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Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Page: 4245


Mr IAN MACFARLANE (Groom) (17:19): I ask leave of the House to make a statement on behalf of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit concerning the draft budget estimates for the Australian National Audit Office and the Parliamentary Budget Office for 2016-17 and also to present a copy of my statement.

Leave granted.

Mr IAN MACFARLANE: Each year the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is required by legislation to consider the draft budget estimates for the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Australian National Audit Office and make recommendations to both houses of parliament. I rise today to fulfil this requirement and make a statement on whether the committee considers that the proposed funding for these offices is sufficient to carry out their respective mandates.

With regard to the Parliamentary Budget office, the committee has been informed that the PBO is not seeking supplementation for 2016-17 beyond the expected additional departmental appropriation of $6.9 million. The PBO plans to supplement these funds with a draw-down of approximately $1.2 million from their special appropriation. Whilst noting that the PBO has seen a substantial increase in its workload over the course of the current financial year, the Parliamentary Budget Office has advised the committee that the PPO's resources are adequate to meet its viabilities. The committee endorses the proposed 2016-17 budget for the PBO and commends the PBO for its high-quality work in support of parliamentarians and the public.

With regard to the Australian National Audit Office, the committee has been informed that the ANAO is not seeking supplementation for the 2016-17 years beyond the anticipated total revenue from government of $74 million. The Auditor-General has advised the committee that the ANAO's resources are adequate for the 2016-17 years and that he anticipates completing approximately 48 performance audits over that period. The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act focus is on enhanced performance measures. The reporting highlights the importance of the ANAO's performance audits. Over the financial year, the Auditor-General plans to exercise the full range of powers available to him under legislation by commencing audits of the annual performance statements of Commonwealth entities, as well as potentially conducting performance audits of Commonwealth partners and government business enterprises. The committee endorses the proposed budget for the ANAO for the 2016-17 years and commends the ANAO for the high-quality work and focus on performance frameworks.

In conclusion, the committee will continue to closely monitor the work of the programs and the draft budget estimates of the PBO and ANAO. As independent authorities, the PBO and ANAO need to be sufficiently funded to fulfil their legislative requirements and adequately support the parliament. The committee appreciates the effort of both the Parliamentary Budget Office and the Auditor-General in maintaining strong working relationships with the parliament and, particularly, with this committee. They have made themselves available for regular briefings and provided invaluable advice to the committee on a variety of matters. The committee looks forward to continuing these productive relationships.

I present a copy of my statement to the House.