Page 1004 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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The committee emphasises that it is the action taken by applicable agencies to implement audit recommendations that is all-important in helping achieve better efficiency and to improve the accountability of the government, not the recommendations per se. The committee has considered the progress update for each of the recommendations reflecting their status as of September 2014, as received from the Minister for Planning. The committee notes that work against each of the recommendations has taken place and progress has been achieved, with four complete and others either close to completion or well underway.

The committee is generally satisfied that the lead directorate for the audit report, in this case Environment and Planning, has either addressed or is in the process of addressing those matters identified by the audit as requiring attention. Further, where action is pending, the committee believes the directorate has signalled a credible intention to follow through with implementation.

The committee has made three recommendations. The first calls on the government to report to the Assembly by the last sitting day in October this year on the progress of the implementation of these recommendations. Secondly, the committee recommends that, upon completion of the installation of the new smart parking technology, they evaluate the implementation within 12 months time, with particular reference to smart parking methods that are now functioning in the ACT, and provide a copy of that final evaluation report to the Assembly within three months of its completion.

The committee also, in its third recommendation, recommends that the government ensure all the responsible directorates make sure that the recommendations are appropriately monitored and addressed under the new ACT public service directorate structure so that nothing falls through the gaps.

The committee notes that since the presentation of the audit report three significant aspects relating to pay parking policy and operation have occurred. Firstly, pay parking was introduced in the parliamentary triangle zone. It commenced on 1 October 2014. Secondly, there has now been a rollout of smart parking meter and payment technology across the territory. Thirdly, there has been the designation of a Minister for Roads and Parking.

In summary, the planning, management and implementation of parking operations as a public policy matter affects all citizens in some capacity. The committee is therefore of the view that the audit has been important in assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of the government’s management and administration of parking operations in the territory.

The committee thanks the Auditor-General, the Minister for Planning and accompanying directorate and agency officials for their time, expertise and cooperation during this inquiry. I also thank my colleagues, Ms Porter, Ms Lawder and Ms Fitzharris, for their work in the committee and the committee secretary, Dr Cullen, for her work, as always. I commend the report to the Assembly. My committee colleagues may also wish to provide comment at this time.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

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