Page 1820 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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The directions will allow agencies to produce more concise annual reports through whole-of-government reporting, reporting by exception and combining sections to focus on narrative. In consultation with reporting entities, whole-of-government reporting has been agreed. Where it facilitates improved governance and accessibility of related information, central data collation and reporting have been incorporated into the directions.

Whole-of-government reporting will now apply for the following information and reporting entities: community engagement, territory records within the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate; bushfire risk management, freedom of information, human rights, legal service directions within the Justice and Community Safety Directorate; workplace culture and behaviour, public interest disclosure and workforce profile—although, where appropriate, workforce profile information will also be represented in a disaggregated format.

The Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act 2004, the annual reports act, requires ACT government directorates and public authorities to produce annual reports. The Commissioner for Public Administration and territory-owned corporations are defined as public authorities under the dictionary of the annual reports act and produce stand-alone annual reports.

The declaration of public authorities includes entities that may not be required to produce an annual report under their establishing legislation or under the Financial Management Act 1996 but have functions which make them appropriate to declare as public authorities for the purposes of facilitating open government.

The directions also include amendments to the declarations about public authorities made under sections 12 and 16 of the Annual Reports (Government Agencies) Act. Under section 16, I may declare that an entity established under the act is a public authority which is required to prepare an annual report.

Compared to last year’s declaration, the following changes have been made. The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal will be responsible for preparing its own annual report which will be administered outside the annual report directions. The ACT Architects Board, ACT construction occupations and the Environment Protection Authority will, as part of Access Canberra, be annexed to the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate annual report.

The annual report directions were provided to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts for consultation in accordance with section 9 of the act. The committee responded on 13 March 2015 and also in their recent report of 5 May this year, providing comment on the 2015 annual report directions. The government thanks the committee for its contributions, which have been considered fully in the preparation of the Annual Report Directions 2015 Notifiable Instrument. In addition to these changes, annual reports must now be produced within 15 weeks of the end of the financial year.

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