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Wednesday, 23 October 2002
Page: 5789

The PRESIDENT (7:18 PM) —Earlier this year the Speaker and the then President of the Senate commissioned the Parliamentary Service Commissioner, Mr Andrew Podger, to inquire into certain aspects of the administration of the parliament. On 30 September 2002, the commissioner provided his report to me and the Speaker. Before the Speaker and I make decisions in relation to the recommendations made in the report, we felt it important to provide it to all senators and members for their consideration. Accordingly, I will table the report, together with a copy of the commissioner's covering letter and a draft research paper prepared at the commissioner's request tracing the history of previous attempts to make structural changes within the parliamentary administration.

The Speaker and I intend to consider the matter further at the end of November, and I would welcome any written comments from senators by 22 November 2002. The Speaker and I have also written to the heads of the parliamentary departments asking them to circulate the report to all their staff. We would welcome written comments on the report's recommendations from those who serve the parliament as well as from any other interested parties by the same date, 22 November. Electronic copies of the documents I have just tabled will be made available shortly on the parliament's Internet site and can be found by going to the publications link on the parliament home page. My predecessor and I have kept the Senate Standing Committee on Appropriations and Staffing informed of progress with this review and I will send a copy of this report to the committee for its information. I table the report and other documents.