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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3657 ..

MR QUINLAN (continuing):

report which I commend to this Assembly and to any administrative historian who happens to be taking a look at government in the ACT.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2001

Debate resumed.

MR OSBORNE (5.31), in reply: Mr Speaker, after listening to that I need a good stretch.

MR SPEAKER: You need an extension of time, Mr Osborne.

MR OSBORNE: Yes, please. I seek an extension, Mr Speaker. (Extension of time granted.) I will read a little bit more. I do not hold out much hope of Mr Stanhope joining us, but-

Mr Quinlan: Well, sit down and shut up as well.

MR OSBORNE: He will have to come down to vote.

Mr Kaine: Are you sure you want to do this? The audience has gone. You have noticed that they are not there any more.

MR OSBORNE: There is a rugby union supporter over here. Mr Speaker, this legislation does not deal with some of the problems caused by outsourcing, which is more a matter of ACCC constraints, government policy and internal purchasing procedures. Overall, what this bill does is provide a pathway back to a career public service. This is an important change as there is a growing body of evidence nationwide showing that performance-based executive contracts can and do hinder the work of executives and the overall standard of governance.

In 1999 the South Australian Auditor-General conducted a performance audit on the executive contract system operating in that jurisdiction. The questions at hand were: "Are such contracts value for money, and what effect, positive or otherwise, do they have on governance?" Here are some of the Auditor's conclusions:

The "emphasis on accountability and outcomes" may suggest to some that "process" is no longer an issue. In my opinion, it is important that recognition be given to the need to maintain sound and defensible "processes" in the achievement of "outcome/results". Where there is not proper balance between "inputs and processes" and "outputs and outcomes" there is a real risk that all relevant issues will not be adequately considered before decisions are made. Any inadequacy in this regard does not advance the cause of good government.

The primary and only duty of those holding public office is to "properly safeguard the interests of the public". The obligations of the public servant are in many ways a reflection of the responsibilities of government generally to the public trust. The interests of government do not exhaust the public interest. Any administrative

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