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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 320 ..

MR HARGREAVES: I ask a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. By way of explanation, when the Minister said that my question was a general question he was quite right. I am very interested in that particular aspect. Page 39 of the 1997-98 financial report gives a list of consultants, 559,000 bucks worth, and not one of them to do with financial management. You are quite right. My supplementary question is about this Government's obsession with the appointment of outside experts and its willingness to spend millions of dollars on consultancies. As I mentioned, there were $559,000 worth - and I have not turned the page yet. If we want to go into some big numbers, I will come back later and tell you. In fact, there was a consultancy for ACTEW for $1.5m.

MR SPEAKER: Would you mind asking your supplementary, please, Mr Hargreaves? You have given enough background.

MR HARGREAVES: I am halfway through it, Mr Speaker, and I keep getting interjections from the parrots opposite. With your permission, Mr Speaker, I will start again.

Mr Moore: No.

MR HARGREAVES: Are you the Speaker now? You speak the most around the place. Given this Government's obsession with the appointment of outside experts and its willingness to spend millions of dollars on consultancies, can the Minister tell the Assembly how many of these recommendations from consultants' reports on the Canberra Hospital have been implemented and what savings were achieved from them?

MR MOORE: I will give you a generic answer to make sure that you understand the value of these things. The Booz Allen report, as an example, saved approximately $18m.

Mr Kaine: Where is that reflected in the budget?

MR MOORE: Just think how bad things would have been, Mr Kaine, if it had not been for that $18m.

Mr Hargreaves: Under the four-year rule of her ladyship.

MR MOORE: Excuse me. You asked a question. I am trying to answer it. If you want to get the details of all the reports, they are in the annual reports. That is what I think government is about. That is what we do. I will still provide them for you - and by the way that is where I will find them, in the annual reports - plus the more recent ones such as the Renfrey report and the Andersen report.

It seems to me, Mr Speaker, that each of us should be aware that this Government is very careful when we commission a particular report. We are interested in specific outcomes, and those outcomes are not necessarily about saving money. Sometimes they are about other things. One good example, in an area where the Chief Minister and I had some difference of opinion which we were reasonably open about, was when I appointed Fiona Tito to look at adverse incidents in the hospital. This is not about saving money. It is about better quality. I am expecting to see that report on my desk in a short while.

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