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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 615 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

It has been the practice of governments from both sides of politics to ask consultants to prepare certain papers and documents for them. When a government does so, it gives the particular consultant terms of reference and then, when the terms of reference are considered by the consultant, a report comes back. Sometimes, as the purchaser of a service, a department may feel that what they have got from the consultant does not live up to what they have bargained for. It is quite natural - in fact, it has been a process extensively used by governments of both persuasions - to have some discussion with consultants, as papers are being finalised or prepared, about the content of those papers. If you characterise that sort of discussion about what the commissioning party has sought from a document and the consultant's effort to meet that expectation as a doctoring of reports, then we have been guilty of doctoring reports and you have been guilty of doctoring reports, because you - - -

Mr Hargreaves: When? Name it. When?

MR HUMPHRIES: When you were in government.

Mr Corbell: Which report?

MR HUMPHRIES: I will produce them if you want, Mr Corbell. I can guarantee you that every report the Government - - -

Mr Corbell: I rise to a point of order, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker. Mr Humphries has suggested that Labor Party members have doctored reports in government. He has made an allegation without any proof. It is grossly disorderly to impute an improper motive, which is what he has done, without evidence.

MR HUMPHRIES: Not to an individual. Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I have not imputed any motives to Mr Corbell and Mr Hargreaves - in fact, mostly to people who are not in this place any longer.

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is no point of order. Mr Corbell, interjections are highly disorderly.

Mr Corbell: He is making imputations, which is highly disorderly.

MR HUMPHRIES: I will take up your challenge and I will produce the evidence. How about that, Mr Corbell?

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: I am sure the Minister will.

MR HUMPHRIES: I can assure Mr Corbell that the practice that he so railed against is a practice that is used extensively, not just in this Territory but by every other government, and, if you think about it logically, so it should be, because it is about making sure that what you do - - -

Mr Corbell: Not when you call it independent.

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