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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 June 2011) . . Page.. 2935 ..

It is of course one of the fundamental areas in the budget and there are a number of recommendations in the report and there are a number of recommendations, therefore, that the government has responded to. Some of them just respond to the way the budget is presented and I would ask members, and particularly the Treasurer, to look at them in the way that they are offered, in an attempt to improve presentation of the budget. There are a number of recommendations that would have allowed the government, and indeed this Treasurer and Chief Minister, to actually allow people to get a feel for how much openness and accountability that she would like. I refer to recommendation 29:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government provide a detailed analysis by Directorate of actual savings in their respective annual report.

The Treasurer claims the savings are there. So you would have to think this would not be a very hard thing to do. But what is the response? It is “not agreed”. Let me read out the explanation:

The savings have been incorporated in agency budgets. Reporting annual expenditure against budgets, as exists in the annual financial statements, is the appropriate vehicle to provide such reporting.

I am surprised that you might not do it in the budget and you might not do it in the annual report as well. It raises an issue of whether you are willing to or not. Open government goes out the door when you claim you have got the data, a committee recommends that you put the data in the annual report so that we can see against the performance of the department for the previous years what savings have been made, and what does the government say? “No, we do not agree.” So much for open and accountable!

The committee then asked that the ACT government conduct a review of the efficacy of the efficiency dividend policy, in particular how the delivery of services has been or will be affected. If this policy is working, there must be some outcome. So you would expect that the government might be able to respond. But yet again, what is the answer? “Not agreed.” Given that that is the first of my 10 minutes and it is now 10.30 pm, I might finish there and take this up in the morning.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Smyth. That is appropriate.

Debate (on motion by Ms Burch) adjourned.


Motion (by Ms Burch) proposed:

That the Assembly do now adjourn.

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