Page 2154 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 21 June 2011

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how it needs to be positioned in the future. In 2010, the government engaged Dr Allan Hawke to evaluate the structure and capacity of the ACT public sector. The Hawke review identified that the ACT government needed to work together as one to present one public service and one public service face so that we can serve our customers, our citizens, in the best way possible and meet their demands.

The bill takes the first step to becoming one public service by amending the FMA to a single agency model by implementing the directorate structure. This amendment simply replaces references to departments with directorate, and chief executive with director-general.

These changes will provide the Legislative Assembly with the same level of detail with which to scrutinise the government’s financial management of the territory, including budgets and financial reports. As financial accountability essentially remains unchanged, the directors-general will be responsible for the efficient and effective operation of their respective directorates, the same as chief executives were for departments.

Part VIII of the FMA relates to financial provisions for territory authorities to provide a more efficient process for changes to territory authorities. The bill removes the list of the ACT territory authorities from part VIII and instead requires them to be specified in the financial management guidelines. The Legislative Assembly will continue to have the ability to question and debate proposed changes to these financial management guidelines as they are a disallowable instrument.

For similar reasons, the bill amends section 76(2) by removing a list of the territory authorities with governing boards. The list is not legally required as section 76(1) specifies that a territory authority has a governing board if the establishing act for the authority establishes a governing board for the authority.

The bill allows the ACT public service to work as one, while ensuring that the highest standards of financial accountability continue to be provided to the Legislative Assembly and the community. I thank other members for their contributions to the debate and I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Payroll Tax Bill 2011

Debate resumed from 5 May 2011, on motion by Ms Gallagher:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

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