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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (1 March) . . Page.. 442 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Chief executives will be required to provide information to the board upon request and, to be fully effective, it is envisaged that the board will develop an information base to enable it to provide timely and strategic procurement advice to the government. For example, the board will provide strategic advice to position the territory to take full advantage of electronic commerce to maximise cost savings to the ACT.

It is proposed that all agencies will be required by procurement guidelines to submit details of their proposed procurement methodology on major projects, say above $1 million in value, before inviting tenders or expressions of interest. Similarly, the board will be providing advice at the planning stages of high-risk projects. Related to the board's responsibilities for accreditation of procurement skills, it will oversee the development of training courses for government officers, particularly the standards of training courses and their appropriateness to the ACT public service.

The recent report of the Select Committee on Government Contracts and Procurement Processes supported the creation of the board. Our investigations interstate indicated that in most Australian jurisdictions there is a similar board or commission charged with oversight of purchasing activities. This is particularly important in jurisdictions where financial accountability has been devolved to agencies. We have been able to identify and incorporate the best features of the interstate systems, while having regard to the scale and special circumstances in the territory.

The board will have seven members appointed by the Treasurer, four from government and three external to the public sector, with the chairperson from inside government. The appointment of members will be based on their experience and skills in areas relevant to the board's functions. Members will be selected to ensure an appropriate balance of skills, with particular emphasis on contract law, information technology procurement, probity and ethics, and general procurement experience. Appointments will be personal appointments, not as representatives of particular organisations or interests. Board member sitting fees will be determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, in common with other ACT government boards.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I believe the establishment of the procurement board is an important step to ensure the ACT public sector adopts the best practices in procurement process and activities which are transparent, efficient and cost effective. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned to the next sitting..

Housing Assistance Act-instrument No 376 of 2000

Disallowance of provisions

MR WOOD (10.36): Mr Speaker, I move:

That pursuant to the Subordinate Laws Act 1989, this Assembly disallows provisions 8, 10, 11, 13, 15 and 17 of Instrument No 376 of 2000, the variation to the Public Rental Housing Assistance Program made pursuant to the Housing Assistance Act 1987.

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