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Treasurer's DAS figures on "fightback" fail



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SENATOR W A R W IC K PARER LIBERAL SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

SHADOW MINISTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE A.C.T.

TREASURER’S DAS FIGURES ON "FIGHTBACK" FAIL

The Shadow Minister for Administrative Services, Senator Warwick Parer, said today that the Treasurer's dissection of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) savings as outlined in the Hewson "Fightback" package was flawed for the following reasons:

. The savings in the "Fightback" package were based on 1991 /92 Budget figures. To do otherwise would have been inherently risky.

. For some reason, probably because it suited his purposes, the Treasurer said it was not thought sensible to base estimates of net savings on the 1991/92 static base.

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For this reason the major savings in Asset Services, Project Services, Australian Property Group and minor savings in the Australian Valuation Office and AUSLIG were given a zero figure.

A cursory glance by the Treasurer at the DAS Annual Report and Business Plans would show that there are substantial achievements to be made in reducing excess staff. For example in Asset Services alone the Coalition plan is to reduce excess staff by 900 in the first year in Government as compared to the current employment figure.

The Coalition plan, based on 1991/92 figures is to rationalise the quasi commercial units of DAS in the first year and in the second year to purchase the goods and services required by Government in the competitive market rather than be in the business of actually doing the work.

All empirical studies show that by going this route the savings to the taxpayer in the second year vary from 20 - 40%, but conservatively 20%. The savings estimated by the coalition in the "Fightback" package average 15%.

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Contact: Warwick Parer (06) 277 3670 10 December 1991

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PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY