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Monday, 23 August 1999
Page: 7583

Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister for Family and Community Services, upon notice, on 23 June 1999:

(1) (a) What was the total cost to the department of any electronic transcript service paid for by the department in the period covering 1 January 1998 to 31 May 1999; (b) who, by name and position, received electronic transcripts during this period; and (c) what firm or firms provided the service during this period.

(2) (a) How many requests were received for electronic transcripts during that same period; and (b) what was the average cost incurred for each request.

(3) What was the total cost to the Department of any electronic transcript service paid for by the Department and provided to the Minister's office over the same period.

Senator Newman (Family and Community Services; Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women) —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The Department of Family and Community Services came into being on 20 October 1998. The total cost of electronic transcript services paid for during the period 20 October 1998 to 31 May 1999 was $73,607.09—this figure also includes audio and video tapes provided; (b) a list of recipients of electronic transcript services is as follows: Brian Quinlan, Manager, Media Relations Unit; Sorel Huggan, Senior Media Officer, Media Relations Unit; Richard Wilson, Media Adviser, Minister Newman's Office; Simon Bush, Assistant Media Adviser, Minister Newman's Office; Andrew Hall, Media Adviser, Minister Truss' Office.

(1) (c) electronic transcript services were provided by Rehame Australia Monitoring Services.

(2) (a) Between 20 October 1998 and 31 May 1999 the department ordered 208 transcripts; and (b) it is not possible to ascertain the average cost incurred, however, the cost is $20 per page of a transcript.

(3) Costs of this nature are met as a corporate responsibility. It is not possible to attribute any part of this cost to the individual users listed in (1)(b) above.