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Friday, 22 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I should like to knowwhat custom obtains in connexion with the auditing of the accounts of our Commonwealth Departments. So far as I have been able to peruse the official reports from the Auditor-General, my impression is that he is behind with various audits ; in some cases, to the extent of a year or eighteen months. In view of the report of that officer himself, and of the disclosures which have recently been made in connexion with the activities of other Departments, I think that the Auditor-General's Department should be strengthened - irrespective of the cost that may be involved - to such an extent as will enable him to carry out continuous audits of the accounts of Departments which are responsible forheavy expenditure. It is not in the interests of true economy thatwe should stintthe AuditorGeneral of any expenditure that may be necessary to provide him with the assistance that be requires.

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