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Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Page: 8598


Senator WONG (South AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deregulation) (11:36): First, in relation to the specific bill, I understand the commissioner has made that intention clear. I say to the Senate that we have done quite a lot of work in this area. I do not want to pretend to the senator or the chamber that it is easy to reduce some of the compliance requirements with government because, particularly in a devolved financial management framework, a particular entity might have a grant or an arrangement with two or three departments or with the same department but with different funding arrangements, and so that obviously creates a compliance burden, which is a function of the way government works. We have been doing a fair bit of work with Minister Butler, Treasury and Finance and Deregulation to try to work through some of the ways of how we can improve arrangements. You might be aware that we announced on 17 October that we would implement a report-once, use-often reporting framework by the ACNC and that we would support that with the Commonwealth Grant Guidelines. There have also been other arrangements in terms of contract management out of my portfolio from which I am happy to try to arrange a briefing. The intention is there—I do not want to overstate it, because having worked in this area for a while I know it is a lot easier to talk about red-tape reduction than actually deliver it. Delivering it requires quite a lot of work, but I think the bill before you and the commitments that the commissioner has given really indicates the approach the government is taking.