Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (2 May) . . Page.. 825..
Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.
Sitting suspended from 12.23 to 2.30 pm.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra-Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Minister for the Environment, Water and Climate Change, Minister for the Arts): For the information of members, I wish to advise that Mr Hargreaves is not at question time today; he is on official business. I am happy to take questions and if I can assist, I will; otherwise we will respond to questions in due course.
Questions without notice
Public service-credit card use
MR STEFANIAK: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, yesterday you took on notice a question as to why only one ACT government department out of four could detail how much money was spent, through credit cards or other means, on discretionary items like accommodation, conferences, courses and training, meals, drinks and catering. As Chief Minister and Treasurer, you are ultimately responsible for how your departments and agencies use public money. How will the new Shared Services Centre announced in the last budget be able to provide this information in a more timely manner?
MR STANHOPE: I did indeed take on notice yesterday a number of questions and I believe I will have the opportunity today to respond to the questions that I took on notice. Indeed, to the extent that the question asked just now begs the question in relation to an answer that I took on notice yesterday, to which I have not yet responded, to some extent I am compounding, I guess, the issue by seeking to answer a question which is posed on a question that was asked yesterday which I took on notice and to which I have yet to respond. I think it is perhaps not particularly helpful to then make a range of statements or assumptions.
Mr Stefaniak: It's about the new Shared Services Centre.
MR STANHOPE: But in relation to the new Shared Services Centre I am very pleased to be able to advise members today, having been given this opportunity, that, despite the flood of criticism and cynicism and scepticism expressed by members of the opposition in relation to the Shared Services Centre and its establishment, it today is operating extremely well. It is on target, it is on budget and the savings that the government anticipated are being achieved, and being achieved within a year.
As I have always said in relation to the Shared Services Centre and its establishment, the long bow that the opposition has drawn in seeking to draw comparisons between a jurisdiction such as the ACT and the establishment of a shared services centre here, and experience in other jurisdictions, really was seriously flawed and showed a grievous lack of understanding of the nature of governance or the structure of the