Page 2988 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 15 September 2015

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and efficiently. These changes will allow the government to deliver its priorities in a timely and risk managed manner while still preserving the important role of the Assembly in approving appropriation.

In addition the bill provides a funding mechanism for expenditure pending the passing of a supplementary appropriation bill. This amendment enhances the visibility of scrutiny of the expenditure via a supplementary appropriation process where feasible. It also allows the government the flexibility it needs to respond to emerging territory priorities. The bill recognises the need for directors-general to enter into multiyear contracts. However, to ensure that in using this power the directors-general act in a prudent and risk managed manner, it broadens their existing responsibilities.

The proposed responsibilities require directors-general to manage their directorates in a way that promotes the achievement of the purpose of their directorate and promotes the financial sustainability of their directorate. The directors-general must also take into account the impact of their decisions on the territory’s resources generally. Further, the proposed changes also address the existing disjointed presentation of individual appropriation instruments and replaces it with an administratively more integrated, coordinated and transparent process of scheduled quarterly reporting to the Legislative Assembly.

Care has been taken to ensure that the additional flexibility and administrative efficiencies that are expected to result from these amendments do not compromise the government’s obligations of transparency and accountability to the Legislative Assembly and the community. In fact they strengthen the existing reporting requirements by legislating a number of reporting items, the provision of which is currently at the discretion of the government. These include the government’s spending intentions in the budget papers and periodic capital works reporting.

The bill has staggered commencement provisions with some provisions commencing on the first day of the next quarter after notification while others commence on 1 July 2016 to align with the beginning of the next financial year. This is intended to allow for a seamless transition to the revised arrangements.

This bill is a clear statement of the government’s commitment to responsible and appropriate financial management and will allow the government of the day to respond to emerging community needs promptly while upholding the important role the Legislative Assembly plays in relation to appropriation. It also enhances the transparency and accountability to both the Assembly and the community. Importantly I consider that this bill will improve the territory government’s ability to respond to future economic challenges. I commend the bill to the Assembly and thank members for their support.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

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