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Thursday, 22 October 1964

Senator WEDGWOOD (Victoria) -! present the following reports of the Public Accounts Committee -

Sixty-seventh Report - Treasury Minutes of the Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Fifty-eighth Reports,' together with summaries of those Reports.

Sixty-eighth Report - Expenditure from Advance to the Treasurer (Appropriation Bill 1963-64).

I ask for leave to make a statement.

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon. Sir Alister McMullin). - There being no objection, leave is granted.

Senator WEDGWOOD(Victoria).- The Sixty-seventh Report sets out the recommendations contained in the Twenty-first, Twenty-second, and Fifty-eighth Reports of the Committee, together with the Treasury Minutes that it has received and considered. In the Sixty-fifth Report, the Committee referred to an undertaking given by the Department of the Treasury to supply it with a half-yearly report on outstanding Treasury Minutes, indicating progress made by the departments in dealing with the Committee's comments. The first such report was submitted to the Committee on 26lh August 1964.

The Sixty-eighth Report presents the results of the Committee's investigations into expenditure from the Advance to the Treasurer for the year ended 30th June 1964. Public hearings were held in connection with selected items and the Committee's comments appear at the conclusion of the report on each separate item. This information is contained in chapter II of the report. In chapter III of the report the Committee has made certain general observations regarding the quality of the evidence submitted by departments. During the course of the inquiry, the representatives of the Treasury undertook to prepare, in collaboration with the Committee's staff, a suitable pro forma statement and to circulate copies of this to departments for their guidance. It is hoped that this will result in an improvement in the quality of material submitted to the Committee for its examination.

Ordered that the reports be printed.

Sitting suspended from 5.43 to 8 p.m.

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