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Tuesday, 25 November 1986
Page: 3719

(Question No. 4759)

Mr Connolly asked the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, upon notice, on 10 October 1986:

(1) Has he established a 5 person committee to inquire into the structure of his Department; if so, what are its terms of reference.

(2) Have the establishment and terms of reference of the committee been advertised in public media; if so, how and when.

(3) If the establishment and terms of reference of the committee have not been advertised, why not.

(4) Was the Aboriginal community formally consulted or notified in advance regarding the establishment and terms of reference of the committee, if so, how.

(5) If the Aboriginal community was not consulted or notified in advance, why not.

(6) What are the (a) names and (b) qualifications and expertise of each of the members of the committee.

(7) Were any Aboriginal women considered for membership of the committee; if so, why was no Abor- iginal woman appointed.

(8) Are there Aboriginal women with qualifications in management administration and program delivery; if so, will he provide a list of Aboriginal women with these qualifications.

(9) If no Aboriginal women have these qualifications, is he able to provide reasons why this is so.

(10) What are the details of the costs of the inquiry.

(11) When will the committee complete its investigations.

(12) When will a copy of the committee's report be made available to the House.

(13) Does the Committee include a consultant from Coopers Lybrand.

(14) Do the terms of reference of the committee include a mandate to look at matters affecting the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC).

(15) Have Coopers Lybrand at any time acted as accountant or auditors for the ADC or any of its companies.

(16) Is there a possibility that the consultant will face a situation during the inquiry of having a conflict of interest.

Mr Holding —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) No. The Department of Aboriginal Affairs established a 5 person committee to review and report on the most appropriate organisational structure, staffing skills and systems support for the Department to meet its corporate goals and program objectives. A copy of the terms of reference are attached.

(2) No.

(3) I am informed that it is not normal practice for Departments to go to the expense of advertising what are primarily internal reviews.

(4) No.

(5) There was Aboriginal participation on the review committee and Aboriginal organisations were consulted during the course of the review.

(6) Mr W. J. McHugh (Dip Mech and Elec Engineering), is a consultant and manager employed by Coopers and Lybrand WD Scott with particular consulting expertise in organisation and management. Mr Neville Bonner, AO, is a former Senator and a Director of the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Mr Bonner has an intimate knowledge of government processes and policy execution in Aboriginal Affairs. Mr J. Wauchope is the Departmental Regional Director in Queensland and is the longest serving Regional Director with the Department. Mr Wauchope has over 20 years experience in Aboriginal Affairs and has held senior positions in Central Office in addition to holding positions of Director in a number of regions. He has detailed knowledge and experience in operational needs. Mr P. Donnelly (BA [Econ]) Departmental Area Officer, Lismore, has worked in the Department for 9 years including eight years as Area Officer in a range of locations. Mr Donnelly has served in New South Wales, Northern Territory and Canberra. Mr W. Roberts (B Ec), is a Principal Consultant with the Public Service Board and has extensive experience both in the public and private sector, in carrying out detailed consultancies.

(7) No. I am informed that the matter was considered at length but, given the potential unwieldy size of the review team, it was not possible to extend membership to all special interest groups. Also, I am advised that concern over the size of the review team resulted in the Departments' Central Office not being represented.

(8) Yes. I am advised that the task of identifying and listing Aboriginal women with the specific qualifications would be time consuming. I do not propose to use the limited resources of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs to research and compile such a list.

(9) Not applicable.


Consultancy costs...81,268

Travel of Department Officers...30,303

Mr N Bonner (travel)...12,584

Mr N Bonner (fees)...12,005

Department salaries...4,500


Other costs, which cannot be detailed, were involved in the provision of services to the team.

(11) The committee was required, by its terms of reference, to complete its inquiry by 30 May 1986. I am informed the final report was presented to the Department on 11 July 1986.

(12) It is not normal practice for internal Departmental review reports to be tabled in the Parliament of Australia. If the honourable member should like access to a copy, that can be arranged.

(13) Yes.

(14) No.

(15) Yes.

(16) No-see answer to question 14.

Appendix A



Terms of Reference: Review and report on the most appropriate organisational structure, staffing skills and systems support for DAA (including Area, Regional and Central Offices) to meet its corporate goals and program objectives.

The review should take into account:

The need to strengthen the capacity of DAA to carry out

co-ordination of Australian Government policies, programs and funding in Aboriginal affairs;

co-ordination of portfolio activities;

co-ordination of information and resources in support of Government policy development in Aboriginal affairs.

The organisation's capacity to ensure efficient, effective and equitable delivery of departmental programs.

The consultative mechanisms which the department needs to obtain input from Aboriginal organisations, portfolio agencies and Commonwealth, State and Local Government agencies with responsibilities in Aboriginal affairs.

Assumptions: The review should be confined to the structure of DAA:

The review should take the existing policy guidelines approved by the Minister in 1985 as given.

Review Team: The team will comprise-

Team Leader-consultant-Mr Bill McHugh

Advice on Aboriginal Interests-Mr Neville Bonner

Regional Representative-Mr Jim Wauchope

Area Representative-Mr Phil Donnelly

Public Service Board-Mr Bill Roberts

Input will be sought from the relevant staff associations during the course of the review.

The review team will have access to consultancy advice from the Public Service Board and Department of Finance during the course of the review as considered necessary.

Steering Committee: The team will report to the Management Committee on a regular basis. The Management Committee may wish to invite the Public Service Board and Department of Finance to join with it as advisors in considering the progress and outcome of the review. Responsibility for the general management of the team will rest with Mr Humphry.

Timetable: The review team should aim to commence its work in early March and complete its report by 30 May 1986.

7 March 1986