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Notice given 27 March 2006

*1650  Senator McLucas: To ask the Minister for Ageing—With reference to the 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05 Annual Reports of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency and their respective reporting on the numbers of ‘spot checks’:

(1) For each year listed above, and for 2005-06 to date, how many of these ‘spot checks’ were: (a) review audits with notice; (b) unannounced review audits; (c) support contacts with notice; and (d) unannounced support contacts.

 

 (2) How much notice is given for: (a) unannounced review audits; and (b) unannounced support contacts.

(3) Which of ‘unannounced review audits’ or ‘unannounced support contacts’ would be considered to be a ‘spot check’.

Senator Murray: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1651-*1652)—With reference to a report released by the Centre for Australian Ethical Research (CAER) in March 2006, Just how business is done? A review of Australian business’ approach to Bribery and Corruption :

(1) The CAER report notes sanctions in the United States of America (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) are more severe for companies and individuals engaging in bribery than those in Australia: (a) is this just a reflection of the generally weaker approach taken on this issue by the Australian Government; and (b) will the Government increase sanctions for bribery to match those of the US and UK.

(2) The CAER report notes that of the top 100 companies by market capitalisation in the UK, 92 per cent have explicitly prohibited giving and receiving bribes, in the US it is 80 per cent, in Europe it is 91 per cent, but in Australia it is approximately 50 per cent: what is the Government doing to bring Australian listed companies up to the standards of the UK, US and Europe.

(3) The CAER report notes that out of the S&P/ASX 100, 51 companies have explicitly prohibited their employees from giving and receiving bribes; only 18 companies have a policy prohibiting bribery and an appropriate system; and, only 5 companies have a policy prohibiting facilitation payments supported by an adequate system: (a) what is the Government doing to ensure all S&P/ASX 100 Australian companies take bribery and corruption seriously and have appropriate systems in place; and (b) what is the Government planning to do about bribery and corruption policies and systems in non-S&P/ASX 100 companies.

(4) The CAER report notes that the ASX does not currently suggest corruption as an issue for inclusion in business ethics codes: what is the Government doing to ensure the ASX takes more specific action on bribery and corruption in its codes.

(5) The CAER report notes that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Working Group on Bribery recently released a report on Australia’s application of international bribery conventions and that the report made a number of recommendations and highlighted a number of inconsistencies, including the inconsistent and vague way in which Australian law treats facilitation payments, in the way Australia approaches enforcing anti-corruption mandates: (a) what is the Government doing to ensure that Australia is seen to take bribery and corruption seriously; and (b) when will these recommendations and inconsistencies be dealt with.

*1651 Minister representing the Treasurer

*1652 Minister for Justice and Customs

*1653  Senator Fielding: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) Who is the Registrar of the Child Support Agency.

(2) If there is an individual holding the position of Registrar, who appointed this person.

 

 (3) (a) Which statutory instrument was used for this appointment; and (b) can a true and certified copy of the statutory instrument be provided; if not, why not.

Senator Allison: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1654-*1655)—

(1) (a) How much money has the Government provided to the Australian Centre of Excellence in Male Reproductive Health since 2000, including the 1999-2000 financial year; and (b) can a breakdown be provided showing the total amount for each financial year, including commitments to funds in the future.

(2) When is this funding due to expire.

(3) Does the Government intend to provide the Australian Centre of Excellence in Male Reproductive Health with more funding after this date; if so, how much funding and over what period will it be provided; if not, why not.

(4) Has any of the funding been used to address managing male fertility, including male contraception; if so, can details be provided.

(5) Has any of the funding been used for educational purposes on managing male fertility; if so, can details be provided.

(6) Has an equivalent sum of money been provided to any organisation specifically for women’s reproductive health; if so, can details of this organisation and its funding be provided.

*1654 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

*1655 Minister representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues

Senator Allison: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1656-*1657)—

(1) What amount of money has the Government provided to the Jean Hailes Foundation since 2000, including the 1999-2000 financial year.

(2) Can the Government confirm that its funding to the Jean Hailes Foundation for professional development for clinicians and community education primarily focused on the health and wellbeing of women aged between 35 and 65 years is due to expire at the end of June 2006.

(3) Does the Government intend providing the Jean Hailes Foundation with more funding after this date; if so, what will be the amount of that funding and over what period of time; if not: (a) why not; and (b) will an equivalent sum of money be provided to another organisation to continue professional development for clinicians and community education on the health and wellbeing of women aged between 35 and 65 years.

*1656 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

*1657 Minister representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues

Senator Allison: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1658-*1659)—With reference to the announcement on 9 January 2006 of the new Medicare item to fund antenatal checks by nurses, midwives and registered Aboriginal health workers in rural and remote Australia, in which it was indicated that the new Medicare item would be developed in consultation with members of the profession and introduced within the next 6 months:

(1) Is it still intended that this new item will be in place by the end of June 2006.

 

 (2) When will the Government commence consultation with members of the profession.

(3) What professional groups and organisations will be involved in this consultation process.

(4) What will this consultation process involve.

*1658 Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

*1659 Minister representing the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues

*1660  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Is the Minister aware of reports that the organs of executed prisoners in China are removed without their knowledge or consent and used for transplant purposes.

(2) What information does the Minister have on the validity of these reports.

(3) Has the Government investigated whether any Australian citizens have received organ transplants from executed prisoners in China; if so, what were the findings from this investigation; if not, why not.

(4) Has the Government investigated whether Australians are involved in overseas commercial organ transplant activities; if so, what were the findings from this investigation; if not, why not.

(5) What current laws regulate the involvement of Australians in commercial organ transplant activities in Australia and overseas.

*1661  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—

(1) Is the Minister aware that Pfizer has decided that it will not be making Olmetec available in Australia.

(2) Is the Minister aware that there are Australians who wish to have access to Olmetec who are not able to get access to the drug.

(3) What processes will the Government put in place to ensure that Australians will have access to Olmetec.

(4) Will patients be able to access this drug through the Special Access Scheme; if not, why not.

(5) Is the Minister aware that Pfizer has indicated that it will not be making Olmetec available as reference pricing has meant that the drug is not commercially viable in Australia.

(6) How many other drugs have not been made available in Australia even though they have been approved for release.

(7) How many other drugs have not been made available in Australia even though they have been recommended for funding.

*1662  Senator Allison: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs—

(1) What knowledge does the Australian Government have on Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s proclamation of a state of national emergency on 25 February 2006 and the holding of five members of the Philippine House of Representatives (Satur Ocampo, Teodoro Casino, Joel Virador, Liza Maza and Rafael Mariano) under threat of arrest.

 

 (2) (a) What representations has the Australian Government made to the Philippine Government in relation to this matter; and (b) if no representations have been made, why not.

(3) Has the Australian Government expressed concern over the holding of these democratically-elected members of parliament in the Philippines; if not, why not.

*1663  Senator Stott Despoja: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Education, Science and Training—

(1) (a) Can the Minister clarify the funding arrangements for the Workplace Productivity Programme; and (b) will the funding be derived from the voluntary student unionism transition funds promised by the then Minister, Dr Nelson, in 2005.

(2) When will the transition fund of $80 million over 3 years, promised by the then Minister be made available to universities.

(3) How will this money be allocated.

*1664  Senator Wong: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Vocational and Technical Education—

(1) On what date did the Minister decide to review the Government’s contracts with the National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (NCVER) for research and statistical collection.

(2) On what dates, and for what purposes, has the Minister met with representatives of the NCVER Ltd since 1 July 2005 and who attended each meeting.

(3) (a) At which of these meetings did the Minister express concern over the current operations of the NCVER; and (b) what was the nature and basis of the Minister’s concerns.

(4) At which of these meetings did the Minister raise the issue of the review of the NCVER.

(5) When was NCVER Ltd informed of the Government’s decision to review these contracts.

(6) (a) On what date is the review due to report; and (b) when will the report and recommendations be made public.