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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (16 March) . . Page.. 852..


MS LE COUTEUR (continuing):

instances in recent times, the committee's examination of the Auditor-General's reports has been severely hampered by the failure of the government to provide timely submissions to the committee. Currently, there are four overdue government submissions.

I would like to elaborate on these examples for the benefit of the Assembly. On 29 May 2008 Auditor-General's report No 2 of 2008, Management of Calvary Hospital agreements, was presented to the Speaker. The government submission to the report was therefore due by 29 August 2008. It has still not been received. In order to provide the necessary context to this particular case, I should point out that on 12 February 2009, almost six months after the government submission was due, the committee informed the Assembly that it had resolved that the report did not warrant further inquiry. However, the committee noted that a formal, publicly available response from the government was still required. The committee wrote to the Minister for Health on 23 February 2009 requesting such a response.

The committee received a reply to this letter on 21 April 2009 in which the minister stated that she was of the understanding that "if the committee determines not to inquire into an Auditor-General's report then the government is not obligated to provide a government submission". The committee responded to this letter on 24 June 2009, and again on 19 February 2010, noting the three-month time frame for government submissions and the fact that the government's own guidelines do not provide for any circumstance where a government submission to an Auditor-General's report is not required.

The other three overdue submissions relate to Auditor-General's reports tabled last year. Auditor-General's report No 2 of 2009, Follow-up audit: implementation of audit recommendations on road safety, was tabled on 1 May 2009. The government submission was therefore due by 1 August 2009. Similarly, Auditor-General's report No 5 of 2009, Administration of employment issues for staff of members of the ACT Legislative Assembly, was tabled on 7 August 2009. The government submission to this report was therefore due by 7 November 2009. Finally, the government submission to Auditor-General's report No 6 of 2009, Government office accommodation, was due on 28 November 2009.

The committee wrote to Mr Stanhope in relation to these three reports on 19 February 2010, but the government submissions remain outstanding. The committee is very concerned about the government's failure to consistently respond to Auditor-General's reports in a timely manner. Not only does this hinder the work of the committee; it also raises the issue of whether the government is giving the very important work of the Auditor-General the attention it deserves.

Climate Change, Environment and Water—Standing Committee

Amendment to resolution

Motion (by Mr Hargreaves), by leave, agreed to:

That the resolution of the Assembly of 11 December 2008, as amended 23 June and 15 September 2009, which referred the issue of ACT greenhouse gas


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