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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 13 Hansard (27 November) . . Page.. 4967..


International ratings agencies

(Question No 1153)

Mr Smyth asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

In relation to the reviews conducted by international ratings agencies, such as Standard and Poor's and Moody's of the ACT economy:

(1) What is the nature of any contact that is made between ratings agencies and the ACT Government. In addition to the Treasury, are any other Departments or agencies of the ACT Government involved;

(2) Are regular meetings or briefing sessions held involving a particular ratings agency and the ACT Government. If so, what is the frequency of these meetings and briefing sessions. If not, why not;

(3) Are meetings or briefing sessions arranged with ratings agencies that involve the Treasurer and/or the staff of the Treasurer. If so, what is the frequency of these meetings and briefing sessions, if not, why not;

(4) Is there any ad hoc contact between ratings agencies and the ACT Government. If not, why not;

(5) Are drafts of reports being prepared by a rating agency provided to the ACT Government for comment prior to that agency finalising and releasing the relevant report; if not, why not.

Mr Quinlan

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

(1) A representative from both Standard and Poor's and Moody's will contact the Department of Treasury each year regarding the timetable for the submission and/or presentation to the ACT's annual credit rating review. This contact is made by either telephone or email.

The Department of Treasury provides a written submission to Standard and Poor's, and makes a presentation to representatives from both Standard and Poor's and Moody's. Treasury is the only Department of the ACT government involved in the submission and the presentations.

(2) The Department of Treasury makes an annual presentation to both Standard and Poor's and Moody's. The credit rating review process does not require regular meetings or briefing sessions. The credit rating agencies rely on ACT Budget Papers, and an update only, to arrive at their assessments. This is common practice for all state governments.

(3) The Treasurer and/or the staff of the Treasurer are not involved in the annual presentations, made by the Under Treasurer with supporting Treasury staff, to the credit rating agencies Standard and Poor's and Moody's. The presentations provide an overview of the ACT economy and of the ACT government's actual and forecast budgetary performance and financial position. The presentation is consistent with the information contained in the ACT Budget Paper No. 3 "Budget Overview".

In August 2003, representatives from Standard and Poor's made a presentation to Ministers on the processes involved in assigning the ACT's credit rating. This was an


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