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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 9 Hansard (28 August) . . Page.. 2732 ..

MR WOOD (continuing):

The committee was advised that the Attorney-General would refer the matter of a code of conduct to the Speaker for consideration, including the acceptance of gifts and the application of section 14 of the Australian Capital Territory (Self-Government) Act 1988. The committee was advised that the code will also give consideration to persons employed under the Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act 1989.

The committee is satisfied that proposals for future taxi plate releases should ensure a more equitable and cost-effective basis for marketing taxi plates. With regard to guidelines on codes of conduct, the committee wishes to see these matters progressed without undue delay and has recommended that the Government develop draft codes and guidelines in accordance with the audit proposals and the ministerial response to the committee.

Debate (on motion by Mr De Domenico) adjourned.

Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 8 of 1995

MR WOOD (4.52): Mr Speaker, I present Report No. 19 of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 8, 1995 - Financial Audits with Years ending to 30 June 1995". I move:

That the report be noted.

The report notes the findings arising from the audit of agency financial statements for the year ending 30 June 1995. During these audits matters of compliance and efficiency came to notice and significant matters of this nature are noted. The committee has examined these matters and, where appropriate, sought comment from Ministers. As a result, Ministers have confirmed that remedial action will be taken in certain cases, that various operational controls would be improved, that guidelines would be, or are, in place to deal with financial and business arrangements, and that reviews had been undertaken.

The committee has made certain recommendations relating to improved accountability, clarification of inconsistencies between budget results and financial reporting, the outcome of reviews, and progress in establishing a reliable formal trust ledger in the ACT Office of Rental Bonds. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR KAINE (4.53): I want to comment on one aspect of this report of the Auditor-General and our report in connection with it, and it has to do with the question of the end of year budget outcome statement. The Auditor-General recommended that this should be independently audited, since it is the document by which the Government accounts for its stewardship of the budgeted money for the year. Therefore, in the Auditor's view, it should be independently audited. The Chief Minister, in her response, noted that the current financial management reforms place considerable importance on such comparisons and that it is anticipated that these reforms will facilitate comparisons in future financial statements. However, she did not comment on the question of whether it should be independently audited.

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