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Monday, 21 May 2012
Page: 4692

Mrs D'ATH (Petrie) (10:25): I rise to speak briefly on the report that has just been tabled by the member for Lyne and Chair of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit: Review of the 2010-11 Defence Materiel Organisation major projects report. The chair has already outlined how these reports have transpired over the last few years, and the fact that the 2010-11 Defence Materiel Organisation major projects report is the fourth MPR to be produced by the DMO and the third to be reviewed and reported on by the committee. Therefore, the committee has had the opportunity, as stated by the chair, to continue to monitor and evaluate issues raised in previous inquiries.

This experience in examining the functioning of the DMO major projects report over time has enabled the committee to make recommendations that will improve the quality of the MPR and increase its usefulness for external stakeholders. It is a positive step forward that the DMO and the Australian National Audit Office have reached an agreement that financial data based in date dollars are now to be reported in out-turned dollar terms, which should lead to better reporting. I expect there will still be ongoing discussions as to how that is presented within the report, but it is certainly a positive step forward and should see audit reports now being presented that are largely unqualified, which was the sticking point in past reports that the committee has received.

Of course, there are still improvements in internal management systems across projects that need to be undertaken in this area and, as the chair has stated, the committee will continue to monitor and work with the DMO and the ANAO to achieve these outcomes. The committee has made three recommendations to improve the quality of information provided to the public via the major projects reports, and these recommendations have just been outlined by the chair in tabling the report.

The chair has also stated that the DMO has made improvements in reporting through the MPR over the past few years, and this is a positive step forward. It is not an easy document to read, but we are talking about billions of dollars of investment in major projects for the Defence Force. This document provides an opportunity for the committee to further investigate whether the stakeholders understand the document and whether it is providing transparency and readability for those stakeholders in the way the report is tabled. I look forward to having some discussions with those stakeholders in the future to see if there are further improvements that can be made to the report.

However, there is more to be done. The committee will continue to work with the DMO and the ANAO to get everything right, as the chair has stated. I thank the chair for all of his work with this committee and the non-partisan way in which the committee operates, and I thank the secretariat for its ongoing support. I commend the report to the House.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms AE Burke ): Does the member for Lyne wish to move a motion in connection with the report to enable it to be debated on a later occasion?


That the House take note of the report.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 39, the debate is adjourned. The resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.