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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 7 Hansard (16 August) . . Page.. 2228..

Public Accounts-Standing Committee

Statements by chair

MR MULCAHY (Molonglo): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts relating to the committee's recent participation in the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees (ACPAC) mid-term meeting held from 26 to 28 April 2006. The 2006 Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees mid-term meeting was hosted by the Northern Territory Public Accounts Committee and held in Alice Springs from 26 to 28 April. Thirty-nine Australasian delegates attended the conference, including chairpersons-although not me; I decided not to attend this meeting-members and staff of public accounts committees. All Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions were represented. Dr Deb Foskey MLA represented the committee, and the committee's secretary was also in attendance.

The Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees, formed in 1989, facilitates the exchange of information and opinion relating to public accounts committees and discusses matters of mutual concern. ACPAC meets every two years in conference with a mid-term meeting to discuss and agree on an agenda for the forthcoming conference and to discuss issues specifically pertaining to Australasian committees. The ACPAC constitution states:

ACPAC shall meet between conferences in the form of a meeting of Chairpersons (or their nominees), Committee Members, Executive Officers and Secretaries of full member Committees.

The purpose of the mid-term meeting is to discuss and agree on an agenda for the ACPAC conference and to discuss issues specifically pertaining to Australasian Committees.

In accordance with the ACPAC constitution, the mid-term meeting discussed the proposed agenda items for the 2007 ninth biennial ACPAC conference. As part of the agenda formulation process, discussion papers, proposed issues and topics were considered and debated. A discussion paper titled Sustainability reporting: the role of public accounts committees was presented by Dr Deb Foskey MLA. The paper discusses that ACPAC could provide the leadership that governments need to make progress towards measuring and initiating sustainability accounting.

In summary, general agreement was reached by the mid-term meeting forum for the inclusion of the following agenda items: the relationship between public accounts committees and the executive; the impact of devolution on financial, project and risk management in public sector agencies; the role of auditors-general and public accounts committees as government functions are outsourced to the private sector; partnership models between public accounts committees and auditors-general; and reporting on performance, recent developments and key challenges.

The conference is to be hosted by the commonwealth's Joint Committee on Public Accounts and Audit and will be held in Canberra. The hosts of the conference have initiated informal discussions with the committee to explore its interest in hosting a session at the conference. The committee welcomes the opportunity to be involved.

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