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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 2105..

A new provision has also been included to provide that the Auditor-General may include information in a report if he/she is satisfied that the substance of the information is already public knowledge.

The application of the confidentiality provisions under the Act are also to be expanded so that they can be applied to any person provided with information gathered or generated during an audit. This matter was also the subject of a recommendation in the report by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on its review of Auditor-General Report No. 9 of 2003 "Annual Management Report for the Year Ended 30 June 2003". I will be tabling the Government's Response to that Report later today.

Mr Speaker, I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Attachment 2

Document incorporated by the Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Environment and Minister for Community Affairs

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to introduce the Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2004.

This Bill amends elements of contract employment arrangements for chief executives and executives in the ACT Public Service. Following amendments to the Public Sector Management Act 1994 in late 1995, executives are now employed on contracts of up to 5 years. Contracts are subject to provisions in the Act, the Public Sector Management Standards and determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal.

While contracts can be renewed, over time it has become apparent that this framework is quite inflexible and does not respond to organisational change. It does not readily support the development of executives within jobs or across the Service or the need on occasion to marshal senior staff into project teams. The existing framework provides only a limited ability to respond to the needs of managing a responsive public service.

The Review of the Public Sector Management Act by the former Commissioner for Public Administration recommended a return to tenure for executives as part a wider set of recommendations for a new Act. While the Government is considering its response to the Commissioner's report, this Bill contains a number of intermediate changes to redress the impact of some of the more restrictive elements of the current chief executive and executive employment framework.

This Bill reflects the Government's commitment to develop a strong executive service based on sound public service values and principles, while grounded in sensible management arrangements and practice. At the same time, the Government must also provide market competitive conditions to retain these staff and respect their contribution to the ACT Public Service.

The legislative changes, which cover both amendments to the Act and to the Public Sector Management Standards, also complement other initiatives such as an executive leadership development program. This program has involved most chief executives and executives in some way since its commencement last year.

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