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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 10 Hansard (26 November) . . Page.. 3162 ..



Question No. 60

Business Incentive Scheme

Mr Stanhope - Asked the Chief Minister upon notice on 17 November 1998:

In relation to the ACT Business Incentive Scheme -

(1) Under the scheme, is it the case that successful applicants are required to submit audited financial statements within three months of the end of the financial year and if so, could copies of these audited financial statements be made available to Members.

(2) Did successful applicants receiving financial assistance meet their specified employment growth targets, if not

(a) which businesses failed to meet their targets;

(b) by how much were they out; and

(c) will any of these businesses be required to repay cash incentives.

(3) What are the penalties for businesses receiving `non-cash' incentives that fail to meet their employment growth targets.

MS CARNELL - The answer to the Member's question is as follows:

(1) In most cases, it is a condition of contract that audited financial statements are submitted on an annual basis over the duration of the contract period. In some cases recipients are only required to provide evidence that the funding has been used for the purpose for which it has been supplied. The purpose of these conditions is to ensure that ACTBIS assistance has been utilised in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Furthermore, some companies use accounting periods other than the traditional financial year. Reporting requirements, therefore, are tailored to meet the individual circumstances of agreement recipients and the nature of the assistance package itself.

The Office of Business Development and Tourism is currently ensuring that all funding recipients who are required to report on a financial year basis have met their 1997-98 obligations. However, given the commercial nature of audited statements, it would not be appropriate for them to be released to Members of the Assembly.

(2) A fundamental aspect of this type of assistance scheme is that employment targets are based on projected outcomes that are, of course, subject to a range of outside influences. It would not be appropriate for the ACT Government to impose binding employment targets in Assistance Agreements or to publicly

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