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Wednesday, 3 June 1942


Senator E B JOHNSTON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -

I.   Who are the members of the Board of Business Administration, attached to the Defence Department?

2.   What are the duties of the said Board?

3.   What salaries, allowances, or fees are paid to the members thereof?

4.   When expenditure is desired by General MacArthur, General Blarney, Mr. Theodore, Mr. Essington Lewis, or the Ministers controlling the fighting services is it in any degree subject to the approval of this Board?

5.   If not, why is the Board retained?


Senator COLLINGS - The Treasurer, under whose department the Board of Business Administration now functions, has supplied the following answers: -

1.   The members are -Right Honorable Sir George Pearce, K.C.V.O., Chairman, F. W. Spry, H. F. Richardson, P. L. Coleman and H. M. Cremen. Messrs. H G. Brain and W. Sydney Jones are co-opted members for Navy and Air matters respectively, and Mr. A. D.J. Forster for special subjects.

2.   The powers and functions of the Board of Business Administration are set out in Regulation 9, National Security (Board of Business Administration)Regulations, as under : -

(a)   To advise concerning expenditure or proposed expenditure for any purpose connected with the defence of the Commonwealth or the prosecution of the present war, and to report as to the nature and scope of the expenditure and the organization and methods adopted or to be adopted to achieve the purpose for which the expenditure is required, and as to the possibility of effecting economies.

(6)   To report on the progress of defence preparations in relation to arms, armament, ammunition, equipment, stores, supplies and materials, and the effectiveness of the organization and methods employed in connexion with such preparations.

(c)   To report generally on the business organization and administration of the Departments with a view to promoting efficiency and economy.

(d)   To provide for such inspections as the board considers necessary to enable it to ascertain directly the situation in regard to matters in respect of which the board is required to advise or report, and to ensure that the administration of the departments is being carried out economically and efficiently.

(e)   To investigate and report on any matters referred to the board by the Department of the Treasury, or any of the departments, or by the Minister administering any of those departments; and

(f)   To submit reports on any matters which, in the opinion of the board, it is desirable to bring under the notice of the Minister.

3.   Sir GeorgePearce receives a salary of £500 per annum as chairman of the board. Mr. P. L. Coleman receives an allowance of £460 per annum for duties associated with the work of the board and the defence division of the Treasury. Other members do not receive any salary or fees as members of the board or any allowance other than for travelling expenses, if travelling on duty. 4 and 5. The board does not approve expenditure. It examines, from the business aspect, proposals costing over £10,000, and records its views for the information of the Minister.

The departments to which thu board's responsibilities for review extend are Navy, Army and Air, and Supply and Development in respect of supply matters directly affecting the service departments.

In cases of urgency, ,i proposal may be approved by the Minister or other approving authority, prior to reference to the Board of Business Administration. In such cases, the Board of Business Administration is immediately informed, and, after reviewing the project, furnishes its observations for the consideration of the Minister.







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