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JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT - 20/08/2008 - Effects of the ongoing dividend on smaller public sector agencies
JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT
Joint committee
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Effects of the ongoing dividend on smaller public sector agencies
Final

CHAIR (Ms Grierson) —I declare this meeting open. This is the first hearing of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit for its inquiry into the effect of the efficiency dividend on small agencies. The efficiency dividend was established 20 years ago. From the submissions made to the inquiry, it is clear that agencies take their budgetary responsibilities very seriously. It is also clear that agencies have sought to improve their processes and be more efficient under the dividend. In addition, the submissions demonstrate to the committee that agencies are keen to have a say on how the dividend affects them and their ability to provide their services. Further, it appears that some small agencies are now cutting services due to the prolonged effect of the dividend. This is a claim that the committee takes very seriously, and that is why we are here today.

Our nation has defined many aspects of its democracy by establishing these small agencies. Examples are the courts, the Auditor-General, the Ombudsman, the parliamentary departments and the Electoral Commission. Adequacy of funds for these agencies is always seen as essential for a healthy democracy. Today the committee will be meeting many of these agencies and discussing how the efficiency dividend has affected them.

 [9.20 am]