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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2015 Week 12 Hansard (Thursday, 29 October 2015) . . Page.. 3913 ..

A number of community organisations appeared before the committee, and I would like to express my appreciation to them, to the secretariat—Dr Andrea Cullen, Dr Brian Lloyd, Ms Kate Harkins and Mr Greg Hall—and to my fellow committee members who assisted or participated in this inquiry, including Mr Smyth, who provided very able chairmanship, Ms Porter and, more recently, from February 2015, Ms Fitzharris.

Homelessness, as we have said here, is everyone’s business. It is not just the government’s responsibility to fix homelessness, but the government certainly has a large role to play. They are doing a number of good initiatives in this space, but we really need to renew the focus on it.

I commend the public accounts committee report on the Auditor-General’s report on the national partnership agreement on homelessness and hope that the government will seriously look at the recommendations that the committee has made.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Public Accounts—Standing Committee

Report 17

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (5.28): I present the following report:

Public Accounts—Standing Committee—Report 17—Review of Auditor-General’s Report No. 8 of 2013: Management of Funding for Community Services, dated October 2015, together with a copy of the extracts of the relevant minutes of proceedings.

I move:

That the report be noted.

It is important that we get the management of funding for community services right. I would like to start by saying that although the title says “community services”, it is perhaps better expressed as “services for the community”. Some who read the Auditor-General’s report might have thought this was about the Community Services Directorate but it is in fact quite a broad-ranging inquiry that looks at some agencies in Chief Minister’s and bits and pieces that they do there.

The committee has come up with five recommendations. The first recommendation looked at the issue of conflicts of interest. There was a case where a government official was also on a board that received funding from that department. The auditor said there should be some formal procedures to manage identified conflicts of interest. No-one believed there was any inappropriate behaviour, but it does lead to the question: if the government is funding organisations that have government members on boards, and particularly members of the bureaucracy, how do you ensure that there is not a perception of, let alone an actual, conflict of interest? The committee recommends that formal procedures be introduced to manage that.

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