Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (14 October) . . Page.. 3186 ..
Ms Carnell: Once in five months. That is good!
Mr Humphries: Five and a half months.
MR STANHOPE: Yes, but just wait, and we heard from officers of the Chief Minister's Department. But, and we are particularly grateful for this, two weeks ago we obtained a permanent secretary, and I am happy to welcome him to the Assembly. I look forward to working with him. He will be a great boon to the work of this committee and to the Committee Office, and he will relieve some of the pressure that the Committee Office has been experiencing.
As a result of the secretary's arrival in the last two weeks the committee met - Mr Osborne, Mr Cornwell and I met - and discussed how best to proceed with this very important inquiry. A number of resolutions were made at that meeting. I have the minutes here and would be very pleased to read them to you, but you know that I cannot do that as they have not been settled yet and they have not been authorised for publication. But I note in those minutes that a motion was moved by Mr Cornwell, a member of the Government, in relation to the work that this committee should do. I can tell you that a motion was moved by the deputy chairman, Mr Osborne, about the work that this committee should do and how it might proceed. As a result of that, certain authority was given to me as the chairman to set out the committee's program of work, the work it should do, and the witnesses that it should invite.
The committee has proceeded at pace to fulfil this important task. As a result of that, I have written to every Minister seeking submissions and I have authorised the secretary to approach a number of other potential witnesses. As everybody knows, as it was announced, the committee did decide to compartmentalise its work. The committee felt that it would be important and useful for it to do its work in the context of a number of case studies, because there is a range of very important and interesting procurement, contracting and tendering issues that we are all aware are matters of public debate and matters of great public interest. I refer to things such as the Bruce Stadium redevelopment, a matter of significant public interest and debate, and the CityScape contracts, which have been of great interest. The Minister is well aware that one of those contracts led to the sacking of a group of disabled workers.
A question which I think is very interesting is the provision of legal advice to the Government by private legal firms. I think that is an interesting issue. I have expressed interest in that before.
There are interesting issues in relation to Totalcare. Members of the committee felt that there may be interest in looking at aspects of SOCOG and the Olympic Games as well as issues related to the Government's funding of activities associated with the year 2000 celebrations. Of course, the committee did not anticipate in developing that list that that would constrain it in any way in looking at other issues were we to receive submissions on other matters of contracting and tendering.