Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 4 Hansard (3 April) . . Page.. 1424 ..
(4) When the Territory is named as a defendant in litigation, is the claim against the Territory represented in the Territory accounts? If so, where.
(5) Does the Australian Accounting Standard on contingent liabilities require that litigation in the Territory is party to, or is represented in financial audit accounts.
(6) Is that accounting standard reflected in the Territory's accounting practice? If not, why not? If so, how is it reflected.
(7) Is it the policy of the Treasurer that the costs of litigation should be easily identifiable in the Territory's accounts? If not, why not.
(8) What is the amount of damages awarded against the Territory by courts and/or tribunals each financial year for the past five years.
(9) What is the amount of costs awarded against the Territory by courts and/or tribunals each financial year for the past five years.
(10) Does the Government make contingency plans in the budget for litigation each year and if so, what is the basis of those calculations? If not why not? If so, how is it represented in the budget papers.
(11) Who authorises the limits (if any) a department or statutory authority make commit towards litigation in the Territory.
(12) Does the Government use the principles of model litigation to determine when a court case is settled? In each instance who makes the determination whether to settle or continue a litigation.
(13) Are there any public service guidelines that govern discretion regarding question 12? If, who determines those guidelines and what force do they have throughout the public service.
Mr Quinlan: The answer to the member's question is as follows:
(1) Territory accounts are prepared in accordance with the Australian Accounting Standards where litigation expenditure is recognised as a liability (SAC4) or a contingent liability in accordance with AASB 1044. Litigation expenses are recognised as a 'liability' where an obligation exists, it is probable that the settlement will be against the Territory and the litigation costs can be measured reliably.
Where expenditure is recognised as a liability the information is presented as payables in the Statement of Financial Position, and an accrual is raised as an other expense in the Statement of Financial Performance.
Litigation expenses are recognised, as a 'contingent liability' where it is unclear whether future payments will be required, or costs cannot be measured reliably. Contingent Liabilities are presented as a note to the annual financial statements. For example, note 37 of the ACT Consolidated Annual Financial Statements (2001-2002)