Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 2 November 2017) . . Page.. 4942 ..
(c) investigating the obstacles in changing the current notifiable invoice register threshold of $25 000 when exporting data for publication and reporting back to the Assembly by the last sitting day of 2017; and
(d) investigating whether the contract number is, or can be, entered into the Oracle Financials system and reporting back to the Assembly by the last sitting day of 2017.”.
The motion today is a direct response to the concerns I raised through the Government Procurement (Financial Integrity) Amendment Bill 2017, which was mostly gutted last sitting day. The situation, I think, is quite straightforward. I believe that changing a query from $25,000 to $12,500 should be relatively straightforward. For some reason it seems that the government thinks it is in the too-hard basket.
I note that in the motion as proposed by the Chief Minister they are looking to do far more than simply change that query from $25,000 down to $12,500. However, I do not think it is acceptable that we should have to wait until June to get a response on whether they can change that query.
In effect, the amended motion would read that we commit to investigating the feasibility of improving the linkages between our contract and financial management systems and processes to enable reporting on contracts associated with invoices on the notifiable invoices register, to reporting back to the Assembly by the first sitting day in June, to investigating the obstacles in changing the current notifiable invoice register threshold of $25,000, and to reporting back to the Assembly by the last sitting day of 2017. It is, in effect, asking for the Chief Minister to come back to us in a few weeks time, having had a preliminary look to see whether this is going to be possible. In light of that, I ask that the Greens and the government consider that amendment.
MS LE COUTEUR (Murrumbidgee) (4.05): There has been a bit of email correspondence on these issues. I have a problem with Mr Coe’s amendment, which I have just received; it is excellent timing. The idea of reporting back on the substantive body of work a bit earlier is a good idea. It has obviously the major advantage that it means that this can be discussed as part of the estimates process. On the other two, as I said to Mr Coe, while no doubt it would be possible to get them done by that time—
Mr Coe: No, it is reporting back. It is an update. It is not actually doing it; it is reporting back to see whether it is possible.
MS LE COUTEUR: My concern is that by putting in such a tight deadline, the reporting back would be a very cursory affair. Obviously you can report back and say something but if we want any useful information as part of this reporting back then we probably, in all fairness to the government, need to give them a bit longer than about three weeks. So I have problems with (c) and (d). That timing is a bit unfair on the government, who, let us face it, before the beginning of this week were not planning to do this work any time soon. If this were in two motions, which it is not, I would be supporting (b), but (c) and (d) are, I think, too challenging.