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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 3 Hansard (9 March) . . Page.. 877..


MR STANHOPE (continuing):

This year my department is again comprehensively reviewing the annual report directions to build on the changes made last year in response to the audit. Those changes were made in time for last year's reports. At that time my department also planned to review the directions to focus on clarity and accessibility in this important administrative document.

The focus this year, therefore, is on improving the structure of reports as well as the directions themselves. Issues around access to annual reports on the net are being addressed. The possibility of a single site with direct links to agency reports is being pursued. This will improve community access to reports. Staff in the department are also examining options to improve access to electronic reports for people using screen reader software.

The Annual Reports Legislation Amendment Bill makes a series of consequential changes to other laws. This realigns references for the 1995 act to the proposed 2004 act. In summary, this bill aims to improve annual reporting in the ACT public sector. The changes suggested by the Auditor-General's report have been accompanied by a comprehensive redraft to make a clearer piece of legislation and to resolve some outstanding ambiguities. Improved annual report directions will be available in May 2004. I commend this bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 6, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 7.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs) (11.09): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 936]. This is a minor amendment to include an additional provision for the Commissioner for Public Administration to report. In addition to reporting on the administration of the public service, the commissioner must comply with any applicable annual report direction. This reflects the provisions of section 6 of the current act. Under the current legislative arrangements, the commissioner must report on the public service as a whole and also include other information as the Chief Minister directs.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed to.

Proposed new clause 7A.

MS TUCKER (11.10): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name on the lilac paper to insert a new clause 7A [see schedule 2 at page 936]. I have already spoken to


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