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Community Affairs Legislation Committee
04/06/2013
Estimates
HUMAN SERVICES PORTFOLIO

HUMAN SERVICES PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator McLucas, Minister for Human Services

Department of Human Services

Executive

Ms Kathryn Campbell, Secretary

Outcome 1

Mr Ben Rimmer, Associate Secretary, Service Delivery Transformation and Performance Group

Ms Elizabeth Zealand, General Manager, Service Delivery Transformation Division

Mr Tam Shepherd, General Manager, Future Service Design Division

Ms Sheryl Lewin, General Manager, Service Delivery Performance and Quality Division

Mr Kim Terrell, General Manager, Service Delivery Projects Division

Mr Grant Tidswell, Deputy Secretary, Service Delivery Operations Group

Mr Graham Maloney, General Manager, Face to Face Service Delivery Division

Ms Roxanne Ramsey, General Manager, Indigenous, Regional and Intensive Services Division

Mr David Mole, General Manager, Families and Child Support Smart Centres

Mr Jeff Popple, Deputy Secretary, Rehabilitation and Compliance Group

Mr Mark Withnell, General Manager, Business Integrity Division

Ms Jennifer Cooke, General Manager, Recovery, Health and Business Compliance Division

Mr Gary Moorhead, Acting General Manager, Strategic Information Division

Ms Sue Kruse, Acting Deputy Secretary, Health and Service Delivery Reform Group

Ms Alice Jones, General Manager, Business Services Division

Ms Brenda Parkes, General Manager, Health Programs Division

Ms Michelle Wilson, General Manager, Service Delivery Reform and Aged Care Division

Mr Barry Sandison, Deputy Secretary, Participation, Families and Older Australians Group

Ms Catherine Rule, General Manager, Participation Division

Ms Vicki Beath, General Manager, Service Strategy and Policy Division

Ms Sue Chapman, General Manager, Families Division

Mr Russell Egan, Acting General Manager, Disability, Carers and Older Australians Division

Ms Barbara Bennett, Deputy Secretary, Enabling Services Group

Mr Neil Skill, Acting General Manager, Corporate Operations Division

Mr Hank Jongen, General Manager, Communication Division

Ms Sue Bird, Chief Counsel, Legal Services Division

Ms Jo Talbot, Acting General Manager, People Services Division

Ms Jacqui Curtis, General Manager, People Capability Division

Mr Jonathan Hutson, General Manager, Whole of Government Coordination Division

Mr Paul Hupalo, National Manager, Portfolio Agency Advice Branch

Ms Malisa Golightly, Deputy Secretary, CIO Group

Ms Melissa McClusky, General Manager, ICT Business Services

Mr Mike Brett, Acting General Manager, ICT Infrastructure

Mr Darren Box, Chief Financial Officer, CFO Division

Mr Allan Gaukroger, General Manager, Audit Division

Australian Hearing

Mr Steven Grundy, Managing Director

Ms Michele Clapin, Executive Manager, Clinical Practice

Ms Gina Mavrias, Executive Manager, Network

CHAIR ( Senator Moore ): I welcome the officers from Human Services. Our committee is considering the budget estimates for the Human Services portfolio. The committee must report to the Senate on 25 June 2013 and has set Friday, 26 July, as the date for the return of answers to questions taken on notice. Senators are reminded that any written questions on notice should be provided to the committee secretariat by close of business Friday, 14 June.

Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings and if you need any assistance the secretariat has copies of them. I particularly draw attention to the Senate order of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised, and which I now incorporate into Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

(b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)

CHAIR: I welcome the Minister, Senator Jan McLucas, the departmental secretary, Ms Kathryn Campbell, and the officers of the department. Do you wish to make an opening statement, Minister?

Senator McLucas: No.

CHAIR: Ms Campbell, do you wish to make an opening statement?

Ms Campbell : No.