additional funding for abnormally high levels of employee entitlement liability payments in the coming financial year, it is expected that as part of the budget process chief executives will submit a budget proposal for a capital injection to facilitate these payments. Nevertheless, it is recognised that it is no easy task to plan for the payment of employee entitlements, as it can be difficult to determine when staff will leave or retire.

This bill inserts a provision to include an appropriation mechanism to provide funding to agencies which have not anticipated the need for additional funding to pay abnormally high levels of employee entitlements. This new section will allow the Treasurer to authorise, by way of instrument, additional appropriation to agencies if, in the financial year concerned, the following conditions exist:

  • an employee entitlement exists in relation to an agency in a financial year; and

  • the agency has paid, or is required to pay, the entitlement in the financial year; and

  • the amount of the entitlement exceeds the amount appropriated for the agency in relation to employee entitlements for the financial year.

The Legislative Assembly will be informed when the Treasurer approves instruments under these new provisions. The bill requires the Treasurer to present a copy of the authorisation to the Legislative Assembly within three sitting days after the appropriation is authorised.

I trust that members will support the bill, which is aimed at promoting efficient cash management practices. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Mulcahy ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Government Procurement Amendment Bill 2007

Mr Stanhope, by leave, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Minister for the Arts) (10.37): I move:

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