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Tuesday, 24 June 2003
Page: 17313

Mr CHARLES (4:26 PM) —by leave—I present the following executive minutes on reports Nos 374, 385, 388 and 389 of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. I ask leave of the House to make a statement in connection with the minutes.

Leave granted.

Mr CHARLES —On behalf of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, I present executive minutes for reports Nos 374, 385, 388 and 389. The first of these, report No. 374, reviewed the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 and the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997. The report focused on whether the legislation has met the needs of the new financial management framework and the needs of the public sector, whether it remained consistent with other Commonwealth and state legislation and whether accountability to parliament has been maintained. The second report, No. 385, was the Review of the Auditor-General's reports 2000-2001: second and third quarters. This report examined three performance audits of the Auditor-General, which focused on the Australian Taxation Office internal fraud control arrangements, fraud control in Defence and Defence estate facilities operations.

The third report, No. 388, reviewed the accrual budget documentation. This report reviewed the effectiveness of, and options for enhancing the format and content of, the current budget documentation including the portfolio budget statements, annual reports and the portfolio additional estimates for the purposes of parliamentary scrutiny. The fourth report, No. 389, was the Review of Auditor-General's reports 2000-2001: fourth quarter. This quarterly report examined four performance audits of the Auditor-General, which focused on Australian Defence Force Reserves, assessment of new claims for the age pension by Centrelink, Family and Community Services' oversight of Centrelink's assessment of new claims for the age pension and performance information for Commonwealth financial assistance under the Natural Heritage Trust.

In total, the committee made 24 recommendations in these reports. Of these recommendations, 15 were of an administrative nature. I am pleased to report to the House that the executive has fully agreed or agreed in principle to 12 of those 15 recommendations. I am pleased with the high rate of support for the committee's recommendations, as indicated in these executive minutes. However, in addition to noting the executive minutes in this way, the committee will at various times seek to monitor the extent to which recommendations have been implemented.