Page 2734 - Week 08 - Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

whole-of-government coordination of budget indicators and sustainability reporting and assessment. This issue is very important to the Greens. It is part of the Labor-Greens agreement, and I am particularly pleased that three recommendations in the estimates committee report go to this. Recommendation 3 states:

The Committee recommends that the indicators in the ACT Budget papers reflect how progress will be measured in relation to the implementation of ACT Government strategies and plans.

Recommendation 4 states:

The Committee recommends that strategic indicators contained in the ACT Budget papers for ACT Government agencies be meaningful and measurable.

Recommendation 5 states:

The Committee recommends that a measure be introduced as a strategic indicator for each agency requiring that agency to report on its work towards achieving zero net carbon emissions.

That is a recent and welcome government commitment. I understand from the Chief Executive of the Chief Minister’s Department, Mr Cappie-Wood, that the budget reporting and assessment framework will be ready in about four months. This should be enough time to help Treasury and all the other government departments develop meaningful and strategic accountability indicators for next year’s budget to help us evaluate which spending priorities should be funded.

Mr Cappie-Wood also told us that they were finding it difficult to figure out how to relate spending to social and environmental benefits. Bringing the relevant indicators from key strategies directly into the budget will help each agency clarify how budget spending is prioritised against government priorities generally and whether this funding is to the most strategic areas.

We do have key government plans, including weathering the change; people, place, prosperity; and the Canberra plan, which the Chief Minister reported on today. But reporting on them is not actually linked to the budget so it is hard to see when you look at the budget how the government is actually funding its strategies and how the things that the government is funding are actually the most important things for the government to do. The Treasurer and the government have pointed out the limited funding available to the government, and I am sure we all acknowledge that it is important to focus on what is most important.

The budget is the only annual whole-of-government report. I know that annual reports do, in fact, have more information in them, but the data in the annual reports is not consolidated and it is not in a consistent format so it makes it very hard for people to put it all together.

I understand that integrating these indicators into our future budgets and therefore into our annual reporting could lead to thicker papers and reports, hence recommendation 9 of the estimates committee report, which recommends producing

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .