Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (12 October) . . Page.. 2974 ..
MR SPEAKER: Pursuant to subsection 8(4) of the Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act 1997, I present an authorisation to broadcast given to a number of television networks and radio stations in relation to the proceedings of public hearings of the Select Committee on Public Housing on 28 and 29 September 1999.
MS CARNELL (Chief Minister): For the information of members, I present a direction to amend the Annual Reports Directions for 1998-99 under subsections 7(2), 8(2), 8(6) and 8(7) of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 1995. I ask for leave to make a brief statement.
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the document I have tabled today amends the Annual Reports Directions issued in April this year. The directions set the framework for annual reporting, supplementing the statutory requirements in the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act. For the last two years the reports have required the inclusion of audited financial and performance statements, complementing requirements in the Financial Management Act. As members will realise, the statements and related audit opinions are a crucial part of annual reports for agencies with financial reporting obligations.
The deadlines in the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act are tight. This year some agencies found it difficult to complete audit requirements in time for the presentation deadline of 8 September. Unfortunately, those agencies did not realise the possibility of seeking extensions at the required time, that is, 21 days before 8 September. Rather than leave these agencies in breach of a statutory obligation, I agreed to modify the requirement in the directions to complete the audit process by the presentation deadline. This change was intended to facilitate presentations of reports, but with the expectation that the audited performance and financial statements would be included before tabling. These changes do not signify any change in the Government's commitment to comprehensive and timely reporting.
I also table a letter from the chief executive of my department and the Auditor-General. I think this letter adds some further context to the minor changes to the Annual Reports Directions tabled today. I would be interested in taking up this matter with any members who would like further information, Mr Speaker.