Page 3850 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015
course, the first thing I did was check to see whether the Capital Metro Agency was listed given it was overlooked in previous years. But, yes, there it was. Capital metro has appeared and we will get an annual report. It is important that we get this right.
This year we have slightly changed the process in which annual reports are being dealt with. In the calendar there is now a defined period set aside, although I am not sure the final calendar has been set. It lists the first, second and fourth week in November for consideration of annual reports. Last year public accounts were going to have hearings on Christmas Eve at one stage to try to fit in the requirement for ministers’ diaries. A number of annual reports this year were being tabled in May and June. In part (4) of the minister’s motion it says:
standing committees are to report to the Assembly on financial year reports by the last sitting day in March 2016 …
In theory, all the hearings will be finished in November. But then we have the dilemma of the calendar year report. For instance, the CIT reports on a calendar year. Obviously that report will not be available until sometime early next year. It could possibly be February or March. I am told by the Clerk that if people look at page 19 of the Statute Law Amendment Bill, which was tabled this morning, they will see it changes the Legislation Act to allow out-of-session presentation of documents to the Assembly. So, depending on when a calendar year annual report is available, the Clerk can then distribute it so that the committee itself can get on with the job of looking at that discussion.
Part (4) of Ms Burch’s motion has the committees reporting by the last sitting day in November 2016. The last sitting day in November 2016 does not exist. There are no sittings after our last sitting on 11 August, and it is the prerogative of the next Assembly to set its sitting days. So you could actually have an annual report that is being delivered, and you could then have hearings, but it may never be tabled in effect by a member of that committee because it has for whatever reason been put off till after the Assembly has risen and an entirely new Assembly sits.
There is no guarantee that the chair of the committee that is looking at that report in this Assembly will be the chair of the next committee and, indeed, any of the members that are on that committee in this Assembly will be in the next Assembly. So I question the use of 16 November. It is an odd thing to see a committee, by the power of this Assembly, being extended into the next Assembly. I have circulated an amendment that brings that back to August. In all likelihood, if an annual report for a calendar year organisation is tabled in March and four or five months later the committee cannot have reported on it then there is something wrong. I would commend my amendment to the Assembly and hope that it sees the logic of changing November back to August, as would be appropriate. I move:
In paragraph (4), omit “November”, substitute “August”.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (12.01): We can accept Mr Smyth’s amendment. I understand that he has identified an important point here around the distinction between financial year annual reports and calendar year financial reports. Mr Smyth having drawn that important distinction, I would be pleased to support his amendment