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Tuesday, 1 February 1994
Page: 88

(Question No. 379)

Mr Costello asked the Minister for Finance, upon notice, on 27 September 1993:

  (1) What work has his Department completed in regard to the series of reviews of various Government programs referred to at page 3.13 of Budget Paper No.1 of 1993-94.

  (2) Did his Department advise him before the 1993-94 Budget was introduced that the areas listed for review could provide future savings for the Government.

  (3) Did his Department advise him of the size and scope of any future savings which might result from the reviews.

  (4) When will the reviews (a) begin and (b) be completed.

  (5) Is there an aggregate target for savings from the reviews.

  (6) Did he advise his Department before the introduction of the 1993-94 Budget of the purpose of the reviews; if so, when.

  (7) Has he provided the Department with guidelines for conducting the reviews.

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

  (1) Reviews are in nearly all cases joint, with the Department of Finance involvement ranging from agreeing terms of reference and review methodology to full participation as equal partner in the conduct of the review. Terms of reference have been agreed for all reviews envisaged for commencement in 1993-94 referred to at page 3.13 and most are under way.

  (2) My Department advised me that the review program could be expected to identify options for future savings.

  (3) No.

  (4) The following shows the commencement and the estimated completion date for the reviews listed at page 3.13 of Budget Paper No.1 of 1993-94. This timetable results from a recent review.

Title of Review Commencement Estimated

Date Completion


Benchmarking for best practice in service October 1993 (a)

delivery areas of selected Commonwealth


Aspects of the education system to be September 1993 Mid 1994

identified for specific scrutiny aimed at late 1994 (b)

achieving greater cost-effectiveness in

education outlays

AUSTUDY compliance procedures October 1993 January 1994

The scope for improving efficiency and October 1993 December 1994

effectiveness in the Home and Community

Care Program

The level to which the Disability Reform August 1993 Late 1994 (c)

Package has met its objectives in changed

labour market and economic conditions; and

consideration of whether any changes to the

objectives and timeliness for the package

are needed

The appropriateness of the existing links Yet to 1995-96

between the age pension and superannuation commence (d) Budget

entitlements with the aim of improving the

way in which they interact to promote the

Government's retirement income policy


The delivery of veterans' entitlements, August 1993 1994-95

including the addressing of the implications Budget

of Bushell v. The Commonwealth (1992) and

issues raised by the Australian National

Audit Office

Areas of substantial outlays growth in the September 1993 1994-95

health area Budget and

December 1994

Nursing home efficiency gains and structure October 1993 1994-95

of funding Budget

The contribution of tourism to the economy August 1993 January 1994

and private sector funding for the

Australian Tourist Commission

ABC and SBS funding September 1993 February 1994

Commonwealth law enforcement arrangements, August 1993 February 1994

including the role and functions of relevant

agencies and ways of maximising cooperative


The Commonwealth Government's overseas and September 1993 January 1994

domestic property arrangement

The direction of commercialisation of DAAS August 1993 January 1994


National Corporate Regulation Scheme September 1993 February 1994/

administration June 1994 (b)

Environment, natural resources management August 1993 February 1994

and energy programs

Programs and policies potentially Yet to December 1994

in conflict with ecologically sustainable commence

development objectives

ABS population census frequency September 1993 December 1993

(a) Depending on the assessment of the efficacy of the initial work, this program may be ongoing.

(b) Two-stage review.

(c) Review of employment aspects may be completed in time for consideration in context of Employment White Paper.

(d) The need for this review will be reassessed following completion of the independent review of the Pension Income and Asset Test.

(5) No.

(6) No.

(7) The reviews are being conducted in accordance with the terms of reference and methodologies considered by Ministers, generally in the Budget context.