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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 13887


Mr BRADBURY (LindsayAssistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation) (09:56): I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

The Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 4) 2012 amends five acts across three portfolios.

It is the 12th financial framework legislation amendment bill since 2004. It forms part of an ongoing program to address financial framework issues as they are identified and helps ensure that specific provisions in existing legislation remain clear and up to date.

Keeping the existing financial framework legislation up to date is also consistent with the reforms foreshadowed in the government's proposed Commonwealth financial accountability review.

First, the bill amends the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 to substitute references to 'Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines' with 'guidelines in relation to procurement', given the recent change in the name of the guidelines to the Commonwealth Procurement Rules.

Second, the bill amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 to provide the director of national parks with greater autonomy to enter into contracts with an increased threshold of $1 million from the current $250,000.

Third, the bill amends the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 to establish a special appropriation for the purpose of making remissions or refunds of import levies and manufacture levies, including those related to synthetic greenhouse gas management equipment.

Fourth, the bill establishes a framework for dealing with overpayments, within the Papua New Guinea (Staffing Assistance) Act 1973. This will address instances where payments are made from an annual appropriation to recipients, that are not, in practice, consistent with the requirements or preconditions imposed by this act and risk breaching section 83 of the Constitution. This amendment flows from the amendments delivered by the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 2012.

Finally, the bill amends the Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951 to update labels of defined terms 'the Chairman' and 'the Vice-Chairman' with the gender neutral terms 'Chair' and 'Deputy Chair'.

This bill represents another step to help ensure that specific areas of the Commonwealth's financial framework remain effective and up to date.

Debate adjourned.