Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2486 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
The Government's response to the committee fully considered issues, and the committee generally accepts that concerns arising from the audit appear to have been largely addressed. The committee notes that areas for further development in the disability program are to be addressed. Audit findings were presented some 14 months ago, and the Chief Minister's comments on them were made some five months ago. We believe it is reasonable that the Government be accountable, as it always is, to these audit reports. There is a lot of promise in the Government's response to the audit report in relation to plans in place or reviews in place. We have set in place a series of recommendations in relation to those.
The committee has recommended in particular that disability services programs should be subject, as the Auditor-General's report recommends, to an independent external review within the next six months to assess the effectiveness of implementation of planning, operational and financial reforms within the program. As I said, there has been considerable internal review but not that much external review.
On a personal note, I observed considerable disquiet within the community services sector as to whether ACT Community Care is at genuine arm's length from government as would be required under the perfect purchaser-provider model, and there is concern as to the care and comfort that particular organisation may get. It may be worth while the Government and the Minister having a second look at the structure that sets up ACT Community Care. I commend the report to the Assembly.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Report on Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 3
MR QUINLAN (4.22): I present Public Accounts Committee Report No. 11 of the Standing Committee for the Chief Minister's Portfolio, entitled "Review of Auditor-General's Report No. 3, 1998 - Major IT Projects - Follow-up Review", together with a copy of the extracts of the minutes of proceedings. I move:
That the report be noted.
The audit follows up an audit report on the implementation of major IT projects in 1994 and covers the status of six projects under way at the time to determine whether the use of the systems continues to justify the investment; to determine, for systems abandoned, whether conditions that precipitated the abandonment could have reasonably been foreseen; and to determine, for systems not fully implemented in 1994, whether the subsequent implementation and operation have been effective.
The substantive findings were that most projects were affected. In some cases agencies have not tested contingency plans for systems failures, and that is a cause of concern. In other cases projects were found to be deficient in either their databases or their developmental controls. The committee is generally satisfied that agencies either have addressed or are addressing these matters.