Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 20 October 2005) . . Page.. 4029 ..
(2) Is the ACT Government overpaying for its community policing services; if not, why not; if so, why does it cost more than other States and Territories per head of population;
(3) Given that the media release also stated that there has been “an increase of $26.4 million since the Stanhope Government was elected” regarding the expenditure on police for the ACT, why has there been such an increase in cost given there are fewer full-time equivalent sworn police officers than anytime in the last four or five years;
(4) What is the current strength of the ACT police force in terms of (a) sworn and
(b) unsworn officers.
Mr Hargreaves: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:
(1) The real recurrent expenditure rate of $270 per head of population reflects the costs associated with the provision of quality community policing in the ACT. In recognition of the ACT having very limited influence on AFP employment terms and conditions, the ACT received a $6.3m increase in GST funding in 2005/061 to compensate for additional costs associated with using the AFP to provide community policing in the ACT.
In terms of the level of police Full Time Equivalents (FTE), the most recent Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2005 recorded that the number of police staff exceeded the nominal ACT Government funded figure of 769 for financial year 2003/04. This level of efficiency is highlighted by the substantially higher proportion of operational staff compared to most other jurisdictions.
(2) The ACT Government has very limited influence on AFP employment terms and conditions. The Australian Government has traditionally recognized this fact and provided additional funding to the ACT to meet the additional policing costs in the Territory. However, the Australian Government’s 2004-05 Budget decision to cease paying Special Revenue Assistance (SRA) to the ACT and instead fund the Territory’s fiscal needs from the GST revenue pool has seen the additional payment for police paid to the ACT drop from $10.9m in 2003/04 to $6.3m in 2005/06.
(3) The Productivity Commission Report on Government Services 2005 (Table 5A.16) demonstrates that the ACT Policing sworn component for financial year 2003/04 was higher than any other comparable period2. During the period July 2000 to June 2004 annual real recurrent expenditure also increased by 10.13%. This increase was attributable to recorded increases in police staff numbers of 4.25% and movements in underlying prices as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of over 8%3.
(4) The AFP is currently funded to provide 796 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) employees in support of community policing services to the ACT. On a budgeted basis this equates to a split of 581 sworn FTE and 215 unsworn FTE.
1 As stated in 2005-06 Budget Paper No. 3 pg 91
2 As stated in note C of Table 5A.16 data for financial years 2000-01 onwards is not comparable with 1999-00 data.
3 ABS selected tables from CPI (CAT. NO.6401.0).