Page 509 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 23 March 2022
kind of information about comorbidities, underlying health conditions or indeed vaccination status is personal health information in the context of the health records act. When you have only a very small number of people in the intensive care unit at any one point in time, providing that information may not identify those people to the broader Canberra community, but it will provide people who know who is in the ICU with information about a person’s health status or vaccination status—their personal health information—that they may not have consented to be provided to those people who know that they are in the ICU.
There are some really serious issues around health privacy here. It is an ongoing conversation around how we then think about this when we talk about the larger number of people and provide information in that context to the Canberra community.
ACT Integrity Commission—funding
MR PARTON: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. In response to a recent audit report on procurement, the ACT Integrity Commissioner put out a call for businesses to come forward if they suspect corrupt conduct has occurred in government procurement. However, the budgeted funding for the Integrity Commissioner next financial year is lower than the current one. Chief Minister, how can the Integrity Commissioner possibly do their job if they continue to be starved of funding?
MR BARR: The commission is not starved of funding, Mr Parton. There is an annual budget process. The commissioner, through the Speaker, provides a submission to the government as part of that process. If you go back and look at the budget papers and budget review papers over the last few years, significant additional resources have been provided to the commission as part of that process. That process is an ongoing one, but resources are not unlimited in this jurisdiction, and the commission, like every other area of public administration, has to operate within a budget.
There are not unlimited resources and you of all people, Mr Parton, would be screaming blue murder if taxes were increased to provide more resources for more public sector agencies.
MR PARTON: What is your response, as Chief Minister, to the Integrity Commissioner’s view that issues with procurement in your Labor-Greens government are probably endemic?
MR BARR: It is not for me to comment on the comments of the Integrity Commissioner.
MS LEE: Chief Minister, what responsibility do you, as the Chief Minister, take for a culture that has created what the Integrity Commissioner has expressed as “likely to be endemic” when it comes to probity issues in procurement?
MR BARR: Until there is evidence to support such a statement, such a question that seeks an opinion is indeed very premature.