Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 1 Hansard (18 February) . . Page.. 74 ..
MR SMYTH (continuing):
ACTCOSS cites the impact of the Gallop and Reid reports on the Department of Health and Community Care. They said they should be summarised, as to what action had been taken inside the department to respond to those two reports. However, there was very little in substance that spoke about two extremely significant reports and how they had, or indeed had not, impacted on that department. I believe the recommendations previously given by us clarify what we would like to see happen, and they are already covered.
The ACTCOSS report then goes on to say that information should be readily available in alternate formats to people with disabilities. This is already a requirement of the Chief Minister's direction, and we would certainly like to see that adhered to more closely.
The other important recommendation we make concerns the Commissioner for Public Administration. His report consists of two documents. One is his annual report, including a compliance index, and the other is his state of the service report. We think they should be separated, with the commissioner putting forward a separate document for the state of the service.
Some issues were raised which we have chosen not to make recommendations on. I refer particularly to the sustainability indicators and the progress of the Office of Sustainability and perhaps how slowly that is travelling. We would like to see more work done to ensure that the Office of Sustainability is included in this process across the budget, so we can all achieve an outcome that we very much believe in.
Mr Speaker, I refer this report to the Assembly. I would like to thank my colleagues, who listened long and argued hard about what should and should not be in the report. I would also like to thank the committee staff who assisted us in putting this report together to enable us to table it today.
MS TUCKER (11.50): I will add a few points on this report that Mr Smyth did not mention. We addressed a few specific issues which came up during our investigation into, and reading of, the annual reports. I was especially interested to look at the development of appropriate indicators that would enable environmental, economic and social sustainability to be factored into the budget process.
The committee was told by officials that it is unlikely we will see real triple bottom line reporting occurring by the next budget and that that is more likely to occur in the budget after that. We make the point in this report that we have an ongoing interest in looking at how work in the Office of Sustainability is integrated into budget reporting, as well as across government agencies with regard to policy deliberations.
We have commented on the contractual arrangements relating to Impulse Airlines and the money that was loaned to them. We were concerned to find that the government apparently has not sought advice as to whether, if milestones were not met, the money would be recoverable.