Page 2994 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
My own view is that the Assembly has expressed its view about what should be done under the Public Sector Management Act, and that standard has not been met by the public service. As soon as I became aware of this—and it was in relation to a question that Mr Hanson asked in estimates around a particular individual—when I went to further questioning around the processes which led to the non-tabling of that contract, I became aware that there were several hundred others that had not been done, as I said, since 1996.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Chief Minister, which directorates have had the biggest problem with not ensuring that contracts have been tabled on time?
MS GALLAGHER: It is right across the board. I do not think there is a particular directorate. It goes back to when Mr Smyth was minister for urban services. There are many that were not tabled then. There are many that were not tabled in Treasury, in Chief Minister’s, in health and community care when it was health and community care.
There does not seem to be a serial offender. In the last 12 months, for example, I think that there have been around 1,900 contracts executed. That gives you the scale of the business process that has been managed across government. From my understanding, there are several hundred, for whatever reason, that have not been tabled over those many years. It is a small part, but when you look at it over many years there are a substantial number that have not met the tabling requirements.
The tabling requirements are an accountability measure and a reporting for information only. It has not affected the validity of the contracts or the nature of the employment arrangements, but it has failed in terms of an accountability process to the Assembly, which is the important one.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Lawder.
MS LAWDER: Minister, will we, by the end of tomorrow’s sitting, be completely up to date with the tabling of all contracts?
MS GALLAGHER: We will be up to date with the tabling of all current contracts. As I said, there is an audit underway looking at contracts for employees whose contracts have ended, who are no longer employees of the ACT government or whose contracts date back many years. Those contracts are not available as many of them have been archived. So they are not available for tabling, but we are undergoing that audit process now. As I have more information available about it, I will update the Assembly.
MS LAWDER: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Yesterday, you said in response to a question from