Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2005 2005) . . Page.. 2438 ..
You can draw some conclusions from that. If the Liberal opposition believes that the Auditor-General is underfunded, then I am presuming that they are admitting that the Auditor-General was grossly underfunded in their time. On a request from the Auditor-General in the last budget we brought down, this government increased the resources for operational audits by $300,000. I think we gave some resources for equipment, re-equipment or increased equipment and some additional resources for accommodation and in this budget gave some $75,000, I think, for increased accommodation or accommodation expenses.
The Auditor-General, as of next financial year—next week—will be the best resourced Auditor-General since self-government. I think it is fairly reasonable. The position is that virtually every agency head will say they have not got enough resources to do their job. You do not blame them for that. We expect managers to manage within reasonable resources. I do not think any reasonable person would—
Mrs Burke: What are reasonable resources?
MR QUINLAN: You are mooing, Mrs Burke.
Mrs Burke: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: I apologise for interrupting Mr Quinlan. Would he please retract what he just said?
Mr Seselja: It is offensive.
Mrs Burke: Thank you. It was an offensive comment.
MR QUINLAN: I will qualify it by saying that you sounded like you were mooing.
MR SPEAKER: I think you should withdraw.
MR QUINLAN: I withdraw that. I think we could say that, given we have an audit office now that is better resourced than any of its predecessors, we should accept that it is in a reasonable position. I do have a concern that the Auditor-General’s Office made these statements in estimates.
Mr Smyth: What do you do about it?
MR QUINLAN: We will follow it through. We cannot run a process whereby any chief executive, no matter how important their job and how significant their role, can define the resources they want, and that is the end of it. We have a situation now where we have an Auditor-General who is resourced to the tune of about $1 million better in operational resources, as well as equipment and accommodation expenses that have been met, than the audit office was when we came to government. I think that is a fair and reasonable position for the auditor to be in.
If the auditor wants to write to us and ask us to look at the case, we will look at the case. We might even get our expenditure review committee to take a look at how the audit office runs.