Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 05 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 May 2015) . . Page.. 1366 ..

There are two significant deficiencies that we can resolve effectively without diminishing transparency of government spending. What matters to the community is the manner in which the government goes about its business and engages with its suppliers. For this reason, one of the amendments that I will move in the detail stage excludes from the definition of a notifiable invoice an invoice for goods, services or works provided by the territory or a territory entity.

As I pointed out when I introduced my bill, information about staff salaries and the many financial transactions between different arms of the service are often as a result of staff movements and should not be captured in the monthly notification of information about notifiable invoices as this information is already available through government financial statements. Mr Coe’s bill requires the publication of notifiable invoices on a newly established notifiable invoices register. The government does support this, as I demonstrated in the bill I introduced in March.

The second problem with Mr Coe’s amended bill is that it requires the notification of information about invoices within 30 days of the day the invoice was paid. This requirement would need every payment day to be treated separately, with potentially multiple notifications per month. This would be very cumbersome to administer and would generate significant red tape and waste within the public service. We would not want that, would we? It would also be an inconvenience to the community to have to search potentially hundreds of records as opposed to the 12 publications each year that my amendments will generate.

The government amendment requires that a notification be made within 21 days of the end of the month in which the invoice was paid. This would reduce the identification of relevant notifiable invoices for publication to a monthly process, providing for an efficient process whilst ensuring that the information is available in a timely fashion. This is the much more sensible approach taken in the bill that I introduced.

I am pleased to support the intent of Mr Coe’s bill, as it will be amended to reflect the government’s bill. However, without the two government amendments that I will move in the detail stage, the bill would be significantly less workable and would add significant red tape, with no benefit at all to the community.

Mr Assistant Speaker, this government has a record of supporting transparency but also improvements in procurement practices. We have demonstrated our support for procurement improvements recently through the announcement of the Local Industry Advocate. The advocate will work across government to ensure local businesses get a fair go at government procurement, whether large or small, and in all fields of government procurement. The Local Industry Advocate will work exclusively with the local business community in building capacity and economic activity.

I commend my bill to the Assembly. I note that there will be a series of amendments in the detail stage. Mr Coe will address the deficiencies in his bill and there will be two further government amendments that I have foreshadowed in my contribution in the in-principle stage. This ultimately will lead to the government’s bill being adopted.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video