Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 2 Hansard (21 May) . . Page.. 493 ..
MR SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, if you interjected accordingly, would you withdraw that. I did not hear you.
Mr Corbell: If you did not hear me, Mr Speaker, it probably did not offend you. But, Mr Speaker, if there is any offence taken, I do withdraw.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Treasurer) (3.26): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present the Annual Reports Directions for 1997-98 and a declaration made under section 4 of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 1995. Pursuant to section 15 of the Act, I also present a declaration made under section 5 and directions made under paragraphs 6(2)(b) and 8(5)(a) and (b), subsections 7(2), 8(2), 8(6), 8(7) and 11(1), and section 10 of the Act. I move:
That the Assembly takes note of the papers.
Mr Speaker, these instruments are issued in accordance with section 15 of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 1995 and set in place the annual reporting requirements for the 1997-98 reporting year. The instruments include the Annual Reports Directions for this reporting year. Under the Act, these instruments must be tabled, although they are not disallowable. The instruments set the reporting requirements for all annual reports provided under this legislation. This provides a standard framework for comprehensive reporting across the ACT public sector.
There are also mandatory requirements in the directions, particularly for administrative units and reporting entities with financial reporting obligations. Overall, however, the directions should be seen as setting the baseline for reporting. Because of the range of reporting bodies covered, the directions must be sufficiently flexible to permit accurate and appropriate reporting across a range of operational requirements. As members will be aware, the directions cover Territory-owned corporations for the first time. The Government has taken note of the debate at the time annual reporting legislation was amended last year. The instructions that apply to TOCs are appropriate to more commercially-oriented annual reports. This approach brings the TOCs within the reporting framework but recognises their particular operational environment.
Under the Act, all reports must be presented to Ministers within 10 weeks of the end of the reporting year. This means that all financial reports must be presented to Ministers by 8 September 1998. Ministers have agreed to table reports in the Legislative Assembly by 24 September. This is in advance of the deadline for tabling set in the Act, which, on the current sitting schedule, would allow Ministers until 29 October to table annual reports. This ensures all reports will be available for scrutiny by the Assembly as soon as practicable after the end of the reporting year.
Question resolved in the affirmative.