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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1759..

implications for the distribution of public VET funding in the ACT. Any future collaborative activity that involves CIT will have to take the targets and objectives of the national partnership into account, given that it is worth some $28 million to the territory. The government remains firmly of the view that a more integrated tertiary education sector is desirable for the ACT. Future collaborative opportunities between CIT and the University of Canberra will be considered in this context.

COAG is working to achieve greater harmonisation of the two tertiary education sectors. However, as other Australian jurisdictions have found, bringing vocational and higher education institutions together, even into a modest collaborative venture, is not a simple task. This is a complex space. However, government still believes that greater collaboration between the territory's own two tertiary education institutions is desirable and would benefit all Canberrans. We are certainly still committed to working with CIT and UC to strengthen their relationship to maximise opportunities for students.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in relation to the committee's consideration of the audit office's 2012-13 budget submission.

Pursuant to section 22 of the Auditor-General Act 1996, the committee is provided with a role in determining the annual appropriation available to the Auditor-General. The committee considers the draft budget estimates of the Auditor-General and makes a recommendation to the Treasurer regarding the proposed appropriation and provides the Treasurer with the Auditor-General's draft budget.

This provision creates a process whereby the Legislative Assembly, through the committee, advises the Treasurer regarding the resources that should be made available for the operations of the audit office for the respective financial year. Following on from its practice in 2011, the committee again resolved this year that it would inform the Assembly of the outcome of its consideration of the audit office's 2012-13 budget submission.

Pursuant to section 22 of the Auditor-General Act 1996, the committee has considered the proposed budgets for the operations of the ACT Auditor-General's Office for each of the financial years from 2012-13 to 2015-16. The committee notes that the Auditor-General is seeking an increase of $458,000 to the appropriation funding in 2012-13 to (i) increase the number of performance audits from six in 2011-12 to eight in 2012-13—that is a total of $383,000—and (ii) meet indexation costs of $75,000. The committee endorses this request. The committee also supports the proposed increases in appropriation over the period of the forward budget estimates from 2013-14 to 2015-16 to facilitate growth in the performance audit function.

The committee is pleased that a funding model to support growth in the performance audit function has been factored into the proposed budgets for the operations of the

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