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Wednesday, 1 April 1987
Page: 1680

(Question No. 1514)


Senator Archer asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 13 November 1986:

Did the Government on 9 January 1986 advise the ABCI and/or the APMC of the decision not to provide additional staff; if so, on what grounds was this decision based.


Senator Tate —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

The ABCI was allocated its Average Operative Staffing Level in the 1985-86 Budget.

In August 1985 the Director, ABCI, estimated that the proposed purchase of Rank Zerox equipment would result in substantial efficiency gains, including increases in staff productivity.

By 9 January 1986 it had come to notice that, despite contrary assurances given by the Director, ABCI, computer equipment proposals alone would exceed the allocated Drug Summit $1.5m.

The Secretary of my Department then advised the Chairman of the Management Committee on 9 January 1986 that ``I have been investigating various possibilities of bringing additional resources to bear on the design and development of the law enforcement component of the Drug Data Base.

An analysis of the ABCI salaries vote for 1985-86 has revealed a strong probability of a substantial underspend for the year. The underspend will occur due to delays experienced in recruitment of ADP staff. I would recommend that these funds be used to employ consultants/contract programmers to work on development/design activities''.

During 1985-86 consultants were commissioned to examine and report on, amongst other matters, the resource requirements of the ABCI. These reports were considered by the Australian Police Ministers' Council on 5 December 1986 and a Ministerial Sub-Committee (Commonwealth, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania) has been directed to further consider and report back to Council in the near future.