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Wednesday, 15 May 1985
Page: 2008

Senator COONEY —I present report 230 of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of Public Accounts-Auditor-General's report 1980-81-Response.

Ordered that the report be printed.

Senator COONEY —by leave-Report 230 contains the response to the Committee's 209th report, in the form of a Department of Finance minute sent to the Committee by the Minister for Finance. Honourable senators will recall that the Committee's 209th report, which examined reports of the Auditor-General 1980-81, was tabled on 8 November 1983. The Committee's conclusions and recommendations concerned the Audit Act requirements regarding Governor-General's warrants; and the administration by the Department of Social Security of the national benefits system and the homeless persons assistance program. The Committee is satisfied with the responses provided by the departments concerned.

As a result of the Committee's recommendations, the departments of Social Security and Housing and Construction have: Developed a new formula for assessing subsidy levels for proposed facilities; replaced the homeless persons assistance program with the supported accommodation assistance program, SAAP; completed and printed the homeless persons assistance program guidelines; provided, under the new crisis accommodation program, CAP, housing capital funds for the supported accommodation assistance program, SAAP, services; stated their willingness to undertake regular evaluation studies on existing homeless persons, facilities to assess past design decisions.

The Department of Social Security responded to the Committee's recommendations regarding the national benefits system by instituting a project control system, MAPPS, and investigating its use to ensure proper recording of resources utilisation. In addition, a national back-up computer strategy has been implemented. The Department of Finance, in consultation with the Auditor-General, is considering simplification of the warrant procedures to be introduced during 1985. I commend this report to honourable senators.