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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 3718 ..

Mr Humphries: I am reminding you that you said you were going to take 10 minutes.

MS REILLY: May I finish? Consultation is hollow when people consider that they are presented with a finished response and are told they can agree to it or not agree to it. Consultation becomes hollow when people have no certainty of the services which they can access, when they have no certainty that the services will be there next week or next month because the dollars could just run out or be cut. This is something that is important and this is something that affects all the people in the ACT - when the services are not there or there is no guarantee that the services will continue to be available.

Motion (by Mr Moore), by leave, agreed to:

That the debate be adjourned to a later hour and the resumption of the debate have precedence of Executive and Assembly business.

Sitting suspended from 12.19 to 2.30 pm


Chief Minister's Department - Financial Statements

MR WHITECROSS: My question is to the Chief Minister and Treasurer. Chief Minister, can you confirm that the Auditor-General has prepared a report for the Chief Minister's Department listing a litany of failures of performance by the department, including the fact that the department's financial statements were not submitted for audit until 20 August 1996, almost two months after the end of the financial year; that the contractors, or consultants, responsible for the preparation of the financial statements did not even contact the government auditors until 29 July; that material corrections had to be made prior to the issuing of an audit opinion, despite the chief executive having signed off on the financial statements two months after the end of the financial year - you still had it wrong; that the department failed to deal with issues raised in the interim management letter for the 1995-96 financial year, despite management claims to the Auditor-General that they had; that the department failed to address - - -

Mr Humphries: Is there a full stop there somewhere?

MR WHITECROSS: It is long, but it is true, Mr Humphries. Is it true that the department failed to address a number of issues raised in the 1994-95 management letters to the Chief Minister's Department and the ACT Treasury; that the department failed to reconcile the Territory's public accounts with the bank on a daily basis; and that the department failed to reconcile the Territory Public Account and Drawing Account No. 1? Could the Chief Minister please explain how her department failed so badly and what steps are being taken to ensure that such failures of performance are not repeated in the future?

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