Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 5 Hansard (26 August) . . Page.. 1397 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
I really only rose to add a little perspective to this debate in terms of claims that the Chief Minister made. She said that the Institute of the Arts had 15 per cent administrative costs, and she claimed that they do not account properly. I have the impression that the accountability processes that have been applied to them in recent times have changed considerably, effectively overnight, and that that has been used more as an excuse than a reason for cutting this funding and claiming that they cannot account. We have seen across this administration very long gestation periods for the introduction of accounting change. I am sure Mr Kaine would know of some of those agencies. It took years to implement the much heralded process of accrual accounting in this Territory, but the Institute of the Arts must change overnight. Further, the Government accepts at face value from many other agencies the services that they provide. Look at all the community organisations that provide hours of service to - - -
Mr Humphries: That is not actually true. We ask them to acquit the funds that they get.
MR QUINLAN: They provide hours of service. They acquit the funds, but the quality of service, the depth of service, is taken at face value. There are some levels - - -
Mr Humphries: That is not true.
MR QUINLAN: I have worked in the community sector for the last six years and I can tell you it is true. You cannot measure the quality of service you get from the community services. All you can measure is the number of hours. You take it; you sign contracts; people fill out lots of forms and account for it and acquit it; but you still do not know. You still have to rely upon the organisation to provide the level of service. What I want to return to is the 15 per cent, this pernicious waste of funds. Let us start with the Chief Minister's Department. They do not have a 15 per cent admin cost; they have a 58 per cent admin cost.
Mr Humphries: No, you are playing with figures, Mr Quinlan. That is not the case at all.
MR QUINLAN: Let us move to the Australian International Hotel School, an educational institution. It has 42 per cent administrative costs. The Department of Education has 17 per cent.
Mr Humphries: No.
MR QUINLAN: They are your budgets, Mr Humphries.
Mr Humphries: You are comparing apples with oranges, Mr Quinlan.
MR QUINLAN: Well, in that case it is a spurious thing for the Chief Minister to use in the first place, because your own budget this year contains these numbers. Let us take the Canberra Institute of Technology, an educational institution - 29 per cent admin costs.