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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1666 ..

Financial Management Amendment Bill 2001

Mr Humphries , by leave, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer) (5.06): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I ask for leave to have my presentation speech incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The speech read as follows:

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present these amendments to the Financial Management Act 1996.

Members will be fully aware that this is an election year for the Legislative Assembly. It is for this reason that I am today tabling the Financial Management Amendment Bill 2001.

Mr Speaker, to ensure that accurate financial information is available to the ACT community and Members of this Assembly prior to these elections, my Government intends to release the Territory's audited financial results for 2000-01 before the election.

Members will be aware that the Financial Management Act 1996 allows the Government 4 months after the end of a financial year to prepare the consolidated financial statements of the Territory, and a further one month to be audited. This means that the statements are usually tabled in the Assembly in the December sittings.

Mr Speaker, as previously stated, my intention is to release the audited financial statements before the October election. Members will appreciate that this will condense a complex process into a very short timeframe, and this is the first time an ACT Territory government will do this.

The preparation of early audited financial statements will impose a considerable administrative burden on ACT Government agencies, the Auditor-General and ACT Treasury.

These amendments will facilitate this changed process, and reduce the administrative burden. These amendments are required before the end of this financial year.

To meet the shorter timeframe, the Auditor-General has agreed to undertake the audit of agency 2000-01 financial statements in two stages-the audit of the financial information and the audit of performance measures.

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