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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 May 2007) . . Page.. 719 ..

territory and the climate in which we are operating, and comparing it with other jurisdictions.

The public accounts committee serves a crucial role in holding the government to account to the Assembly and it is important that the committee is able to properly scrutinise the activities of the government by having available to it all the relevant financial information. It is hoped that if the government adopts these recommendations it will in future be able to make a more complete assessment of the territory’s annual and financial reports.

Aside from issues concerning the material available to the committee, the committee was particularly concerned about the errors in superannuation contributions that have arisen from the CHRIS-21 leave recording system. These errors have increased the risk of over and underpayments to employees, with the attendant risk that agencies may not meet their statutory reporting obligations. This problem also has the potential to lead to difficulties in monitoring and managing superannuation liabilities and may also lead to an impost on taxpayers and former public servants. These are serious issues which the committee urges the government to address with urgency.

The committee was also concerned that the government ensure that its restructures do not detract from the accountability of government agencies. In particular, the committee was concerned about accountability problems which may arise from the establishment of the shared services centre. The committee echoed the Auditor-General’s concerns that the implementation of the shared services arrangements have the potential to significantly affect the quality and timing of financial reporting in the territory. The committee makes a range of further recommendations designed to improve the accountability and management of the ACT government. These recommendations highlight deficiencies in some existing practices and make suggestions for improvement in others.

Finally, reports such as this do not come to fruition without the hard work, cooperation and professionalism of many. I would like to conclude by thanking my committee colleagues, Dr Deb Foskey, deputy chair, and Ms Karin MacDonald. I also thank the relevant ministers and accompanying departmental and agency staff, and members of governing boards, all of whom made available time and provided cooperation and expertise during the inquiry process. I would also like to acknowledge the work of the committee office and the committee secretary. I commend the report to the Assembly. I am not sure if my committee colleagues wish to make further comment but I will conclude at this point.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella) (12.04): Mr Deputy Speaker, pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment. I deliver this statement in my capacity as chair of the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning and Environment in relation to the committee’s inquiry into the proposed nomination of the ACT as a UNESCO

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