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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2741 ..

do it incrementally. If $200,000 a year were added, such that she could build up the capacity to do the performance audits, to hold the government to account, that would be a good thing. Indeed, I favour changing the way in which this funding is provided, and that will be a matter for another day. In general terms, the Canberra Liberals support an increase in funding for the Auditor-General, to increase the capacity of the office of the Auditor-General to undertake more performance audits. They are a valuable means of enhancing accountability and responsibility in the activities of the government.

Proposed expenditure agreed to.

Proposed expenditure—Part 1.4—Chief Minister’s Department—$57,771,000 (net cost of outputs) and $8,443,000 (capital injection), totalling $66,214,000.

MS LE COUTEUR (Molonglo) (3.56): I have a range of issues to deal with today with respect to the Chief Minister’s Department budget line, including the ones that I am specifically interested in, arts and business. So I will try to be succinct to fit them into my allotted time. I also note that I will not be the only speaker from the Greens as far as the Chief Minister’s Department is concerned. My colleagues Ms Bresnan and Ms Hunter will also be speaking on some of the items relating to this department.

Last week an updated set of Chief Minister’s annual report directions was tabled. They improve the reporting requirements considerably over a range of reporting areas for the next three years. One of these areas that are new this year is the triple-bottom-line reporting requirement. This is an area which stems from the Labor-Greens parliamentary agreement. I cannot imagine that there has been an ACT budget since Ted Quinlan was Treasurer where the Greens did not raise triple bottom line as an issue.

Firstly, I have to congratulate the government on its inclusion in the directions. Last year Ms Hunter raised this issue in her speech on the budget, and was hopeful that this year’s budget would be able to be framed by a triple-bottom-line accounting analysis. However, it is a slow wheel to turn and perhaps we will see it in future budgets.

What we have instead is another shift towards a more holistic way of analysing the way we spend our territory funds and examining how our expenditure relates to achieving our key government strategies. If you look at this year’s annual report directions, you can clearly see this prism filtering through the various reporting requirements. This is new ground for the ACT government. It is a step in the right direction and a new direction which we will continue to work on.

This is not a plan to make more work for agencies but to measure up agencies against what key government strategies suggest they should be working on. If the agency activities and spending do not correlate with the key government strategies then we clearly have problems. You can see that this level of reporting requirements is not intended to be a burden on government agencies, but a check to ensure that they are working smarter and more strategically. Thus, it will be clear through annual reports whether we are achieving the aims in our key government strategies.

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