Page 3911 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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… that the ACT Government model for, and require of, its third party program providers:

a consistent and meaningful practice of acquittal for program funds; and

consistent use of written contracts to support all contracting and sub-contracting under programs in receipt of public monies.

They are public moneys, and it is important that we find out not just that they have been expended, but that they have been expended wisely and they have actually achieved what it was agreed they would deliver.

Recommendation 4 says:

… the ACT Government, in its role as contract manager, enforce service funding agreements more closely to ensure timely and responsive reporting and acquittal from other parties, or if overtime, ensure reasons and discussions on next steps are clearly documented.

The other is recommendation 7:

The Committee recommends that the ACT Government focus on establishing consistent, streamlined processes to report on actual expenditure and budget and ensure that reporting to the Commonwealth is consistent with that.

I will leave members to peruse the full set of recommendations.

One of the bonuses for us on the committee was the arrival of my colleague Ms Lawder, with her knowledge and her expertise in the field of homelessness. She certainly knew more about the issue than any of the rest of us, perhaps even more than the rest of us collectively who were sitting on the questioning side of the committee. Ms Lawder’s arrival was appreciated by all, and her passion for the issue of homelessness is recognised by all.

I refer the report to the Assembly.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (5.22): It was my pleasure to be part of this public accounts committee review of Auditor-General’s report No 4 of 2013 on the national partnership agreement on homelessness. The committee focused on measuring the success or effectiveness of policies and programs targeting homelessness; progress on the implementation of audit report recommendations as agreed by the government; and any other relevant matter. In doing so, they were very mindful of the findings in the Auditor-General’s report, which included that several targets had not only been met, but exceeded. That is a very positive thing. The Auditor-General’s report went on to say:

The Community Services Directorate however, needs to make improvements with respect to its processes for managing National Partnership Agreement funds, identifying and reporting against performance indicators for the A Place to Call Home Program and the Housing and Support Initiative, and managing service providers.

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