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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 275 ..

MS TUCKER (5.56): The Greens are also supporting this bill. As Mr Humphries explained, the first part clarifies the information that should be provided in the papers that accompany a supplementary appropriation bill, because at present the Financial Management Act does not state what information needs to be provided to the Assembly. Also, where a revised financial statement for an affected department is not available because of previous changes that have not yet been incorporated into that department's budget-for example, because of changes to the administrative arrangements-the government must provide the revised financial statement to the Assembly as soon as possible. The second part amends the provisions relating to the Treasurer's Advance to address comments made by the Auditor-General, as Mr Humphries explained. I will not repeat that to the Assembly.

MR QUINLAN (Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Business and Tourism, Minister for Sport, Racing and Gaming and Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Corrections) (5.57), in reply: I thank members for their support for the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Clauses 1 to 3, by leave, taken together and agreed to.

Clause 4.

MS DUNDAS (5.58): I move amendment No 1 circulated in my name [see schedule 1 at page 287].

I do understand the reasons that this bill has been introduced. There are a number of inconsistencies within the current legislation that make the job of good financial management difficult for both the government and the Department of Treasury. However, I believe that the government's proposed legislation goes beyond simply fixing the problem and will result in reduced financial accountability of the government to this Assembly. Also, this bill seems to pre-empt a wider review of the Financial Management Act. I understand from a recent Auditor-General's report that there still appears to be a number of issues that are unresolved in the FMA. I hope that this amendment will not serve to delay or replace an intensive and thorough review of the FMA.

Mr Speaker, I recognise that the requirement of presenting the Assembly with a final budgeted financial statement before passing a supplementary appropriation may be difficult for an incoming government. When there has been a large reorganisation of ministries and the Assembly is considering appropriations covering diverse areas of government, I can understand that the Treasury may be having a hard time keeping up. However, this does not mean that governments should require this leeway every time they present an appropriation bill. I certainly hope that the government does not envisage not being able to fully cost and prepare supplementary budgets at any other time during the next three years, so they will not need any legislation enabling them not to do so.

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