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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 13 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 4157..


(1) Is it a requirement under the Chief Minister's Directions for agencies to report on remedial action taken in response to Ombudsman's recommendations; if so, does a similar requirement exist for auditors' recommendations;

(2) How is the Office of Fair Trading responding to criticisms contained in an Auditor-General's Report.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) The Chief Minister's 2006-2007 Annual Report Directions require agencies to report on the most significant developments in scrutiny, both internal and external of the agency and the agency's response, including particulars of ACT Auditor General and ACT Ombudsman reports.

The Chief Minister's Department has developed guidelines for responding to reports by the Auditor-General and a Handbook for ACT Government Officials On Participation in Assembly and Other Inquiries. The guidelines can be accessed at: http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/1828/glines_ag_rpts.pdf and the handbook can be accessed at: http://www.cmd.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/1603/hbkassembly_inq.pdf.

(2) The Office of Regulatory Services, which includes the previous Office of Fair Trading, endeavours to comply with these guidelines and the handbook in responding to any Auditor-General's reports.

Human rights

(Question No 1769)

Dr Foskey asked the Attorney-General, upon notice, on 15 November 2007:

(1) In relation to the Human Rights Commission annual report 2006-07, does the Commission anticipate or see the need to conduct a human rights audit of security services provided at the Law Courts;

(2) At the bottom of page 11 is there a mention of an exemption application for sex discrimination, and one for race; if so, will the Minister briefly explain these applications.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) I understand that the Human Rights Commission does not have any plans to conduct a human rights audit of the security services provided at the Law Courts.

(2) There are references in the Commission's annual report to two exemption applications, made under s109 of the Discrimination Act 1991. In the relevant reporting period, the Commission considered but did not grant an application seeking exemption from the law with respect to sex discrimination from a company operating a jobseekers' website aimed at women. This exemption was not granted because the Commission considered that the measures in place would be likely to satisfy the test, specified in s.27 of the Discrimination Act 1991, for a measure intended to achieve equality. Such 'special measures' operate as an exception to unlawful discrimination, on which a respondent can seek to rely in the event of a discrimination complaint being brought.


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