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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 7 Hansard (19 October) . . Page.. 1896 ..

MS FOLLETT (continuing):

(2) on the Committee presenting its report to the Assembly, resumption of debate on the question "That this Bill be agreed to in principle" be set down as an order of the day for the next sitting;

(3) if the Assembly is not sitting when the Standing Committee on Public Accounts has completed its inquiry on the Bill, the Committee may send its report to the Speaker or, in the absence of the Speaker, to the Deputy Speaker, who is authorised to give directions for its printing, circulation and publication; and

(4) the foregoing provisions of this resolution have effect notwithstanding anything contained in the standing orders.".

Madam Deputy Speaker, the amended motion that I have put forward reflects some informal discussion that has been held amongst parties in the Assembly. The main thrust of the amendment is to alter the reporting date of the Public Accounts Committee from 5 December, as I first proposed it, to 29 November 1995. I have also made provision for the Public Accounts Committee to present its report out of session and arrange authorisation for printing, circulation and publication. I believe that the amendment means that the motion which I first moved now should have the support of all parties on the floor of the Assembly.

There are a couple of points that I want to make in response to some of the comments that were made in this debate this morning. Mr Speaker, what I am requesting is that the Public Accounts Committee scrutinise the Bill to amend the Public Sector Management Act. This is in no way unusual. In fact, the Public Sector Management Bill, when it was first proposed, was subject to scrutiny by a select committee of this Assembly. That select committee comprised, initially, Mr De Domenico, Mr Lamont and Ms Szuty, and was altered at a slightly later stage so that Mr Kaine chaired it and the members were Mr Berry and Ms Szuty. The committee met over a couple of years, in fact, and inquired into a great many aspects of the change to the public service and the separation from the Commonwealth Public Service. The precise time that the committee spent in looking at the Public Sector Management Bill was seven weeks. This is noted in the report of the committee submitted in June 1994. They spent the period from 21 April until 14 June inquiring into the legislation that had been presented; so the period that I am asking for is entirely consistent.

Mr Speaker, there was also a comment made, I think by Mr Kaine, that in government I had resisted the move for that committee to be set up and for the committee to scrutinise my legislation, as it was then. I have made a very careful check of the Hansard of that period and I can assure the Assembly that I did not resist scrutiny by that committee of the legislation. In fact, I amended the motion that was put up referring this matter to a select committee. My amendments were to accommodate suggestions by Mr Kaine as to the membership and the reporting arrangements for the committee. Members who want to check the record on that matter can see that at no stage did I speak against the issue. In fact, the vote that was taken was not counted and was supported by me and by the then Government.

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