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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3266


The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT (Senator Barnett)—Pursuant to standing orders 38 and 166, I present documents as listed below which were presented to the President, the Deputy President and Temporary Chairmen of Committees since the Senate last sat. In accordance with the terms of the standing orders, the publication of the documents was authorised.

The list read as follows—

(a) Committee reports

1. Select Committee on the National Broadband Network--Fourth interim report, together with the Hansard record of proceedings and documents presented to the committee (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 18 May 2010, 5.11 pm).

2. Economics Legislation Committee--Report, together with the Hansard record of proceedings and documents presented to the committee--Trade Practices Amendment (Australian Consumer Law) Bill (No. 2) 2010 [Provisions] (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Ryan, on 21 May 2010, 11.10 am).

3. Select Committee on the National Broadband Network--Fourth interim report--Correction (presented to the President on 24 May 2010, 3.27 pm).

4. Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works--1st report of 2010--Proposed fit-out of new premises for the Australian Taxation Office at 735 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria (presented to the President on 26 May 2010, 9.52 pm).

5. Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee--Report—Consideration of time critical bills--Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Amendment Bill 2010 (presented to the President on 1 June 2010, 4.04 pm).

6. Economics Legislation Committee--Report—Consideration of time critical bills--Corporations Amendment (Corporate Reporting Reform) Bill 2010; Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Prudential Refinements and Other Measures) Bill 2010; Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Amendment Bill 2010; Tax Laws Amendment (2010 GST Administration Measures No. 3) Bill 2010; and Tax Laws Amendment (2010 Measures No. 3) Bill 2010 (presented to the President on 1 June 2010, 4.04 pm).

7. Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee--Report—Consideration of time critical bills--Export Market Development Grants Amendment Bill 2010; and Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2010 Budget Measures) Bill 2010 (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Forshaw, on 3 June 2010, 1 pm).

8. Economics Legislation Committee--Report—Consideration of time critical bills--Corporations Amendment (Sons of Gwalia) Bill 2010; Customs Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010; and Excise Tariff Amendment (Aviation Fuel) Bill 2010  (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Forshaw, on 3 June 2010, 4.45 pm).

9. Community Affairs Legislation Committee--Report, together with the Hansard record of proceedings, submissions, documents presented to the committee and additional information--Exposure draft and Paid Parental Leave Bill 2010 [Provisions] (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Forshaw, on 3 June 2010, 4.45 pm).

10. Standing Committee of Privileges--Report--Statutory secrecy provisions and parliamentary privilege - an examination of certain provisions of the Tax Laws Amendment (Confidentiality of Taxpayer Information) Bill 2009 (referred 18 March 2010) (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 4 June 2010, 9.45 am).

11. Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Legislation Committee--Report—Consideration of time critical bills--Farm Household Support Amendment (Ancillary Benefits) Bill 2010; and Primary Industries (Excise) Levies Amendment Bill 2010 (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 4 June 2010, 1.10 pm).

12. Environment, Communications and the Arts Legislation Committee--Interim report--Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2010 and related bills (presented to the President on 10 June 2010, 10.51 am).

(b) Government response to parliamentary committee report

Finance and Public Administration Committee—Report—Annual reports (No. 2 of 2007) (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Ryan, on 7 June 2010, 2.52 pm).

(c) Ministerial statement

Administration--Apporval of exemption from guidelines on information and campaign advertising by Australian Government departments and agencies--Statement by the Special Minister of State (Senator Ludwig) and related correspondence (presented to the President on 28 May 2010, 9.38 am; and temporary chair of committees, Senator Forshaw, on 3 June 2010, 3pm).

(d) Government documents

1. Estimates of proposed expenditure for 2010-11--Portfolio budget statements--Climate Change and Energy Efficiency portfolio--Corrigendum (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Troeth, on 20 May 2010, 2.31 pm).

2. Department of the Treasury--Car dealership financing special purpose vehicle--Financial report for the period 1 January to 31 March 2010 (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator McGauran, on 28 May 2010, 12.20 pm).

3. Estimates of proposed expenditure for 2010-11—Portfolio budget statements—Foreign Affairs and Trade portfolio--Corrigendum (presented to the President, on 31 May 2010, 9.24 am).

4. Estimates of proposed expenditure for 2010-11—Portfolio budget statements—Health and Ageing--Correction (presented to the President, on 1 June 2010, 10.59 am).

5. Budget Measures—Budget Paper No. 2—Corrigendum (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 4 June 2010, 1.10 pm).

(e) Reports of the Auditor-General

1. Report no. 34 of 2009-1-Performance audit--The management and use of double taxation agreement information collected through automatic exchange: Australian Taxation Office (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 18 May 2010, 11.10 am).

2. Report no. 35 of 2009-10-Performance audit--Administration of the Superannuation Co-contribution Scheme: Australian Taxation Office (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 18 May 2010, 11.10 am).

3. Report no. 36 of 2009-10--Performance audit--Emergency management and community recovery assistance in Centrelink: Centrelink and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Moore, on 19 May 2010, 12.08 pm).

4. Report no. 37 of 2009-10--Performance audit--Lightweight torpedo replacement project: Department of Defence (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Troeth, on 20 May 2010, 10.09 am).

5. Independent Auditor [KPMG]--Performance audit--Australian National Audit Office: IT performance review (presented to temporary chair of committees, Senator Troeth, on 20 May 2010, 10.09 am).

6. Report no. 38 of 2009-10--Campaign advertising review: July 2009 - March 2010 (presented to the President on 21 May 2010, 9.28 am).

7. Report no. 37 of 2009-10--Performance audit--Lightweight torpedo replacement project: Department of Defence--Correction (presented to the Deputy President on 11 June 2010, 11.40 am CST).

(f) Returns to order

1. Taxation--Australia’s Future Tax System--Government’s response [Note: motion of the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Senator Abetz, agreed to 13 May 2010] (presented to the President on 26 May 2010, 4.45 pm).

2. Environment--Home Insulation Program [2] [Note: motions of Senator Birmingham agreed to 12 May 2010] (presented to the President on 27 May 2010, 9.29 am).

(g) Letters of advice relating to Senate orders

1. Letters of advice relating to lists of departmental and agency appointments/vacancies:

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts [2] (received 14 and 17 May 2010)

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Arts (received 14 May 2010)

Attorney-General’s portfolio agencies (received 14 May 2010)

Department of Human Services (received 17 May 2010)

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (received 17 May 2010)

Australian National Audit Office (received 17 May 2010)

Australian Public Service Commission (received 18 May 2010)

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (received 18 May 2010)

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (received 18 May 2010)

Finance and Deregulation portfolio agencies [2] (the second letter is a correction (received 18 May and 4 June 2010)

*Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio agencies (received 18 May 2010)

National Archives of Australia (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Privacy Commissioner (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (received 18 May 2010)

Old Parliament House (received 18 May 2010)

Department of the Treasury (received 18 May 2010)

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (received 20 May 2010)

* Department of Defence (received 21 May 2010)

Health and Ageing portfolio agencies (received 21 May 2010)

Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio agencies (received 21 May 2010)

Office of National Assessments (received 27 May 2010)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [separate letters] (received 1 June 2010)

Finance and Deregulation portfolio agencies—Corrected (received 4 June 2010)

2. Letters of advice relating to lists of departmental and agency grants:

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts [2] (received 14 and 17 May 2010)

Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government (received 14 May 2010)

Human Services portfolio agencies (received 17 May 2010)

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (received 17 May 2010)

Attorney-General’s portfolio agencies [2] (the second letter being additional information) (received 18 May and 10 June 2010)

Australian National Audit Office (received 18 May 2010)

Australian Public Service Commission (received 18 May 2010)

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (received 18 May 2010)

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (received 18 May 2010)

Finance and Deregulation portfolio agencies (received 18 May 2010)

*Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio agencies [2] (the second letter is a correction) (received 18 and 31 May 2010)

National Archives of Australia (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Privacy Commissioner (received 18 May 2010)

Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (received 18 May 2010)

Old Parliament House (received 18 May 2010)

Department of the Treasury (received 18 May 2010)

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (received 20 May 2010)

* Department of Defence (received 21 May 2010)

Health and Ageing portfolio agencies [3] (the second and third letters are amendments to the original letter) (received 21 May and 1 and 3 June 2010)

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (received 21 May 2010)

Office of National Assessments (received 27 May 2010)

Innovation, Industry, Science and Research portfolio agencies—Correction (received 31 May 2010)

Health and Ageing portfolio agencies—Amended (received 1 June 2010)

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [separate letters] (received 3 June 2010)

Health and Ageing portfolio agencies—Corrigendum (received 3 June 2010)

*   One letter covers both Senate orders

In accordance with the usual practice and with the concurrence of the Senate I ask that the government response be incorporated in Hansard.

The document read as follows—

SENATE FINANCE AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION LEGISLATION COMMITTEE

ANNUAL REPORTS (No. 2 of 2007)

Government Response to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Public Administration Report - Annual Reports (No. 2 of 2007)

Recommendation 1  

The committee recommends that the Health Services Australia Group include comments from external audits in all future annual reports.

The ownership of HSA and its subsidiaries (HSA Group) was transferred to Medibank Private Limited on 1 April 2009.  As a result of that transfer, HSA Group is no longer required to table a standalone annual report.  Its report on operations and financial results will be incorporated into the Medibank Annual Report, including consolidated financial statements.

Notwithstanding the above, the HSA Group has always prepared its annual reports in accordance with the requirements of: the Corporations Act 2001; the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997; the Governance Arrangements for Commonwealth Government Business Enterprises; and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  There is no requirement to include comments from external audits and the HSA Group has not deviated from what is prescribed for inclusion in annual reports.

In addition, there is already a mechanism in place for the Australian National Audit Office to table a report on matters of significance found during the course of their audits and this recommendation would result in duplication.

Recommendation 2

The committee recommends that all Commonwealth departments and bodies include a detailed account of the organisation’s contracts and consultancies which is easily identified within their annual report.

The Government considers that information on procurement contracts and consultancies should be publicly available, with a materiality threshold of $10,000.  Rather than including a detailed account of contracts and consultancies in the annual reports of all Commonwealth departments and bodies, the Government considers that AusTender, which is the Australian Government’s central on-line portal for reporting procurement information, provides significant and sufficient transparency in procurement reporting that meets the intent of the recommendation.  Agencies are required to report information on contracts, including consultancies, on AusTender within six weeks of a contract being entered into.

Recommendation 3

The committee recommends that the Australian Accounting Standards Board amend AASB 124 so that it includes a requirement for Commonwealth companies to disclose in their annual reports, the number of directors and the number of senior executives that fall within $10,000 income bands.

AASB 124 Related Party Disclosures applies to all types of reporting entities other than public sector not-for-profit entities.  Accordingly, AASB 124 would apply to Public Non-Financial Corporations under the classifications employed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics such as Medibank Private and Australia Post.

AASB 124 includes a range of disclosure requirements, including the requirement to disclose aggregate key management personnel compensation in five categories.  The   Standard superseded by AASB 124 required disclosure within $10,000 remuneration bands, but this requirement was not included in AASB 124 as it is not a requirement of International Financial Reporting Standards.

The Finance Minister’s Orders (section 22) still require disclosures of director and executive remuneration within $15,000 bands, but that for-profit Commonwealth entities are exempted from this requirement provided they comply with AASB 124.

Since 2007, AASB decided not to expand the scope of its project to develop a Standard on related party disclosures for not-for-profit public sector entities to for-profit public sector entities.  This is on the basis that the AASB considers all for-profit entities should be required to achieve compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards, which in the Australian context includes AASB 124.

Ordered that the committee reports and corrections be printed.