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Notice given 25 February 2003

1202  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the department’s evidence to the Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee on 10 February 2003 concerning under-reporting of executive remuneration in the department’s 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial statements:

(1) On what day did the department seek advice from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) about whether the under-reporting constituted a ‘material breach’.

(2) Which officer sought that advice.

(3) Was the request oral or written.

(4) On what day did the ANAO provide advice to the department.

(5) Which officer provided this advice.

(6) What was the content of this advice.

(7) Was this advice oral or written.

(8) If oral, can confirmation of this advice be provided; if not, why not.

(9) If written, can a copy of this advice be provided.

(10) Has the department sought advice from the ANAO on whether it is necessary to issue a corrigendum to the 2000-01 and 2001-02 financial statements: (a) if so: (i) on what day was this advice sought, (ii) which officer sought this advice, and (iii) was the request for this advice oral or written; and (b) if not, (i) from which agency was this advice sought, (ii) which officer sought this advice, and (iii) was the request oral or written.

(11) On what day was advice on the matter of the corrigendum received.

(12) What was the content of this advice.

(13) Was this advice oral or written.

(14) Which officer and agency provided this advice.

(15) What specific change to departmental procedures has occurred since the under-reporting of executive remuneration was revealed in November 2002.

1203  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the department’s portfolio additional estimates statements for the 2002-03 financial year:

(1) Why has the estimate of revenue from the all milk levy increased by $5 509 000 from $30 000 000 to $35 509 000.

(2) Can the data for the revised estimate be provided.

1204  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—With reference to the Minister’s media statement AFFA03/033WT:

(1) To what time period does the expenditure in the ‘EC Expenditure’ column relate.

(2) Can an explanation of the figures, including a state and financial year breakdown, be provided.

1208  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—What was the date of formation and what is the composition of the following committees involving departmental staff working on the development of a free trade agreement between the United States of America and Australia: (a) Deputy Secretary-Level Committee; (b) Officials Committee on Agriculture; and (c) Industry-Government Committee.

1209  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—

(1) On what date did the department first receive a request from the Department of Finance and Administration (DOFA) for payment of $1 144.64 relating to the Minister’s police escort during a 2002 visit to the Philippines.

(2) On what dates have the department and DOFA communicated in relation to this matter.

(3) Has the department complied with the request from DOFA for payment of this account; if so, when was the account paid; if not, why not.

(4) Did the negotiation of heavy traffic facilitated by the police escort enable the Minister to attend his key meetings on time.

1211  Senator O’Brien: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry—In relation to the administration of Australia’s United States (US) beef quota:

(1) Why is it that the US Customs figures do not correspond with export figures maintained by the department for the 2002 quota year.

(2) What are the details of the 5 500 tonne discrepancy for the 2002 quota year, on a month-by-month basis.

(3) When did the department first become aware that the Australian quota would be under-filled for the 2002 quota year.

(4) How will the 5 500 tonnes of quota be allocated.

(5) On what date or dates did the department consult with US authorities on this proposal.

(6) (a) On what date or dates did the department consult with Australian beef exporters on this proposal; and (b) which exporters were consulted.

(7) What action has been taken to ensure the discrepancy between Australian and US export figures does not recur in the 2003 quota year.