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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (13 June) . . Page.. 1667 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Currently the Financial Management Act 1996 requires the Auditor-General to provide an audit opinion on departments' and Territory authorities' annual financial statements, including performance measures, within 30 days of receiving them. Amendments proposed in this Bill will remove this requirement for the 2000-01 financial year. This will allow the Auditor-General to complete auditing all agencies' 2000-01 financial statements before commencing the audit of agencies' performance measures. Splitting of this audit process will allow Treasury to undertake its consolidation tasks early on, based on the agencies' audited financial results.

The Financial Management Act 1996 also requires the Treasurer to prepare and table financial statements each month. Amendments proposed in this Bill will remove this requirement for the June 2001 report. This will allow agencies and Treasury to concentrate on the early preparation of 2000-01 audited Territory financial statements.

An amendment is also proposed which will change the requirement to prepare and table monthly financial statements to one of preparing and tabling financial statements every four months. This amendment will apply from the period commencing 1 July 2001.

Mr Speaker, this amendment will allow for a higher quality of information and analysis to be provided on the financial performance and position of the Territory during the course of the financial year. I believe this will have widespread support in the Assembly.

Removal of the requirement to produce monthly financial statements for July and August 2001 will also assist agencies and the Auditor-General in their preparation of the early 2000-01 Territory audited financial statements.

I trust that Members will support this Bill which is aimed at facilitating improved financial reporting to the Legislative Assembly and ACT community.

Mr Speaker, I commend this Bill to the Assembly.

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

Duties 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) (5.07): Mr Deputy Speaker, 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:

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