Page 3918 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 15 Sept 2009

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would like to mention Ms Cullen of the Committee Office secretariat and, of course, the Auditor-General, without whom this report would not have existed. I commend the report to the Assembly.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (10.30): There are a number of sensible recommendations, 10 in number, that the committee has made to the Assembly. Much of it goes to the nature of the information that is provided and the effectiveness of that information in conveying the future of what goes on inside the departments. It also suggests, for instance, that agencies like the Land Development Agency ensure compliance with the requirements of the Financial Management Act.

As the chair has outlined, what we found was nothing major that needed to be looked at, but it is about making sure that, of course, the information that we receive is actually usable. It is not a challenge just to fill up the statements; it is a challenge to make the statements (1) comply with the directions; (2) comply with the Financial Management Act; and (3) actually useful for the members of the public.

There are a number of requests or suggestions from the committee. For instance, the committee in recommendation 9 recommends that the Treasurer provide to the Legislative Assembly on the last sitting day in September 2009—two days hence—a detailed project report on delivery of projects under Appropriation Bill (No 3) 2008-2009, last financial year. We understand that there is difficulty in that, given that the report is only being tabled today. There is also recommendation No 7, where we see the review of the territory’s unfunded superannuation liability.

There are some helpful suggestions. There are two paragraphs that I would particularly bring to the attention of members. Paragraph 3.52 noted that a number of weaknesses identified in key controls and reported as audit findings in 2006-07 have not been resolved, particularly in TAMS. Yes, it always seems to come back to TAMS.

There are a number of dot points there. TAMS has not developed or monitored business plans for many of its business units. None of the TAMS business units had approved and tested business continuity planning arrangements. Internal audit of leave processes indicated that TAMS was exposed to a higher risk of erroneous and fraudulent leave claims and of paying employees in excess of their entitlements. It is the bread and butter stuff of government that they have these plans and they have these controls in place. It is a shame that recommendations made in September 2007 have not been implemented as yet.

The other paragraph I would draw members’ attention to is paragraph 4.23. As noted previously, accountability entails not only a calling to account for the stewardship of funds but also a calling to account for performance—that is, how public funds are spent and the quality of the decision making that underpins such spending. It does really highlight, as the next paragraph says, the importance of the relationship between the financial and the non-financial performance indicators and where we report.

With those few words, I commend the report to the Assembly. I would like to thank the chair and Ms Burch for their work in putting this report together. In particular, I

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