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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 15 Hansard (Thursday, 15 December 2005) . . Page.. 4930 ..

Training and related entities, Office for Children, Youth and Family Support—Government response.

Legal Affairs—Standing Committee—Report 1—Report on Annual Reports 2003-2004—Department of Justice and Community Safety and related entities—Government response.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee—Report 8—Inquiry into Referred Annual and Financial Reports 2003-2004—Department of Urban Services, ACT Planning and Land Authority, Land Development Agency and related entities—Government response.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 3—Report on 2003-2004 Annual and Financial Reports—Chief Minister’s Department, Department of Treasury, Department of Economic Development and related entities and ACT Legislative Assembly—Government response.

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the government responses.

Leave granted.

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, I have presented the government’s response to four standing committee reports on the annual and financial reports for 2003-04. I have tabled the responses to all of the standing committee reports covering all portfolios because the standing committee reports generally cover more than one minister and more than one portfolio and, in certain cases, issues raised in the reports apply to all departments and agencies.

As members will be aware, annual and financial reports are prepared by agencies in accordance with the Chief Minister’s annual report directions and in accordance with the Financial Management Act 1996. The government seeks to ensure that the directions and the act are continually updated to reflect best practice and full accountability in accordance with government policy.

The four standing committee reports made a total of 19 recommendations. In broad terms, the government supports 16 of these, with two recommendations noted and one recommendation not agreed to. The issue on which the government does not agree with the recommendation of the committee concerned relates to reporting in annual and financial reports of the quantity and quality of volunteerism in ACT government departments and related entities. Guidelines on volunteerism in the public service are currently being developed, including how volunteerism should be reported across government.

While some agencies already include in their annual reports qualitative information on the use of volunteers, the government believes that the most comprehensive source of information on the volunteer work force is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and that it is not necessary for quantitative information on volunteerism to be included in agency annual reports. I thank the standing committees for the effort they have made in preparing their reports.

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