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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1225

Senator COONEY —I present the 266th report of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts. I seek leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

Senator COONEY —The Committee's 266th report details the Government's response to the Committee's 239th report on expenditure from the Advance to the Minister for Finance, Appropriation Acts 1983-84. The Advance to the Minister for Finance is a provision authorised by the annual Appropriation Acts. In this instance some $270m was made available to the Minister for issue in accordance with the terms of the appropriation in section 36a of the Audit Act. Each year the Committee examines expenditure from the Advance to the Minister for Finance. Such expenditure should be confined to urgent and foreseeable requirements for which provision could not have been made in the original or Additional Estimates. Among the matters covered in the report are problems and delays of the Department of Defence in meeting tax obligations, and difficulties in the staffing of positions and management of salaries in the Department of Territories. I commend the report.