Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 4386 ..
Administration and Procedure-Standing Committee
Referral of matters
MS DUNDAS (11.47): I move the motion standing on the notice paper in my name, which reads:
That, notwithstanding Standing Order 16, the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure inquire and report on each of the following:
the role of InTACT as the Legislative Assembly IT service provider;
the status of volunteers working in members' offices; and
the appropriateness of a code of conduct for members and their staff.
This motion is a result of the recent report handed down by the Privileges Committee during the November sittings. The Assembly is well aware of that report and the issues raised within it, and I do not wish to re-enter the debate on that matter. Nevertheless, the report did raise some pertinent issues that should be investigated. If we are to have a positive outcome from the whole affair it will be through investigating and adopting the recommendations of the privileges report.
The Administration and Procedure Committee is clearly the committee that should perform such an inquiry. It will bring together representatives of all parties, and I believe will be able to discuss the matters at hand without rehashing any arguments inspired by witch-hunts. Also, it seems quite appropriate that the committee covering admin and procedure for this Assembly will look into the issues raised by the Privileges Committee.
The matters that I wish to refer for inquiry are set out in the motion. They are the role of InTACT as the Legislative Assembly IT service provider, the status of volunteers working in members' offices and, finally, the appropriateness of a code of conduct for members and their staff.
With regard to the role of InTACT as the IT provider for the Assembly, I have stated before that, if a similar situation occurred in the private sector, which led to discussion in a privileges report, the position of IT provider would have been retendered immediately. As InTACT is the IT provider for not only the Assembly, but the whole of the ACT government, we do not have that luxury. However, we do have the opportunity to investigate and reassess InTACT's role here in the Assembly.
The status of volunteers working in members' offices also needs to be clarified. Encouraging a spirit of volunteerism is important, not only in the government sector, but particularly in the community and charity sectors. Many organisations have clear policies on volunteers and seek the help of organisations such as Volunteering ACT in developing appropriate policies, procedures and tasks for volunteers. This has not yet occurred within the Assembly, yet many members, myself included, have volunteers regularly working both in and out of the office, so I look forward to any guidance the inquiry will be able to provide.