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Wednesday, 8 September 1920

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - On the 26th August, the honorable member for Kennedy (Mr. McDonald) asked whether I would obtain from the Auditor-General the following information : -

1.   Were the Australian Imperial Force accounts in England and abroad audited by his Department?

2.   Were any pay sheets missing, and to what amount?

3.   Is the staff, in the opinion of the AuditorGeneral, sufficient in an efficient and expeditious manner to cope with the work to be performed ?

The Auditor-General has furnished me with the following: -

1.   The Australian Imperial Force accounts in England and abroad were audited by a Defence staff, but under an authority issued by the Auditor-General under the Audit Act. The results were made available to the AuditorGeneral as though the staff were actually the AuditorGeneral's staff.

2.   The total amount on missing pay-sheets (including several unsigned amounts on paysheets produced) was £7,729 10s. 6d.

3.   A number of positions in the Audit Office occupied by temporary clerks await the appointment of permanent officers. In addition, application has been made for appointment of several clerks to cope with increasing work in Departments. Inquiry is being made as to whether it is not desirable to increase the Stores Inspecting Staff. Subject to these remarks it is considered by the Auditor-General that his staff is an efficient one at present for coping with the audit work.

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