Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1720 ..
While such an approach can be used as a short term measure to supplement skills deficiencies, it has the disadvantages of being costly and not addressing the main issue which is obtaining the necessary skills on an ongoing basis.
Treasury have advised that the private accountants were engaged in order to allow skills transfer to Treasury staff. It is the Audit Office opinion however that the skills and knowledge which need to be acquired will only occur through formal training. It is not considered that other learning processes such as 'skills transfer' can substitute for the need for formal training of officers who have responsibility for preparation of the financial statements.
Treasury have advised that:
"Treasury observes that its use of one of the major accounting firms to support its own accountants in the preparation of its capital markets statements is replicated in other State Governments. Given the highly specialised nature of the activity it would be inefficient to have such expertise on staff all year. Treasury continues to pursue the recruitment of qualified accountants for its other activities."
The Audit Office recognises the specialised nature of ACTBIT activities and agrees with Treasury obtaining external expert assistance for preparation of the ACTBIT financial statements.
With the likely move to accrual based accounting, and possibly accrual based budgeting, it is considered that more trained accountants with up-to-date expertise are required not only for preparation of the annual financial statements, but also for the efficient operation of accounting and budgeting functions.
ACT SUPERANNUATION PROVISION TRUST ACCOUNT
INTRODUCTIONThe ACT Superannuation Provision Trust Account was established to receive funds and make payments in connection with the management of the superannuation liabilities of the Territory, Territory Authorities and Territory Owned Corporations.