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Public Accounts Committee Act - Joint Committee of Public Accounts - Reports - Finance Minute on the 172nd Report-Financing and administration of property owned or leased by the Commonwealth Government (195th)


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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

JOINT COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS

One Hundred and ninety-fifth Report

Finance Minute on Report 1 7 2 - Financing and Administration of Property owned or leased by the Commonwealth Government

Presented and ordered to be printed 20 April 1982

Parliamentary Paper No. 86/1982

Finance Minute on Report 172 — Financing and Administration of Property Owned or Leased by the Commonwealth Government

Report

195 Joint Committee of Public Accounts

Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 1982

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THE P A R L I A M E N T OF THE C O M M O N W E A L T H OF A U S T R A L I A

J O I N T C O M M I T T E E OF P U B L I C A C C O U N T S

1 9 5 T H R E P O R T

F I N A N C E M I N U T E ON THE C O M M I T T E E ' S 1 7 2 N D R E P O R T -

F I N A N C I N G AN D A D M I N I S T R A T I O N OF P R O P E R T Y

O W N E D OR L E A S E D BY THE C O M M O N W E A L T H G O V E R N M E N T

A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t P u b l i s h i n g S e r v i c e

C A N B E R R A 19 82

© Commonwealth of Australia 1982

Printed by C.J. T h o m p s o n , Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra

J O I N T C O M M I T T E E OF P U B L I C A C C O U N T S

T H I R T E E N T H C O M M I T T E E

D.M. C O N N O L L Y , M.P. ( C h a i r m a n )

S E N A T O R G. G E O R G E S , ( V i c e - C h a i r m a n )

S E N A T O RM.E. L A J O V I C J.M. B R A D F I E L D , M.P.

S E N A T O RJ-O. W. W A T S O N M. J. DU F F Y , M.P.

R. J. K E L L Y, M.P.

S. A. L U S H E R , M . P. *

P.D. SHAC K, M.P.

G.E.J. T A M R L I N G , M.P

DR A.C. T H E O P H A N O U S ,

* E x - o f f i c i o m e m b e r b e i n g C h a i r m a n ,

H o u s e of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s S t a n d i n g

C o m m i t t e e on E x p e n d i t u r e .

( iii )

D U T I E S OF THE C O M M I T T E E

S e c t i o n 8. (1 ) of the P u b l i c A c c o u n t s C o m m i t t e e Act 1951 r e a d s as

fo ll ow s :

8.(1) S u b j e c t to s u b - s e c t i o n (2), the d u t i e s of the C o m m i t t e e

are:

( a) to e x a m i n e the a c c o u n t s of the r e c e i p t s and

e x p e n d i t u r e of the C o m m o n w e a l t h i n c l u d i n g the

f i n a n c i a l s t a t e m e n t s t r a n s m i t t e d to the A u d i t o r -

G e n e r a l u n d e r s u b - s e c t i o n (4) of s e c t i o n 50 of the

A u d i t Act 1901;

(aa) to e x a m i n e the f i n a n c i a l a f f a i r s of a u t h o r i t i e s of

the C o m m o n w e a l t h to w h i c h t h is Act a p p l i e s an d of

i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l b o d i e s to w h i c h th is Act a p p l i e s ;

(a b ) to e x a m i n e all r e p o r t s of the A u d i t o r - G e n e r a l

( i n c l u d i n g r e p o r t s of the r e s u l t s of e f f i c i e n c y

a u d i t s ) c o p i e s of w h i c h h a v e b e e n laid b e f o r e the

H o u s e s of the P a r l i a m e n t ;

(b) to r e p o r t to b o t h H o u s e s of the P a r l i a m e n t , w i t h su ch

c o m m e n t as it t h i n k s fit, any i t e m s or m a t t e r s in

t h o s e a c c o u n t s , s t a t e m e n t s and r e p o r t s , or any

c i r c u m s t a n c e s c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e m , to w h i c h the

C o m m i t t e e is of th e o p i n i o n t h at the a t t e n t i o n of the

P a r l i a m e n t s h o u l d be d i r e c t e d ;

(c) to r e p o r t to b o th H o u s e s of the P a r l i a m e n t any

a l t e r a t i o n w h i c h the C o m m i t t e e t h i n k s d e s i r a b l e in

the fo rm of the p u b l i c a c c o u n t s or in the m e t h o d of

k e e p i n g t h e m , or in the m o d e of r e c e i p t , c o n t r o l ,

i s s u e or p a y m e n t of p u b l i c m o n e y s ; and

(d) to i n q u i r e in to any q u e s t i o n in c o n n e x i o n w i t h the

p u b l i c a c c o u n t s w h i c h is r e f e r r e d to it by e i t h e r

H o u s e of the P a r l i a m e n t , and to r e p o r t to t h at Ho use

u p on th at q u e s t i o n ,

and i n c l u d e su ch o t h e r d u t i e s as are a s s i g n e d to the C o m m i t t e e by

J o in t S t a n d i n g O r d e r s a p p r o v e d by b o t h H o u s e s of the P a r l i a m e n t

(v)

PREFACE

A r r a n g e m e n t s to e n s u r e t h a t a p p r o p r i a t e a c t i o n is

t a k e n a r i s i n g f r o m c o m m e n t s c o n t a i n e d in t h e C o m m i t t e e ' s

R e p o r t s h a v e b e e n in o p e r a t i o n s i n c e 1 9 5 2 a l t h o u g h r e v i e w e d

p e r i o d i c a l l y . T h e s e w e r e k n o w n a s T r e a s u r y M i n u t e

a r r a n g e m e n t s .

F o l l o w i n g t h e c r e a t i o n of t h e D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e

on 7 D e c e m b e r 1 9 7 6 it w a s a g r e e d t h a t t h e a r r a n g e m e n t s s h o u l d

c o n t i n u e as b e f o r e a nd s h o u l d n o w be k n o w n as t he D e p a r t m e n t

of F i n a n c e M i n u t e .

As t h e y n o w s t a n d t he p r o c e d u r e s are:

1. The R e p o r t o f t h e C o m m i t t e e is t a b l e d by th e C h a i r m a n

in t he H o u s e of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s and by a M e m b e r of

th e C o m m i t t e e in t h e S e n a t e . M o t i o n s ar e m o v e d in

b o t h H o u s e s o f t h e P a r l i a m e n t t h a t t h e R e p o r t be

p r i n t e d as a P a r l i a m e n t a r y P a p e r .

2. The C h a i r m a n of t h e C o m m i t t e e t h e r e a f t e r f o r w a r d s a

c o p y o f t h e R e p o r t to t h e M i n i s t e r of t h e D e p a r t m e n t s

a f f e c t e d an d to t he M i n i s t e r for F i n a n c e w i t h a

r e q u e s t t h a t he g i v e t h e R e p o r t h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n an d

i n f o r m the C h a i r m a n of the a c t i o n t a k e n to d e a l w i t h

t h e C o m m i t t e e ' s c o n c l u s i o n s .

3. The r e p l y r e c e i v e d , in the f o r m of a D e p a r t m e n t of

F i n a n c e M i n u t e , is t h e n e x a m i n e d by th e C o m m i t t e e

an d, t o g e t h e r w i t h t he c o n c l u s i o n s of the R e p o r t to

w h i c h it r e l a t e s , is s u b m i t t e d as s o o n as p o s s i b l e as

a R e p o r t to the P a r l i a m e n t .

4. S h o u l d th e C o m m i t t e e f i n d d u r i n g i ts e x a m i n a t i o n o f a

D e p a r t m e n t o f F i n a n c e M i n u t e t h a t c e r t a i n

r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s a r e n ot f u l l y d e a l t w i t h or are

s u b j e c t to a f u r t h e r M i n u t e , it h o l d s an e x p l o r a t o r y

d i s c u s s i o n w i t h o f f i c e r s of t h e D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e

p r i o r to t h e s u b m i s s i o n o f t h e m i n u t e to t h e

P a r l i a m e n t .

5. In r e p o r t i n g a M i n u t e t o t h e P a r l i a m e n t , t h e

C o m m i t t e e , e x c e p t in s p e c i a l c a s e s d o e s no t u s u a l l y

m a k e a n y c o m m e n t o t h e r t h a n to n o t e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s

n o t f u l l y d e a l t w i t h or s u b j e c t to a f u r t h e r M i n u t e .

6 . W h e n t h e C o m m i t t e e n e x t e x a m i n e s t h e d e p a r t m e n t

c o n c e r n e d t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f F i n a n c e M i n u t e is

c o n s i d e r e d by the C o m m i t t e e if a p p l i c a b l e .

( vii )

7. The D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e f u r n i s h e s the C o m m i t t e e

w i th a h a l f - y e a r l y r e p o r t on o u t s t a n d i n g Mi nu t e s ,

i n d i c a t i n g the p r o g r e s s m a d e in d e a l i n g w i th the

C o m m i t t e e ' s c o m m e n t s .

Th is R e p o r t c o n c e r n s the C o m m i t t e e ' s i n q u i r y into the

_f m:_ij 2 C| _ a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f p r o p e r t y o w n e d or l e a s e d

o v e r s e a s by th e C o m m o n w e a l t h G o v e r n m e n t . The i n q u i r y h ad b e e n

p r o m p t e d by t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e of t h e r e o r g a n i s a t i o n o f th e

O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y B u r e a u , w h i c h w a s a b o l i s h e d in 1 9 7 6 . The

f u n c t i o n s of the B u r e a u w e r e a b s o r b e d by t h e D e p a r t m e n t of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s . The C o m m i t t e e t h e n b r o a d e n e d the

i n q u i r y to i n c l u d e o r g a n i s a t i o n s r e p r e s e n t i n g o f f i c e r s a nd

t h e i r f a m i l i e s s e r v i n g o v e r s e a s .

The 1 7 2 n d R e p o r t w as t a b l e d in 1 9 78 . The D e p a r t m e n t

o f F i n a n c e r e f e r r e d t h e R e p o r t t o an i n t e r d e p a r t m e n t a l

c o m m i t t e e c o n s i s t i n g of r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the D e p a r t m e n t s of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s , D e f e n c e , F i n a n c e , F o r e i g n A f f a i r s ,

H o u s i n g a nd C o n s t r u c t i o n , I m m i g r a t i o n an d E t h n i c A f f a i r s ,

P r i m e M i n i s t e r & C a b i n e t , P r i m a r y I n d u s t r y and t h e P u b l i c

S e r v i c e B o a r d . The I . D . C . m a d e a s u b m i s s i o n to the G o v e r n m e n t

in J u n e 1 9 8 0 an d s u b s e q u e n t l y t he M i n i s t e r for A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s m a d e a s t a t e m e n t to the H o u s e of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

s e t t i n g o u t t he G o v e r n m e n t r e s p o n s e . The D e p a r t m e n t of

F i n a n c e M i n u t e f o r w a r d e d to the C o m m i t t e e w a s b a s e d on the

M i n i s t e r ' s s t a t e m e n t .

A f t e r c o n s i d e r i n g the F i n a n c e M i n u t e the C o m m i t t e e

d e c i d e d t h a t t h e r e s p o n s e to c e r t a i n r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s w a s not

a d e q u a t e and t h a t f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n s h o u l d be s o u g h t . T h e s e

i s s u e s w e r e d i s c u s s e d at s u b s e q u e n t m e e t i n g s in A u g u s t an d

O c t o b e r 1 9 8 1 an d t h e o u t c o m e is in C h a p t e r 3 of t h i s R e p o r t .

The e x c e s s i v e l e n g t h of t i m e t a k e n to r e s o l v e t h i s

F i n a n c e M i n u t e is n o t a c c e p t a b l e . Two y e a r s l a p s e d fr om

t a b l i n g of t h e R e p o r t u n t i l r e c e i p t o f a r e s p o n s e . T h e n ,

c e r t a i n a s p e c t s of th e r e s p o n s e r e q u i r e d f u r t h e r f o l l o w up.

The o r i g i n a l r e s p o n s e to m a n y s e c t i o n s of th e R e p o r t w as

g e n e r a l l y o b t u s e a n d d i d n o t p a y d u e r e g a r d t o t h e

r e q u i r e m e n t s of t he C o m m i t t e e .

The C o m m i t t e e b e l i e v e s t i m e l y , a c c u r a t e a nd c o m p l e t e

f e e d b a c k is e s s e n t i a l i f t h e fu ll e f f e c t s o f t he C o m m i t t e e ' s

R e p o r t s a re to be r e a l i s e d and i m p l e m e n t e d as a p p r o p r i a t e l y

r e q u i r e d . The c o n c l u s i o n s an d r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s of t h e 1 7 2 n d

R e p o r t , w h i c h ar e r e p r o d u c e d in C h a p t e r 2 t o g e t h e r w i t h the

d e p a r t m e n t a l r e s p o n s e s , w e r e d e s i g n e d to d r a w a t t e n t i o n to

i n s t a n c e s o f a d m i n i s t r a t i v e i n e f f i c i e n c y or p r o c e d u r a l

(v i i i )

w e a k n e s s a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y i m p r o v e t h e q u a l i t y of p u b l i c

a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y in the a r e a s e x a m i n e d at the

I n q u i r i e s .

For and on b e h a l f of th e C o m m i t t e e .

D a v i d M ,

C h a i r m a n

M . J . T a l b e r g

S e c r e t a r y J o i n t C o m m i t t e e of P u b l i c A c c o u n t s

P a r l i a m e n t H o us e

C A N B E R R A AC T 2600

23 F e b r u a r y 1982

C o n n o l l y , M. P.,

C O N T E N T S

C h a p t e r Page

P r e f a c e ( vii)

1 D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e M i n u t e on the 1

1 7 2 n d R e p o r t

2 D i s c u s s i o n of U n s a t i s f a c t o r y R e s p o n s e s 15

in th e D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e M i n u t e

3 S u m m a r y of f u r t h e r a c t i o n r e q u i r e d 21

A p p e n d i c e s 23

(xi)

C H A P T E R 1

D E P A R T M E N T OF F I N A N C E M I N U T E

1.1 Set o u t b e l o w are the C o m m i t t e e ' s C o n c l u s i o n s of the

17 2nd R e p o r t of 6 N o v e m b e r 19 7 9 , w i t h the r e s p o n s e s from

D e p a r t m e n t s in the f o rm of D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e M i n u t e of 5

D e c e m b e r 1 9 8 0 a n d 23 J u ly 1981.

1.2 F u r t h e r r e s p o n s e s , c o n s i d e r e d n e c e s s a r y by t h e

C o m m i t t e e for r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s 3, 11 and 12 are d i s c u s s e d in

C h a p t e r 2.

RECOMMENDATION 1

The f u n c t i o n of a d m i n i s t e r i n g o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y s h o u l d be u n d e r the c ontrol of the

Minister for Foreign Affairs.

R e s p o n s e

1.3 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e A r r a n g e m e n t s a r e r e v i e w e d f r o m t i m e to

t i m e a n d t he C o m m i t t e e ' s v i e w s w i l l be t a k e n i n t o a c c o u n t w h e n

s u c h a r e v i e w t a k e s p l a c e .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1. 4 T he P r i m e M i n i s t e r , w h o is of c o u r s e t h e a r b i t e r of

a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a r r a n g e m e n t s , h a s , we u n d e r s t a n d , g i v e n c l o s e

c o n s i d e r a t i o n to t h e w i d e r a n g e o f v i e w s e x p r e s s e d a n d

r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s m a d e on t he p o r t f o l i o l o c a t i o n o f t h e o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n . The P r i m e M i n i s t e r , h o w e v e r , c o n c l u d e d

t h a t i t w o u l d b e p r e f e r a b l e n o t t o a l t e r t h e p r e s e n t

a r r a n g e m e n t s at t h i s s t a g e . It is u n d e r s t o o d t h a t in r e a c h i n g

t h i s d e c i s i o n t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r w a s m i n d f u l o f th e n u m e r o u s

c h a n g e s in p o r t f o l i o r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f or t h i s f u n c t i o n o v e r a

p e r i o d o f y e a r s a n d t h e m e a s u r e s p r o p o s e d to i m p r o v e

c o - o r d i n a t i o n b e t w e e n t h e D e p a t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s

a nd t h e D e p a r t m e n t s w i t h o v e r s e a s o p e r a t i o n s .

1. 5 In v i e w of t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r ' s c o n s i d e r a t i o n of th is

m a t t e r , d e p a r t m e n t s d o n o t b e l i e v e it p r o p e r to c o m m e n t

f u r t h e r o n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e b r e a k - u p o f C o m m o n w e a l t h

f u n c t i o n s .

1

RECOMMENDATION 2

The Overseas Property Bureau be reconstituted in similar form to that operating prior to December 197 6.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 6 The m o s t s u i t a b l e o r g a n i s a t i o n for t h e p e r f o r m a n c e of

t h e o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n is p r e s e n t l y b e i n g r e v i e w e d by

t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d and th e D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s in t h e l i g h t o f t h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n a n d t h e

o r g a n i s a t i o n a l a n d e s t a b l i s h m e n t n e e d s n o w p e r c e i v e d as

n e c e s s a r y .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 .7 The r e v i e w o f t h e O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e f u n c t i o n

w a s u n d e r t a k e n in t w o s t a g e s : f o r m u l a t i o n of t h e S e c o n d

D i v i s i o n s t r u c t u r e and r e v i e w of t h e T h i r d D i v i s i o n s t r u c t u r e .

1.8 The b a s i s on w h i c h t he r e v i e w w a s c o n d u c t e d is set

ou t in a p p e n d i x A t o g e t h e r w i t h an o r g a n i s a t i o n a l c h a r t in

A p p e n d i x B s h o w i n g : -

(a) w h e r e t he O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e fi ts i n t o the

s t r u c t u r e o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s

( b ) the n ew O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e s t r u c t u r e .

1.9 I m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f t h e S e c o n d D i v i s i o n r e v i e w o c c u r r e d

on 23 M a r c h 19 81 . Th e T h i r d D i v i s i o n h as b e e n r e s t r u c t u r e d

an d is u n d e r g o i n g a t r i a l p e r i o d .

1 . 1 0 The c o n c e p t is t h a t the O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e

o r g a n i s a t i o n n o w c o m p r i s e s t w o B r a n c h e s , t h e P r o p e r t y

M a n a g e m e n t B r a n c h a nd t he P r o j e c t s and S e r v i c e s B r a n c h , e a c h

a d m i n i s t e r e d by an A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y (L e v e l 1) r e s p o n s i b l e

to the S e n i o r A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y ( L e v e l 2) in c h a r g e of the

O f f i c e . The S e n i o r A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y ( L e v e l 2) p o s i t i o n

c u r r e n t l y is o c c u p i e d b y an o f f i c e r s e c o n d e d f r o m t h e

D e p a r t m e n t o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s a n d on e A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y

( L e v e l 1) is o c c u p i e d b y an o f f i c e r s e c o n d e d f r o m t h e

D e p a r t m e n t of T r a d e a n d R e s o u r c e s .

1 . 1 1 The P r o p e r t y M a n a g e m e n t B r a n c h w i l l be r e s p o n s i b l e

for e f f i c i e n t m a n a g e m e n t of t he o v e r s e a s e s t a t e a n d w i l l

c o m p r i s e t h r e e s e c t i o n s r e s p o n s i b l e for the l e a s e and p u r c h a s e

of a c c o m m o d a t i o n , f u r n i t u r e a nd f i t t i n g s an d m o t o r v e h i c l e s

o v e r s e a s a n d t h e E s t a t e M a n a g e m e n t a n d P o l i c y S e c t i o n

r e s p o n s i b l e for p o l i c y d e v e l o p m e n t a nd i n v e s t i g a t i o n i n t o

p r o p e r t y p r o p o s a l s and h o l d i n g s to e n s u r e c o s t e f f e c t i v e n e s s

in t he e s t a t e .

2

1.12 The P r o j e c t s and S e r v i c e s B r a n c h w i ll c o m p r i s e t h re e

s e c t i o n s - th e P r o j e c t S e c t i o n r e s p o n s i b l e for the d e v e l o p m e n t

and m a n a g e m e n t of m a j o r p r o j e c t s : the T e c h n i c a l S e r v i c e s

S e c t i o n r e s p o n s i b l e for the p r o v i s i o n of t e c h n i c a l a d v i c e on

all p r o p e r t y m a t t e r s and the P r o g r a m m i n g , I n f o r m a t i o n and

P u r c h a s i n g S e c t i o n w h i c h w i l l u n d e r t a k e the d e v e l o p m e n t and

a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of f i n a n c i a l p r o g r a m m i n g and the p r o v i s i o n of

i n f o r m a t i o n s e r v i c e s and o t h e r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r e q u i r e m e n t s for

the O f f i c e .

RECOMMENDATION 3

A long term program of property acquisition be i n s t i t u t e d a imed at r e d u c i n g the b u r d e n s of

continuing high rent paid for overseas p r o p e r t y .

Such a program should have a rolling funding arran­ gement based on a three to five year program, to

provide a degree of autonomy not evident under the

present arrangements .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 1 3 T he G o v e r n m e n t s u p p o r t s , in p r i n c i p l e , the n e e d for a

s u b s t a n t i a l p r o p o r t i o n of i t s o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y h o l d i n g s to be

o w n e d , r a t h e r t h a n l e a s e d and l o o k s to t h e M i n i s t e r for

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s , f o l l o w i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n b y t h e

O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e , to b r i n g f o r w a r d p r o p o s a l s for

p u r c h a s e or c o n s t r u c t i o n w h i c h ar e e c o n o m i c a l l y s o u n d and

r e d u c e t h e c o n t i n u i n g h i g h e x p e n d i t u r e on r e n t .

1 . 1 4 T he G o v e r n m e n t is p r e s e n t l y c o n s i d e r i n g t h e d e v e l ­

o p m e n t o f a l o n g - t e r m p r o g r a m of o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y a c q u i s i t i o n

a n d c o n s t r u c t i o n . D e p a r t m e n t s a r e p r e s e n t l y r e v i e w i n g the

p r o p e r t y n e e d o f all p o s t s as a b a s i s for s u c h a p r o g r a m .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 . 1 3 T he r e v i e w of p r o p e r t y n e e d s o v e r s e a s is u n d e r t a k e n

c o n t i n u o u s l y . T h i s r e v i e w is u n d e r t a k e n by t he O v e r s e a s

P r o p e r t y O f f i c e on a d a y - b y - d a y b a s i s an d on a p o s t - b y - p o s t

s i t u a t i o n in t e r m s o f t h e o f f i c e ' s o n - g o i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y .

In a d d i t i o n , a p r i o r i t y r e v i e w s u b - c o m m i t t e e of the O v e r s e a s

P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e h a s b e e n e s t a b l i s h e d to r e v i e w t h e n e e d s

an d p r i o r i t i e s of b o t h c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d a c q u i s i t i o n at Po st s.

T h i s s u b - c o m m i t t e e m e e t s o n a r e g u l a r b a s i s . Ov er the pa st

t w e l v e m o n t h s t he s u b - c o m m i t t e e ha s m e t on s ix o c c a s i o n s .

1 . 1 6 A p r i o r i t y l i s t o f c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d a c q u i s i t i o n

p r o p o s a l s h a s b e e n d e v e l o p e d by t he O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e

an d e n d o r s e d b y th e o v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e .

3

1. 17 F u n d s for 1 9 8 1 / 8 2 h a ve b e en s o u g h t for d e s i g n and

c o n s t r u c t i o n in th e B u d g e t c o n t e x t in a c c o r d a n c e w i th the

e s t a b l i s h e d p r i o r i t i e s .

RECOMMENDATION 4

As a matter of urgency the Overseas Property

Committee meet with the Department of Finance to

s t r e a m l i n e the p r o c e d u r e s for the r e v i e w of

e x p e n d i t u r e o v e r s e a s . New p r o c e d u r e s sh o u l d be

i n t r o d u c e d which will ret u r n the p r e v i o u s l y

delegated authority over property administration to Heads of Mission.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 1 8 H e a d s of M i s s i o n h o l d a d e l e g a t i o n f r o m the M i n i s t e r

for A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s to m e e t e x p e n d i t u r e u n d e r all

p r o p e r t y v o t e s up to t he l i m i t of f u n d s a v a i l a b l e at e a c h p o s t

in e a c h v o t e . A r e a s o f c o n c e r n in p r o p e r t y e x p e n d i t u r e ar e

r e n t , r e p a i r s and m a i n t e n a n c e , and f u r n i t u r e a nd f i t t i n g s .

1 . 1 9 At th e t i m e o f t h e C o m m i t t e e ' s i n q u i r y f u n d s for

r e p a i r s and m a i n t e n a n c e a nd f u r n i t u r e an d f i t t i n g s w e r e v e r y

l i m i t e d an d p o s t s w e r e r e q u i r e d to r e f e r al l l e a s e p r o p o s a l s

to C a n b e r r a for a p p r o v a l . T h i s r e d u c e d t he e f f e c t i v e a u t h o r i t y

o f th e H e a d o f M i s s i o n to e x e r c i s e h i s d e l e g a t i o n .

1 . 2 0 T h e d e l e g a t e d a u t h o r i t y o f H e a d s o f M i s s i o n to

a p p r o v e n e w l e a s e s a n d l e a s e r e n e w a l s w i t h i n c e r t a i n

g u i d e l i n e s wa s r e s t o r e d in J u l y 1 9 7 8 an d h as s i n c e b e e n

f u r t h e r e x t e n d e d . F u n d s f o r r e p a i r s a n d m a i n t e n a n c e a n d

f u r n i t u r e and f i t t i n g s h a v e b e e n i n c r e a s e d .

RECOMMENDATION 5 (to be read in conjunction with

Recommendation 11)

The O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e , in

consultation with the Department of Finance and the Public Service Board, thoroughly review property administration processes with a view to delegating as much additional authority as practicable to

Heads of Mission.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 1 An i n t e r - d e p a r t m e n t a l w o r k i n g g r o u p e x a m i n e d a d m i n ­

i s t r a t i v e p r o c e s s e s w i t h a v i e w to d e l e g a t i n g as m u c h

a d d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y as p r a c t i c a b l e to H e a d s of M i s s i o n . As a

r e s u l t o f t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n e x i s t i n g d e l e g a t i o n s h a v e b e e n

e x t e n d e d , e n a b l i n g H e a d s of M i s s i o n to a p p r o v e l e a s e s for the

o c c u p a n t s of p o s i t i o n s t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m o t h e r p o s t s a nd to

a p p r o v e l e a s e s w i t h i n r e n t c e i l i n g s i n v o l v i n g a d d i t i o n a l

e x p e n d i t u r e on f u r n i t u r e , u t i l i t i e s an d r e p a i r s an d m a i n ­

t e n a n c e .

4

1.22 The p o s s i b i l i t y of f u r t h e r d e l e g a t i o n of a u t h o r i t y to

He ad s of M i s s i o n wi ll be i n c l u d e d in the f u n d a m e n t a l r e v i e w of

the p r o c e s s e s i n v o l v e d in the m a n a g e m e n t and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of

l e a s e d r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n w h i c h is b e i n g u n d e r t a k e n as

a r e s u l t of R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 11 of the C o m m i t t e e ' s Re po rt .

(Note: Th is m a t t e r is f u r t h e r d i s c u s s e d in C h a p t e r 2 w h er e

d e t a i l s of the d e l e g a t i o n are r e f e r e n c e d . )

RECOMMENDATION 6

All D e p a r t m e n t s with s u b s t a n t i a l o v e r s e a s

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n d e s i g n a t e a s e n i o r o f f i c e r as

O m b u d s m a n to h a n d l e g r i e v a n c e s of i n d i v i d u a l s

arising from the administration of overseas pr o ­ perty. P r o v i s i o n s h o u l d be made for these

Departmental Ombudsmen to have regular access to

the Director of the Overseas Operations Branch.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 3 Al l D e p a r t m e n t s w i t h s u b s t a n t i a l o v e r s e a s r e p r e s e n ­

t a t i o n h a v e d e s i g n a t e d a s e n i o r o f f i c e r as O m b u d s m a n f or t h i s

p u r p o s e .

1 . 2 4 W h e r e c o m p l a i n t s a re no t s e t t l e d w i t h i n D e p a r t m e n t s

t h e r e a r e a v e n u e s t h r o u g h w h i c h o f f i c e r s c a n b r i n g g r i e v a n c e s

to t h e n o t i c e o f th e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d . The B o a r d has

r e c e n t l y u p g r a d e d i ts a r r a n g e m e n t s in t h i s r e g a r d w i t h the

e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a G r i e v a n c e A p p e a l s B u r e a u .

RECOMMENDATION 7

All posts establish representative property committees with property minutes being kept to

ensure adequate staff involvement in property administration at their post.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 3 The G o v e r n m e n t is c o n s c i o u s of th e v a l u e of a d e q u a t e

c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h s t a f f in a ll a s p e c t s of t h e o p e r a t i o n of

o v e r s e a s p o s t s a nd e n c o u r a g e s th e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a p p r o p r i a t e

c o n s u l t a t i v e a r r a n g e m e n t s at o v e r s e a s p o s t s for t h i s p u r p o s e .

H o w e v e r , t he r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the H e a d of M i s s i o n for the

m a n a g e m e n t o f h is p o s t a n d t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s of e f f e c t i v e

c e n t r a l m a n a g e m e n t o f t h e o v e r s e a s e s t a t e a r e o f p r i m e

i m p o r t a n c e .

1 . 2 6 H e a d s o f M i s s i o n a nd o t h e r s e n i o r o f f i c e r s h a v e be en

a s k e d to e n g a g e in r e g u l a r c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h all s t a f f at

p o s t s on a d m i n i s t r a t i v e m a t t e r s , i n c l u d i n g p r o p e r t y

m a n a g e m e n t , e i t h e r t h r o u g h t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of p r o p e r t y

c o m m i t t e e s or by o t h e r , a p p r o p r i a t e , m e a n s .

5

RECOMMENDATION 8

There be an overall review of accommodation

standards with a view to updating the data on which

the base standard is s e t. Procedures should be

d e v e l o p e d w hich g ive Heads of M i s s i o n g r e a t e r

flexibility to interpret the standards in the light of local conditions.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 7 An o v e r a l l r e v i e w of a c c o m m o d a t i o n s t a n d a r d s h as b e e n

u n d e r t a k e n and t he s t a n d a r d s of a c c o m m o d a t i o n w h i c h c u r r e n t l y

a p p l y h a v e b e e n c o n f i r m e d . U n d e r the d e l e g a t i o n s g i v e n to

H e a d s o f M i s s i o n p o s t s e n j o y f l e x i b i l i t y to i n t e r p r e t the

s t a n d a r d s in the l i g h t of l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s .

RECOMMENDATION 9

Wherever possible reciprocal land tenure be

negotiated by the Government from those nations

provided with sites in Canberra .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 8 T he G o v e r n m e n t ' s p o l i c y a nd p r a c t i c e is in l i n e w i t h

t h e C o m m i t t e e ' s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n .

RECOMMENDATION 10

The system of private leasing of residential

accommodation in North America and United Kingdom be phased out and leasing procedures standardised at all posts.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 2 9 T h e G o v e r n m e n t s u p p o r t s t h e p h a s i n g o u t o f t h e

c u r r e n t s y s t e m of p r i v a t e l e a s i n g of r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n

in N o r t h A m e r i c a a nd the U n i t e d K i n g d o m and i ts r e p l a c e m e n t at

d i p l o m a t i c / c o n s u l a r p o s t s b y a s y s t e m o f l o n g - t e r m ,

G o v e r n m e n t - l e a s e d , r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n . The G o v e r n m e n t

c o n s i d e r s , h o w e v e r , t h a t t h i s c h a n g e o v e r s h o u l d be g r a d u a l . It

w i l l be s u b j e c t to t he a v a i l a b i l i t y of s u i t a b l e l o n g - t e r m

a c c o m m o d a t i o n in l o c a l p r o p e r t y m a r k e t s a n d t h e c a p a c i t y of

p o s t s to h a n d l e t he a s s o c i a t e d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n .

6

RECOMMENDATION 11 (see recommendation 5)

The setting of rent ceilings be transferred

from the Public Service Board to the organisation

r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the overall a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of

overseas p r o p e r t y .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 3 0 As m e n t i o n e d in t h e r e s p o n s e to R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 5 a

f u n d a m e n t a l r e v i e w is b e i n g u n d e r t a k e n o f t h e p r o c e s s e s

i n v o l v e d in t h e m a n a g e m e n t a n d a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f l e a s e d

r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n . T h i s r e v i e w , i n t e r a l i a , w i l l

e m b r a c e th e c o n t i n u i n g r e l e v a n c e o f all e x i s t i n g c o n t r o l

m e c h a n i s m s , i n c l u d i n g t h a t o f r e n t c e i l i n g s an d t a k e a c c o u n t

of t h e g r e a t e r d e v o l u t i o n of a u t h o r i t y to H e a d s o f M i s s i o n

p r o p o s e d in R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 5.

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 . 3 1 The a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of l e a s e d p r o p e r t y o v e r s e a s and

t h e d e l e g a t i o n t o H e a d s o f M i s s i o n w a s e x a m i n e d b y an

i n t e r d e p a r t m e n t a l c o m m i t t e e .

1 . 3 2 The d e l e g a t i o n to H e a d s of M i s s i o n wa s i n c r e a s e d to

e n a b l e t h e m to a p p r o v e r e p l a c e m e n t l e a s e s for an i n c r e a s e d

s t a f f i n g c o m m i t m e n t e m a n a t i n g fr om th e t r a n s f e r of a p o s i t i o n

f r o m a n o t h e r p o s t p r o v i d e d s u f f i c i e n t f u n d s a re h e l d at t he

p o s t for t he l e a s e , r e n t a l p a y m e n t s do not e x c e e d r e n t

c e i l i n g s , d ue c o n s i d e r a t i o n is g i v e n to a r e a s t a n d a r d s and t he

l e a s e d o e s n o t i n v o l v e a d v a n c e r e n t a l p a y m e n t s in e x c e s s of

t w e l v e m o n t h s , d e a d r e n t a l or t h i r d c o u n t r y p a y m e n t s .

1 . 3 3 W i t h r e g a r d to r e n t a l c e i l i n g s , a r r a n g e m e n t s ar e in

p r o g r e s s t o d e t e r m i n e h o w t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t h e s e

p r o v i s i o n s m i g h t be i m p r o v e d . A n u m b e r of p a p e r s h a v e b e e n

p r e p a r e d a nd d i s t r i b u t e d to d e p a r t m e n t s an d a d d i t i o n a l p a p e r s

a r e c u r r e n t l y in p e p a r a t i o n to e n a b l e the r e v i e w to c o n s i d e r : -

(a) w h e t h e r t h e r e is a n e e d for r e n t c e i l i n g s at all;

i.e. w h e t h e r by the d e v e l o p m e n t of a p p r o p r i a t e c h e c k s

a nd b a l a n c e s c e i l i n g s m i g h t be a b o l i s h e d ;

(b) if t h e r e is a n e e d for r e n t c e i l i n g s , w h e t h e r it

w o u l d b e p r e f e r a b l e f o r t h e s e c e i l i n g s to be

a d m i n i s t e r e d by H e a d s of M i s s i o n .

1 . 3 4 T h i s r e v i e w is far r e a c h i n g an d it ma y t a k e s o m e t i m e

b e f o r e t he a b o v e q u e s t i o n s ca n be s a t i s f a c t o r i l y r e s o l v e d .

( N o t e : A f u r t h e r r e s p o n s e w a s s o u g h t by the C o m m i t t e e - r e f e r

C h a p t e r 2).

7

RECOMMENDATION 12

Australian-based officers occupying Government residential or leased accommodation overseas should be required to pay a bond refundable on leaving the

premises in good condition.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 3 5 W h i l s t s u p p o r t i n g the i n t e n t i o n b e h i n d t h i s R e c o m ­

m e n d a t i o n t h e G o v e r n m e n t h a s b e e n a d v i s e d by t h e r e l e v a n t

D e p a r t m e n t s , i n c l u d i n g t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a n d t h e

D e p a r t m e n t o f F i n a n c e , t h a t i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of t h i s R e c o m ­

m e n d a t i o n w o u l d be a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y o n e r o u s a nd p r o v i d e l i t t l e

a d d i t i o n a l b e n e f i t o v e r a n d a b o v e e x i s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s . It

s h o u l d be e m p h a s i s e d t h a t a d e q u a t e r e c o v e r y p r o c e d u r e s a l r e a d y

e x i s t a nd a r e u s e d in a p p r o p r i a t e c a s e s . I m p l e m e n t a t i o n of

t h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n w o u l d a l s o r e p r e s e n t the i n t r o d u c t i o n of a

p r a c t i c e n o t f o l l o w e d by t h e G o v e r n m e n t in A u s t r a l i a .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 . 3 6 Th e p r o c e d u r e s for r e c o v e r y f r o m o c c u p a n t s for d a m a g e

to p r e m i s e s a re s et o u t in A p p e n d i x C.

1 . 3 7 To p r o v i d e a c o m p r e h e n s i v e l i s t of all r e c o v e r i e s

u n d e r t a k e n t h r o u g h o u t t he o v e r s e a s e s t a t e in t he l a s t five

y e a r s w o u l d r e q u i r e th e O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e to r e v i e w at

l e a s t 1 5 0 0 f i l e s a nd f or al l p o s t s o v e r s e a s to u n d e r t a k e a

s i m i l a r r e v i e w o f t h e i r d o c u m e n t a t i o n . F o r s u c h a

c o m p r e h e n s i v e r e v i e w to be u n d e r t a k e n w i t h i n t h e O v e r s e a s

P r o p e r t y O f f i c e and at o v e r s e a s p o s t s , it w o u l d be n e c e s s a r y

to f o r e g o a c o n s i d e r a b l e a m o u n t of w o r k c o n n e c t e d w i t h the

a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the o v e r s e a s e s t a t e and o t h e r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e

c o n s u l a r t a s k s .

1 . 3 8 D e p a r t m e n t s b e l i e v e a b o n d s y s t e m w o u l d n ot be c o s t

e f f e c t i v e .

( N o t e : T h i s f u r t h e r r e s p o n s e was c o n s i d e r e d u n s a t i s f a c t o r y by

th e C o m m i t t e e - r e f e r C h a p t e r 2).

RECOMMENDATION 13

Maintenance funds be increased immediately to enable regular maintenance inspections to be made and structural repairs to be carried out.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 3 9 The G o v e r n m e n t r e c o g n i s e s the i m p o r t a n c e of a d e q u a t e

m a i n t e n a n c e of it s o v e r s e a s a s s e t s . As in 1 9 7 9 / 8 0 it has

p r o v i d e d s u b s t a n t i a l and a d d i t i o n a l f u n d s t h i s f i n a n c i a l ye a r

( 1 9 8 0 / 8 1 ) in s u p p o r t o f th e c y c l i c a l m a i n t e n a n c e p r o g r a m .

8

H o w e v e r , the l e ve l of f u n d s a v a i l a b l e in any one f i n a n c i a l

y e a r f o r t h i s p u r p o s e m u s t a l w a y s be s u b j e c t to t h e

g o v e r n m e n t ' s o v e r a l l b u d g e t a r y s t r a t e g i e s and p r i o r i t i e s .

RECOMMENDATION 14

The D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e di v i d e the

m a i n t e n a n c e and u t i l i t y vote into s e p a r a t e

appropriations .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 0 The G o v e r n m e n t a g r e e s w i t h t h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n . It

h a s b e e n i m p l e m e n t e d in t h e 1 9 8 0 / 8 1 f i n a n c i a l y e a r .

RECOMMENDATION 15

All vehicles acquired for overseas missions be purchased with criteria applicable to conditions at the p o s t .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 1 V e h i c l e s a r e s u p p l i e d to o v e r s e a s m i s s i o n s a f t e r

a s s e s s i n g p r i c e ( i n c l u d i n g f r e i g h t ) , l o c a t i o n , s u i t a b i l i t y for

t h e p u r p o s e for w h i c h it is r e q u i r e d , a v a i l a b i l i t y of s p a r e

p a r t s , e f f e c t i v e a f t e r - s a l e s e r v i c e a n d o t h e r r e l e v a n t f a c t o r s

a p p l y i n g at p a r t i c u l a r p o s t s . A u s t r a l i a n - m a d e v e h i c l e s are

p r o v i d e d w h e r e it is r e a s o n a b l e to do so.

RECOMMENDATION 16

The private leasing of furniture for posts in

North America be d i s c o n t i n u e d and that the

furniture be provided as in other countries.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 2 The G o v e r n m e n t a g r e e s t h a t the p r e s e n t s y s t e m of

p r i v a t e l y l e a s i n g f u r n i t u r e in N o r t h A m e r i c a s h o u l d be r e p ­

l a c e d by a s y s t e m of G o v e r n m e n t o w n e d f u r n i t u r e w h e r e the

G o v e r n m e n t l e a s e s r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n for s t a f f a t t a c h e d

to m i s s i o n s . D e p a r t m e n t s ar e p r e s e n t l y r e v i e w i n g t he q u e s t i o n

o f g o v e r n m e n t - o w n e d f u r n i t u r e in p r i v a t e l e a s e s an d t h i s

m a t t e r w i l l be i n c l u d e d in th e r e v i e w r e f e r r e d to in r e s p o n s e

to R e c o m m m e n d a t i o n 11. The w o r k l o a d and c o n s e q u e n t s t a f f i n g

i m p l i c a t i o n s for N o r t h A m e r i c a n p o s t s w i l l be t a k e n in t o

a c c o u n t .

9

RECOMMENDATION 17

Where p o s s i b l e A u s t r a l i a n f u r n i t u r e and

fabrics be used in reception and entertainment

areas of C h a n c e r i e s and Heads of Mi s s i o n

r e s i d e n c e s . T e n d e r i n g s p e c i f i c a t i o n s s h o u l d be

designed to give reasonable access to Australian

manufacturers.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 3 T h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n is in l i n e w i t h c u r r e n t

G o v e r n m e n t p o l i c y a n d is f o l l o w e d w h e r e t h e s u p p l y of

A u s t r a l i a n f u r n i t u r e a nd f a b r i c is p r a c t i c a b l e and c o s t -

e f f e c t i v e . M o s t f u r n i t u r e a nd f u r n i s h i n g s p r o v i d e d for the

B a n g k o k and K u a l a L u m p u r C h a n c e r i e s h a v e c o m e fr o m A u s t r a l i a n

s o u r c e s .

RECOMMENDATION 18

Inventories of works of art at posts should be

established immediately and the policy of issuing such items to individuals should cease.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 4 I n v e n t o r i e s of w o r k s of a rt are k e p t and a c o n s o l i ­

d a t e d l i s t is h e l d by t h e D e p a r t m e n t of H o m e A f f a i r s .

1 . 4 5 U n d e r n e w l y a p p r o v e d a r r a n g e m e n t s for the h i r i n g of

ar t w o r k s for d i s p l a y o v e r s e a s th e p o l i c y o f i s s u i n g s u c h

i t e m s to i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l c e a s e in the n e a r f u t u r e . Ne w

a d m i n i s t r a t i v e i n s t r u c t i o n s a re e x p e c t e d to be p r o m u l g a t e d in

the n e a r f u t u r e by the D e p a r t m e n t of H o m e A f f a i r s , as the

c o n t r o l l e r of the n e w l y e s t a b l i s h e d 'A r t b a n k ' . The f u n d i n g

i m p l i c a t i o n s in t h e s e n e w a r r a n g e m e n t s w i l l be e x a m i n e d in the

b u d g e t c o n t e x t .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 6 The b r o c h u r e fr o m A r t b a n k s e t s out the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e

a r r a n g e m e n t s as w e l l as t he o b j e c t i v e s of t he a g e n c y .

1 . 4 7 The D e p a r t m e n t of F o r e i g n A f f a i r s , in c o n s u l t a t i o n

w i t h A r t b a n k , e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t t h e r e w a s a t o t a l o f 863

A u s t r a l i a n W o r k s of Art l o c a t e d at o v e r s e a s p o s t s of w h i c h 383

w e r e to be r e t u r n e d to t h e N a t i o n a l A rt G a l l e r y . O w n e r s h i p of

the r e m a i n i n g 480 w o r k s w as t r a n s f e r r e d to A r t b a n k and th e y

h a v e b e e n r e t a i n e d on h i r e by t h e D e p a r t m e n t of F o r e i g n

A f f a i r s at an a v e r a g e a n n u a l r e n t a l of $ 30 e a ch . T h i s t o k e n

r e n t a l w i l l a p p l y to th e 4 8 0 w o r k s u n t i l s u c h t i m e as t h e y ca n

be r e t u r n e d to A r t b a n k on a r o t a t i o n b a s i s for r e s t o r a t i o n and

v a l u a t i o n . T h e r e a f t e r t h e a n n u a l r e n t a l of 12% wi ll a p p l y .

10

1 . 48 The w o r k s to be r e t u r n e d w e re r e q u i r e d to r e ac h

C a n b e r r a b e t w e e n S e p t e m b e r 19 80 and S e p t e m b e r 1981 u n de r a

p l a n n e d p r o g r a m . To m e e t the s u b s t a n t i a l g a p s left by the

w o r k s r e t u r n e d to C a n b e r r a a n o t h e r p r o g r a m was i n i t i a t e d

i n v o l v i n g one for on e r e p l a c e m e n t (the r e p l a c e m e n t s b e in g

p r o v i d e d from A r t b a n k at 12% of v a l u e ) . Th is p r o g r a m is in

e f f e c t at the p r e s e n t ti me and is not e x p e c t e d to be c o m p l e t e d

for so me m o n t h s . R e p l a c e m e n t w o r k s are s e l e c t e d e i t h e r from a

p h o t o g r a p h i c c a t a l o g u e w h i c h is in c i r c u l a t i o n to p o s t s or

i n d i v i d u a l l y by h e a d s of m i s s i o n d u r i n g t h e i r l e a v e and

c o n s u l t a t i o n in A u s t r a l i a or p r i o r to t h e i r p o s t i n g to a new

m i s s i o n .

RECOMMENDATION 19

The Overseas Works Branch of the Department of Construction be disbanded and its staff absorbed in the Department. When major overseas construction p r o j e c t s are b e i n g u n d e r t a k e n the p r o f e s s i o n a l

staff of the Department should be made available to advise on technical matters.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 4 9 T h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n ha s b e e n e x a m i n e d by t he P u b l i c

S e r v i c e B o a r d a n d t h e D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g a n d C o n s t r u c t i o n .

No s i g n i f i c a n t a d v a n t a g e is s e e n at t h i s t i m e in a b o l i s h i n g

t h e D e p a r t m e n t ' s O v e r s e a s W o r k s B r a n c h . T h e r e is s u f f i c i e n t

w o r k l o a d i n t h e s m a l l e r o v e r s e a s w o r k s , s u p p l e m e n t e d by

d o m e s t i c p r o j e c t s w h i c h ar e a l l o c a t e d to th e O v e r s e a s W o r k s

B r a n c h to t he e x t e n t n e c e s s a r y , to e n s u r e e f f i c i e n t u se of its

r e s o u r c e s . B e n e f i t s a r e s e e n in r e t a i n i n g , as f ar as p o s s i b l e

e x p e r t i s e r e l a t i n g to o v e r s e a s c o n s t r u c t i o n p r o j e c t s in o ne

o r g a n i s a t i o n a l u n i t . T h e m a t t e r w i l l b e t h e s u b j e c t o f

p e r i o d i c a l r e v i e w by t he B o a r d and t he D e p a r t m e n t in t he l i g h t

of c h a n g i n g f u t u r e w o r k l o a d s .

RECOMMENDATION 20

The O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e and the

Department of Construction confer to rationalise the p r o c e d u r e s r e l a t i n g to the e n g a g e m e n t and

management of professional consultants for overseas construction projects.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 5 0 T he D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g an d C o n s t r u c t i o n and the

D e p a r t m e n t o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s h a v e a g r e e d t h a t m a j o r

o v e r s e a s w o r k s w i l l be c a r r i e d o ut t h r o u g h the D e p a r t m e n t of

H o u s i n g a nd C o n s t r u c t i o n , u s i n g e i t h e r its o w n r e s o u r c e s or

c o n s u l t a n t s . Th e D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s w i l l

a r r a n g e for a l l w o r k s c o s t i n g $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 or l e s s and r e n o v a ­

t i o n s , s m a l l a l t e r a t i o n s and a d d i t i o n s , e m p l o y i n g p r o f e s s i o n a l

c o n s u l t a n t s w h e r e a p p r o p r i a t e .

11

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1* 51 The d e c i s i o n as to w h e t h e r the d e s i g n of p r o j e c t s is

c a r r i e d out by the D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g and C o n s t r u c t i o n

i n - h o u s e r e s o u r c e s or t h o s e of p r i v a t e / c o n s u l t a n t s / o r a

c o m b i n a t i o n of b o th is i n f l u e n c e d by:

. the i n - h o u s e c a p a c i t y of the D e p a r t m e n t ' s r e s o u r c e s ,

but b e a r i n g in mi nd the G o v e r n m e n t ' s p r e s e n t p o l i c y

to let out at l e a s t 50?ί of the d e s i g n w o r k l o a d to

p r i v a t e c o n s u l t a n t s ;

• m o r e p a r t i c u l a r l y - in the ca se of p r o j e c t s of a

p r e s t i g i o u s n a t u r e su ch as a m a j o r o v e r s e a s c h a n c e r y ,

the D e p a r t m e n t s e e k s to o b t a i n the be st t a l e n t s the

c o u n t r y has to of f e r . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , it s h o u l d be

n o t e d th at a l m o s t all of the m a j o r c h a n c e r i e s in the

p a s t h a ve b e e n d e s i g n e d by p r i v a t e c o n s u l t a n t s and

s u ch an a r r a n g e m e n t is e x p e c t e d to c o n t i n u e .

1. 52 Th e s t e p s i n v o l v e d in p l a c i n g a n d a d m i n i s t e r i n g

c o n t r a c t s are

- s e l e c t i o n

- e n g a g e m e n t

- m a n a g e m e n t and s u p e r v i s i o n .

1 . 53 For l a r g e (in e x c e s s of $ 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 ) p r o j e c t s , and or

s e n s i t i v e p r o j e c t s a S e l e c t i o n P a ne l is c o n s t i t u t e d c o m p r i s i n g

s e n i o r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s fr om the D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g and

C o n s t r u c t i o n and the O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e of D e p a r t m e n t of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s . This p a ne l p r e p a r e s a l i st of not

le ss th an th re e s u i t a b l e fi rm s t a k i n g into a c c o u n t the sk il ls,

e x p e r i e n c e and p e r f o r m a n c e of s u i t a b l e c o n s u l t a n t s . The

r e a s o n s for s e l e c t i o n of the fi rm s for fi na l c o n s i d e r a t i o n are

d o c u m e n t e d . The S e l e c t i o n P a ne l th en c o n s i d e r s the fi rm s in

d e t a i l and a s s e s s e s the m o s t s u i t a b l e for the p a r t i c u l a r n e ed s

of the s u b j e c t p r o j e c t . T h es e r e a s o n s are d o c u m e n t e d .

1 . 54 An a s s e s s m e n t is m a de of an a p p r o p r i a t e fee for the

wo rk and the n e g o t i a t i o n s are th en e n t e r e d i n to wi th the firm

t a k i n g in to a c c o u n t wh at p e r s o n n e l the firm w o ul d put on the

job, the p e r s o n to be job c a p t a i n , the fee o f f e r e d by the firm

and the b a s i s of o t h e r r e i m b u r s e a b l e e x p e n s e s . If th es e

n e g o t i a t i o n s p r o d u c e a s a t i s f a c t o r y offe r, the S e l e c t i o n Pa nel

t h en r e c o m m e n d s th at a c o n t r a c t be e n t e r e d into w i t h that

firm. In th is fi na l s e l e c t i o n p r o c e s s , the D e p a r t m e n t of

F o r e i g n A f f a i r s will be c o n s u l t e d .

12

1 . 55 W h e r e t h e f u n d s a r e u n d e r t h e c o n t r o l o f t h e

D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g a n d C o n s t r u c t i o n , a p p r o v a l to t h e

e n g a g e m e n t is g i v e n by the a p p r o p r i a t e d e l e g a t e d o f f i c e r u n de r

t h e M i n i s t e r ' s i n s t r u m e n t of d e l e g a t i o n . T h e r e s u l t i n g

c o n t r a c t i n c l u d e s the D e p a r t m e n t of H o u s i n g and C o n s t r u c t i o n ' s

s t a n d a r d c o n d i t i o n s for e n g a g e m e n t of c o n s u l t a n t s .

1. 56 A s i m i l a r p r o c e s s is e m p l o y e d w h e r e the f u n d s are

u n d e r the c o n t r o l of D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s .

RECOMMENDATION 2 1

W here o f f i c e r s of the D e p a r t m e n t of

Construction are being employed as consultants to the O v e r s e a s O p e r a t i o n s Branch their travel

proposals should not require authorisation by the Overseas Visits Com m i t t e e .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 5 7 S u c c e s s i v e G o v e r n m e n t s h a v e c o n f i r m e d t h a t a t i g h t

c e n t r a l s y s t e m of c o n t r o l o f o v e r s e a s t r a v e l of P u b l i c S e r v i c e

O f f i c i a l s s h o u l d be m a i n t a i n t e d . No c o m p e l l i n g r e a s o n is s e e n

f or e x e m p t i n g D e p a r t m e n t o f H o u s i n g an d C o n s t r u c t i o n s t a f f

e m p l o y e d as c o n s u l t a n t s to O v e r s e a s O p e r a t i o n s B r a n c h on

o v e r s e a s p r o j e c t s . To g i v e e x e m p t i o n f r o m O v e r s e a s V i s i t s

C o m m i t t e e c o n t r o l to p a r t i c u l a r a r e a s of C o m m o n w e a l t h a c t i v i t y

w o u l d , of c o u r s e , a d d to p r e s s u r e s to e x e m p t o t h e r s , a nd put

at r i s k t he o p e r a t i o n of t h e c e n t r a l c o n t r o l s y s t e m .

F u r t h e r R e s p o n s e

1 . 5 8 The m a t t e r o f e x e m p t i n g d e p a r t m e n t a l o f f i c e r s e n g a g e d

on p r o j e c t c o n s t r u c t i o n a n d m a n a g e m e n t fr o m O v e r s e a s V i s i t s

C o m m i t t e e a u t h o r i t y w a s r a i s e d by the M i n i s t e r for H o u s i n g and

C o n s u t r a t i o n a n d the M i n i s t e r for A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s w i t h

t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r in M a r c h 1 9 7 9 . Th e P r i m e M i n i s t e r in hi s

r e p l y i n d i c a t e d t h a t he p r e f e r r e d t h a t all o v e r s e a s t r a v e l be

h a n d l e d w i t h i n 0 V C p r o c e s s e s a n d w h e r e v e r p o s s i b l e f o r

d e p a r t m e n t s to c o n t i n u e to w o r k w i t h i n t h e i r 0 VC o b j e c t i v e .

RECOMMENDATION 22

The a u t h o r i t y to a p p r o v e e x t e n s i o n s of

settling-in allowances should be transferred from the Department of Trade and Resources to the Public Service Board in line with the practice throughout the C o m m o n w e a l t h Pu b l i c Service. The Trade

Commissioner Act should be amended accordingly .

R e s p o n s e

1 . 5 9 The P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d and the D e p a r t m e n t of T r a d e

a n d R e s o u r c e s h a v e d i s c u s s e d t h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n a n d a g r e e

13

t h at p r o p o s a l s for e x t e n s i o n s to s e t t l i n g - i n / o u t s h o u l d be a

m a t t e r for c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h the B o a r d as are o t he r c o n d i t i o n s

of s e r v i c e . This d o e s no t n e c e s s i t a t e an a m e n d m e n t to the

T r ad e C o m m i s s i o n e r Act.

RECOMMENDATION 23

Acquisition procedures be flexible enough to allow selection and purchase of property when such need can be anticipated.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 6 0 T h e G o v e r n m e n t a g r e e s w i t h t h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n ,

s u b j e c t to n o r m a l b u d g e t a r y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .

RECOMMENDATION 24

In selecting consultants at posts, the advice of the appropriate professional association should be sought to e n s u r e that the most rep u t a b l e

consultant is chosen.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 6 1 In i ts R e p o r t to P a r l i a m e n t the C o m m i t t e e n o t e d th at

p r o c e d u r e s r e l a t i n g to t h e e n g a g e m e n t of c o n s u l t a n t s h a d b e e n

i m p r o v e d s i n c e t he p a r t i c u l a r i n c i d e n t a b o u t w h i c h it w as

c o n c e r n e d . T h e s e i m p r o v e d p r o c e d u r e s i n c l u d e p r o v i s i o n s for

c h e c k i n g th e c o m p e t e n c e o f p r o p o s e d c o n s u l t a n t s and, w h e r e

a p p r o p r i a t e a n d p o s s i b l e , s e e k i n g t he a d v i c e of r e l e v a n t

p r o f e s s i o n a l b o d i e s .

RECOMMENDATION 25

All purchase proposals be accompanied by a

precise report on the legal status and the title of

the p r o perty.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 6 2 P u r c h a s e p r o c e d u r e s h a v e b e e n r e v i e w e d and p o s t s are

r e g u i r e d to o b t a i n a p r e c i s e l e g a l r e p o r t on t h e s t a t u s and

t i t l e of p r o p e r t y p r o p o s e d for t h i s p u r c h a s e .

RECOMMENDATION 26

Priority should be given to the purchase of

r e s i d e n t i a l p r o p e r t i e s a v a i l a b l e for early

occupation at minimum cost.

R e s p o n s e

1 . 6 3 T h i s R e c o m m e n d a t i o n is in l i n e w i t h c u r r e n t p r a c t i c e .

14

C H A R T E R 2

D I S C U S S I O N OF U N S A T I S F A C T O R Y R E S P O N S E S TO D E P A R T M E N T OF

F I N A N C E M I N U T E

2.1 A f t e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e F i n a n c e M i n u t e , t h e

C o m m i t t e e d e c i d e d th at the r e s p o n s e to c e r t a i n r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s

was no t a d e q u a t e an d t h a t f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n s h o u l d be

s o u g h t . F u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n was r e c e i v e d from the D e p a r t m e n t

on 23 duly 19 81. At a m e e t i n g of the C o m m i t t e e in M e l b o u r n e

on 3 A u g u s t 1981, th is r e s p o n s e was c o n s i d e r e d . It wa s a g r e e d

at t h a t m e e t i n g th at the D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e w o u l d w i t h d r a w

the M i n u t e p r e v i o u s l y s u b m i t t e d and p r e p a r e a fr es h D e p a r t m e n t

of F i n a n c e M i n u t e i n c o r p o r a t i n g r e v i s e d r e s p o n s e s on the

r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n . T h er e w e re t h re e r e s p o n s e s

w i t h w h i c h the C o m m i t t e e was d i s s a t i s f i e d and the D e p a r t m e n t

was a s k e d to p u r s u e t h e m w i th the D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s b e f o r e r e d r a f t i n g the M i n u t e . It was al so d e c i d e d

t h a t d i s c u s s i o n s w o u l d be a r r a n g e d b e t w e e n the C o m m i t t e e and

the D e p a r t m e n t s of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s , F i n a n c e , F o r e i g n

A f f a i r s and T r ad e and R e s o u r c e s to c l a r i f y any r e m a i n i n g

o u t s t a n d i n g is su e s .

2.2 Th e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s w h i c h s t i l l r e q u i r e d f u r t h e r

r e s p o n s e fr om th e D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e were:

. R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 5 :

' The O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e , in c o n s u l t a t i o n

w i t h the D e p a r t m e n t of F i n a n c e and the P u b l i c

S e r v i c e B o a r d , t h o r o u g h l y r e v i e w p r o p e r t y

a d m i n i s t r a t i o n p r o c e s s e s w i t h a v i e w to d e l e g a t i n g

as m u c h a d d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y as p r a c t i c a b l e to

H e ad s of M i s s i o n .'

The C o m m i t t e e was a d v i s e d th at d e l e g a t i o n s to H e ad s of M i s s i o n

had b e e n e x t e n d e d and t h at a f u r t h e r r e v i e w was in p r o g r e s s .

A c o m p a r a t i v e s t a t e m e n t was s o u g h t c l e a r l y i d e n t i f y i n g the

d e l e g a t i o n now , and at the ti me of the i n q u i r y . This was

p r o v i d e d . (A p p e n d i x D)

. R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 1 1 :

' The s e t t i n g of rent c e i l i n g s be t r a n s f e r r e d from

t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d to t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n

r e s p o n s i b l e fo r t h e o v e r a l l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of

o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y . '

The C o m m i t t e e was a d v i s e d th at a r e v i e w was in p r o g r e s s

w h i c h w o u l d c o n s i d e r :

15

(a) w h e t h e r t h e r e was a ne ed for re nt c e i l i n g s at all;

i.e. w h e t h e r by the d e v e l o p m e n t of a p p r o p r i a t e c h e c k s

and b a l a n c e s c e i l i n g s m i g h t be a b o l i s h e d ;

(b) if t h er e was a n e ed for re nt c e i l i n g s , w h e t h e r it

w o u l d be p r e f e r a b l e fo r t h e s e c e i l i n g s to be

a d m i n i s t e r e d by H e a d s of M i s s i o n .

The C o m m i t t e e d e c i d e d not to p u r s u e this m a t t e r but c o n s i d e r

the o u t c o m e of the r e v i e w in due c o u r s e . The C o m m i t t e e

e x p e c t s to be a d v i s e d of the r e s u l t s of th is r e v i e w when

c o m p l e t e d , and e x p e c t s th is a d v i c e to be p r o v i d e d in p r o g r e s s

r e p o r t s at six m o n t h l y i n t e r v a l s from t a b l i n g th is R e p o r t

u n t i l r e s o l u t i o n .

• Recommendation 12:

' A u s t r a l i a n - b a s e d o f f i c e r s o c c u p y i n g G o v e r n m e n t

r e s i d e n t i a l or l e a s e d a c c o m m o d a t i o n o v e r s e a s s h o u l d

be r e q u i r e d to pay a bo nd r e f u n d a b l e on l e a v i n g the

p r e m i s e s in g o od c o n d i t i o n . '

In t h e F i n a n c e M i n u t e t h e C o m m i t t e e w a s a d v i s e d t h a t

i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f t h i s r e c o m m e n d a t i o n w o u l d be

a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y o n e r o u s and p r o v i d e l i t t l e a d d i t i o n a l b e n e f i t

o v er the e x i s t i n g p r o c e d u r e . It was s t a t e d th at a d e q u a t e

r e c o v e r y p r o c e d u r e s e x i s t e d , and w e re us ed in a p p r o p r i a t e

ca se s, w h e r e loss or d a m a g e in e x c e s s of fair wear and tear

o c c u r r e d and o f f i c e r s w e r e he ld r e s p o n s i b l e .

The C o m m i t t e e did not a c c e p t th is a d v i c e and a s ke d to be g i v e n

d e t a i l s of c u r r e n t r e c o v e r y p r o c e d u r e s t o g e t h e r wi th d e t a i l s

of c a s e s o v er the last five y e a r s w h e r e r e c o v e r y has been

e f f e c t e d , the a m o u n t s r e c o v e r e d and c a se s w h e r e r e c o v e r y was

n o t p u r s u e d . H o w e v e r , t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s c l a i m e d th at to p r o v i d e the l a t t e r i n f o r m a t i o n wo ul d

be a d i f f i c u l t and ti me c o n s u m i n g e x e r c i s e .

The c u r r e n t r e c o v e r y p r o c e d u r e s are set out in A p p e n d i x C.

D e p a r t m e n t a l o b j e c t i o n s to a b o nd s y s t e m are s h o w n in A p p e n d i x

E .

2.3 At the M e l b o u r n e m e e t i n g on 3 A u g u s t 1981 it was

a c c e p t e d th at a b o n d s y s t e m ma y not n e c e s s a r i l y be the be st

s o l u t i o n but that e x i s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s we re c l e a r l y i n a d e q u a t e

and an a l t e r n a t i v e p r o c e d u r e was r e q u i r e d to e n s u r e that

C o m m o n w e a l t h p r o p e r t y was p r o p e r l y p r o t e c t e d .

2.4 A f u r t h e r a p p r o a c h by the D e p a r m e n t of F i n a n c e to the

D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s had d r aw n the r e s p o n s e

t h a t t h e J o i n t M a n a g e m e n t R e v i e w o f O v e r s e a s A c c o u n t i n g

A r r a n g e m e n t s h a d a n u m b e r of i m p l i c a t i o n s fo r th e

a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of p r o p e r t y o v e r s e a s i n c l u d i n g the t r a n s f e r to

the H e ad s of M i s s i o n of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the m a i n t e n a n c e of

16

d e t e r m i n i n g w h e t h e r l o s s 0 Γ d a m a g e t o C o m m o n w e a l t h p r o p e r t y

h a d o c c u r r e d i n e x c e s s o f f a i r w e a r a n d t e a r , h o w t h i s l o s s

w o u l d b e a s s e s s e d a n d h o w r e c o v e r y w o u l d b e e f f e c t e d .

2.5 The D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s was a s ke d

to p r e p a r e for a m e e t i n g on 22 O c t o b e r , and p r o v i d e p r o p o s a l s

as to h o w t h e s e a c t i o n s w e r e to be c o m p l e t e d .

2.6 In a t t e n d a n c e w e r e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the D e p a r t m e n t

of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s , D e p a r t m e n t of F o r e i g n A f f a i r s and

t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f T r a d e a n d R e s o u r c e s w i t h t h e u s u a l

D e p a r t m e n t o f F i n a n c e , P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a n d

A u d i t o r - G e n e r a l ' s o f f i c i a l o b s e r v e r s .

2.7 In e v i d e n c e , 1 t h e D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

S e r v i c e s i n d i c a t e d t h a t u n d e r the p r o p o s e d 3 . M . R . a r r a n g e m e n t s

a s e r i e s of c h e c k s w o u l d be i n s t i t u t e d to e n s u r e m a i n t e n a n c e

of C o m m o n w e a l t h p r o p e r t y in g o o d o r d e r . T h e s e are : -

. A j o i n t c h e c k of the i n v e n t o r y and the s t a t e of the

a c c o m m o d a t i o n b y t h e o f f i c e r c o n c e r n e d a n d t h e

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the m a n a g e m e n t of the o v e r s e a s po st

at th e t i m e of m o v i n g in and m o v i n g o u t .

. S t a n d a r d c h e c k s re n o t i f i c a t i o n by m a n a g e m e n t or the

o f f i c e r or h i s f a m i l y w h e n f a u l t s a r e d e t e c t e d

t h r o u g h o u t the p e r i o d of r e s i d e n c e .

. C h e c k s b y o f f i c e r s o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s (or F o r e i g n A f f a i r s / T r a d e and

R e s o u r c e s as a p p r o p r i a t e ) in the p r o c e s s of t h ei r

n o r m a l o v e r s e a s i n s p e c t i o n s of h o u s i n g to c h e c k on

the c o n d i t i o n of r e s i d e n c e s and to ta lk to p e o p l e in

r e s i d e n c e s .

A f t e r a p r o c e s s of d i s c u s s i o n b e t w e e n the l a n d l o r d and te n a n t

ha s a s s e s s e d the d e g r e e of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and d a m a g e , a no r m a l

a s s e s s m e n t w o u l d be m a d e on h o w m u c h the o u t g o i n g r e s i d e n t

w o u l d be b i l l e d for the d a m a g e and the n o r m a l p r o c e s s e s of

r e c o v e r y w o u l d f o l l o w .

2. 8 A n u m b e r of d i f f i c u l t i e s in a l l o c a t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

for d a m a g e wa s h i g h l i g h t e d by th e D e p a r t m e n t of F o r e i g n

A f f a i r s : 2

D i f f i c u l t i e s in m a i n t a i n i n g u p d a t e d a n d a c c u r a t e

i n v e n t o r i e s .

1 3 C P A , F i n a n c e M i n u t e on R e p o r t 1 7 2 - F i n a n c i n g a n d

A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of P r o p e r t y O w n e d or L e a s e d by the

C o m m o n w e a l t h G o v e r n m e n t , M i n u t e s of E v i d e n c e , A G P S ,

C a n b e r r a , 198 2 , pp . 5-8.

2 . I b i d ., pp . 8- 11 .

17

• M a n y p r e m i s e s are not yet r e f u r b i s h e d to an a d e q u a t e

s t a n d a r d .

. R e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the m a i n t e n a n c e of v a r i o u s i t e m s

c a n v a r y s i g n i f i c a n t l y f r o m c o u n t r y to c o u n t r y

( e s p e c i a l l y in r e n t e d h o m e s ) .

. F u n d s are o f t e n no t i m m e d i a t e l y a v a i l a b l e to e f f e c t

r e p a i r s w h e n d a m a g e o c c u r s .

. O c c u p a n t s c a n n o t a l w a y s be h e l d r e s p o n s i b l e fo r

d a m a g e e s p e c i a l l y w h e r e o f f i c e r s are r e q u i r e d to

e n t e r t a i n w i t h i n t h e s e d w e l l i n g s as pa rt of t h e i r

r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s .

2.9 In r e g a r d for the He ad of M i s s i o n ' s e x t e n d e d ro le in

the a s s e s s m e n t of d a m a g e s et c. , the C o m m i t t e e saw a n e e d for a

d o c u m e n t ( s i g n e d by the Head of M i s s i o n or his d e l e g a t e )

s i g n i f y i n g his s a t i s f a c t i o n as to p r o p e r t y c o n d i t i o n , and

i n d i c a t i n g his d e c i s i o n s in r e g a r d to f u r t h e r a c t i o n , w h i c h

ma y be n e e d e d wh en a l e a s e ha s be en c o m p l e t e d .

3 . 1 0 All D e p a r t m e n t s a g a i n a r g u e d a g a i n s t the c o n c e p t of a

" b o n d " to c o v e r d a m a g e s or c l e a n i n g e x p e n s e s . The f o l l o w i n g

a r g u m e n t s we re a d v a n c e d :

. Th e C o m m o n w e a l t h / t e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p is a w e l l

e s t a b l i s h e d and s e c u r e o n e , the n o r m a l c o m m e r c i a l

l a n d l o r d / t e n a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p is u s u a l l y not.

. If a bo nd was i n i t i a l l y r e q u i r e d , o f f i c e r s wo ul d

t h r o u g h t h e i r S t a f f A s s o c i a t i o n s and in d i s c u s s i o n

w i t h the P u b l i c S e r v i c e Bo ar d, s e e k an a l l o w a n c e to

c o v e r this fr om the C o m m o n w e a l t h and n u l l i f y the

e f f e c t of the bond.

. S h o u l d a d i s p u t e a r i s e t h e r e w o u l d s t i l l be a need

for l e ga l p r o c e d u r e s to r e c o v e r d a m a g e s , e v e n t h o u g h

a bo nd s y s t e m ma y h a v e be en a p p l i e d i.e. t h e r e will

be no r e d u c t i o n in l e g a l co st s.

. Th er e are d i f f i c u l t i e s in d e t e r m i n i n g the s i z e of a

b o n d and r e l a t i n g it to the c o n t e n t s of a h o u s e (eg.

s o m e o v e r s e a s o f f i c e r s a r e h o u s e d in d w e l l i n g s

c o n t a i n i n g v a l u a b l e a s s e t s s u c h as a r t w o r k s e t c . ) .

. The c o n c e p t of a bo nd pu ts the on us on the o f f i c e r

h i m s e l f , bu t t h e r e is no r e c i p r o c a l o n u s on the

C o m m o n w e a l t h to m a i n t a i n the d w e l l i n g in good o r d e r .

Wh en f u n d s f l u c t u a t e , the s t a n d a r d of d w e l l i n g s can

vary, e s p e c i a l l y in t i me s of f i n a n c i a l r e s t r a i n t . 1

1 M i n u t e s of E v i d e n c e , o p . c i t ., p. 28.

18

. T h e r e w o u l d be a n e e d for o f f i c i a l p r o c e d u r e s to

a l l o w th e r i g h t of a p p e a l a g a i n s t an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e

d e c i s i o n s h o u l d a d i s p u t e a r i s e o v e r a b o n d .

2. 11 The C o m m i t t e e p r e s s e d for s u p p l y of d e t a i l of c a s e s

o v e r the p a s t five y e a r s , w h e r e r e c o v e r y has be en e f f e c t e d

( i n c l u d i n g the a m o u n t s r e c o v e r e d ) , and c a s e s w h e r e r e c o v e r y

was not p u r s u e d . A f t e r the I n q u i r y , d a t a r e l a t i n g to one

ye ar , 19 80 , wa s f o r w a r d e d to the C o m m i t t e e . (A p p e n d i x F).

U s i n g t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , t h e C o m m i t t e e c o u l d n o t m a k e a

c o n c r e t e j u d g e m e n t on th e f r e q u e n c y of c a s e s of r e c o v e r y ,

h o w e v e r the i n f e r e n c e to be d r a w n w i t h o n l y e i g h t c a s e s from

t h r e e p o s t s (o ut of e i g h t y p o s t s w o r l d wi de ) i n v o l v i n g a m o u n t s

of o n l y h u n d r e d s of d o l l a r s , is t h a t the o v e r a l l n u m b e r of

c a s e s do not a p p e a r to be s i g n i f i c a n t .

2. 12 In r e g a r d to the i s s u e of the use of a " b o n d " , the

C o m m i t t e e d o e s not w i s h to p u r s u e t h i s m a t t e r but e x p e c t s to

be a d v i s e d a f t e r i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of the r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s of the

3 . M . R . on o v e r s e a s a c c o u n t i n g a r r a n g e m e n t s , of th e a n n u a l

i n c i d e n c e of c a s e s of r e c o v e r y and an a s s e s s m e n t of the

e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f th e r e v i s e d p r o c e d u r e s in m a i n t a i n i n g the

r e c o v e r y s y s t e m . T h i s a d v i c e is r e q u i r e d a n n u a l l y for two

c a l e n d a r y e a r s f o l l o w i n g t a b l i n g of t h i s R e p o r t .

19

C H A P T E R 3

S U M M A R Y OF F U R T H E R A C T I O N R E Q U I R E D BY THE C O M M I T T E E

P a r a g r a p h R e c o m m e n d a t i o n / C o n c l u s i o n / A c t i o n R e q u i r e d

2.2 The C o m m i t t e e e x p e c t s to be a d v i s e d of the

r e s u l t s of the r e v i e w of the s e t t i n g of rent

c e i l i n g s in p r o g r e s s r e p o r t s at six m o n t h l y

i n t e r v a l s f r o m t a b l i n g t h i s R e p o r t u n t i l

r e s o l u t i o n .

2.9 The C o m m i t t e e c o n c l u d e d t h a t t h e r e wa s a ne ed

for a d o c u m e n t s i g n e d by the h e a d of Po st or his

d e l e g a t e s i g n i f y i n g h i s s a t i s f a c t i o n as to

p r o p e r t y c o n d i t i o n and i n d i c a t i n g his d e c i s i o n s

in r e g a r d to f u r t h e r a c t i o n w h i c h m a y be

r e q u i r e d on c o m p l e t i o n of a le a s e .

2 . 1 2 The C o m m i t t e e e x p e c t s to be f u r t h e r a d v i s e d on

the i m p a c t of th e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n of th e 3. M .R .

on O v e r s e a s A c c o u n t i n g R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s on the

i n c i d e n c e o f c a s e s o f r e c o v e r y a n d th e

e f f e c t i v e n e s s of t h e r e v i s e d p r o c e d u r e s in

c a r r y i n g out r e c o v e r y . The C o m m i t t e e w i s h e s to

be a d v i s e d of the i n c i d e n c e of c a s e s for the two

c a l e n d a r y e a r s a f t e r t a b l i n g of t h i s R e p o r t .

21

A P P E N D I C E S

A p p e n d i x C o n t e n t R e f e r e n c e

A

B

C

D

E

F

R e v i e w of O r g a n i s a t i o n of

O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y F u n c t i o n

O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o n t r o l -

o r g a n i s a t i o n a l c h a r t

P r o c e d u r e s for r e c o v e r y from

o c c u p a n t s for d a m a g e s to

p r e m i s e s

H e a d of M i s s i o n D e l e g a t i o n

(c u r r e n t and at th e t i m e of

the In qu iry )

R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 2

R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 2

R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 12

R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 5 (Chapter 2)

D e p a r t m e n t a l V i e w s on R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 12

a " B o n d S y s t e m " (Chapter 2)

D e t a i l s of r e c o v e r y in

r e s p e c t of P r o p e r t y D a m a g e

1 9 8 0

Chapter 2

23

APPENDIX A

R E V I E W O F O R G A N I S A T I O N O F O V E R S E A S P R O P E R T Y F U N C T I O N

( R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 2 r e f e r s ) 1. T h e p r o p o s a l s f o r t h e r e v i e w of t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n

of t h e o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n w e r e d e v e l o p e d a g a i n s t

the b a c k g r o u n d o f t h e r e c o m m e n d a t i o n s in t h e 1 7 2 n d R e p o r t

of t h e J o i n t C o m m i t t e e o f P u b l i c A c c o u n t s .

2. A m o n g t h e m a n y a s p e c t s w h i c h w e r e e s p e c i a l l y

r e l e v a n t i n r e c o n s i d e r i n g o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y a r r a n g e m e n t s

w e r e :

(a) t h e n e e d t o b e t t e r m a n a g e o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y

a c c o r d i n g t o t h e s t a n d a r d s a n d r e q u i r e m e n t s

a p p r o p r i a t e t o p a r t i c u l a r l o c a t i o n s a n d w i t h

d u e e c o n o m y ;

(b) t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f p r o v i d i n g a d e q u a t e l y for

t h e p r o p e r t y n e e d s o f o v e r s e a s p o s t s -

i n c l u d i n g b y s y s t e m a t i c f o r w a r d p l a n n i n g

a n d p r o g r a m m i n g ; a n d

(c) t h e d e s i r a b i l i t y o f f i n d i n g b e t t e r m e a n s

f o r a r r i v i n g a t c o n s i d e r e d a n d e c o n o m i c a l l y

s o u n d p r o g r a m s b a s e d o n s y s t e m a t i c

i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f d e t a i l e d u s e r r e q u i r e m e n t s .

A l l d e p a r t m e n t s c o n c e r n e d h a d e n d o r s e d t h e n e e d f o r g r e a t e r

d e v o l u t i o n o f a u t h o r i t y t o o v e r s e a s p o s t s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h

t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f c e n t r a l m a n a g e r s .

3. T h e g u i d a n c e o f it s v i e w s p r o v i d e d to th e P u b l i c

S e r v i c e B o a r d b y t h e D e p a r t m e n t of A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s

in it s r e p o r t u n d e r s e c t i o n 29 o f the P u b l i c S e r v i c e Act,

w h i c h s o u g h t a n e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n c r e a s e , w a s s u m m e d u p in

t h i s w a y :

'. . . t h e m a n a g e m e n t c a p a c i t y c u r r e n t l y

a v a i l a b l e u n d e r th e e x i s t i n g o r g a n i s a t i o n

a r r a n g e m e n t s is i n s u f f i c i e n t t o c o p e w i t h

2 5

th e m a j o r o v e r s e a s i s s u e s . T h e i n c r e a s i n g

c o m p l e x i t y o f a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f d o m e s t i c

p r o p e r t y h a s p l a c e d u n d u e s t r e s s o n e x i s t i n g

r e s o u r c e s a n d i n so d o i n g h a s e x a c e r b a t e d the

p r o b l e m o f m e e t i n g th e d e m a n d s o f G o v e r n m e n t

fo r m o r e e c o n o m i c a n d e f f i c i e n t m a n a g e m e n t of

A u s t r a l i a ' s o v e r s e a s e s t a t e . 1

4. A f t e r c o m p l e t i n g its e x a m i n a t i o n o f the

s e v e r a l p r o p o s a l s (in r e l a t i o n to b o t h o v e r s e a s a n d

d o m e s t i c p r o p e r t y a r r a n g e m e n t s ) in a c c o r d a n c e w i t h the

n o r m a l p r o c e s s e s in e x e r c i s e of it s s t a t u t o r y

r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , t h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a g r e e d

t h a t s o m e s t r e n g t h e n i n g o f the m a n a g e m e n t s t r u c t u r e s fo r

b o t h d o m e s t i c a n d o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n s w a s

r e q u i r e d .

5. T h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d p a r t i c u l a r l y

i n d i c a t e d that:

1 T h e q u e s t i o n o f l o c a t i o n of th e o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n in y o u r D e p a r t m e n t h a s

b e e n s u b j e c t to e x a m i n a t i o n f o l l o w i n g a

r e c o m m e n d a t i o n f r o m th e J o i n t C o m m i t t e e

o f P u b l i c A c c o u n t s . If th e f u n c t i o n c o n t i n u e s

to b e a d m i n i s t e r e d b y y o u r D e p a r t m e n t , we

c o n s i d e r t h a t it s h o u l d b e g r o u p e d w i t h

o t h e r p r o p e r t y f u n c t i o n s , a n d b e m a d e

r e s p o n s i b l e to t h e L e v e l 4 p o s i t i o n .'

( i e ., th e n e w p o s i t i o n of D i r e c t o r o f P r o p e r t y ) . 6

6. T h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d w a s s u b s e q u e n t l y

a d v i s e d t h a t w h i l e th e S e c r e t a r y o f the D e p a r t m e n t of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s w a s w i l l i n g to t r y o u t

o r g a n i s a t i o n a l a r r a n g e m e n t s t h a t g a v e th e D i r e c t o r of

P r o p e r t y o v e r a l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y fo r o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y

a l o n g w i t h h i s d o m e s t i c p r o p e r t y r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , he

d i d f e e l t h a t an O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e (0P0) s h o u l d

s i t as p a r t of th e P r o p e r t y D i r e c t o r a t e b u t s h o u l d , to

a l a r g e e x t e n t , be s e l f - c o n t a i n e d a n d e x e r c i s e d e l e g a t i o n s

f r o m t h e M i n i s t e r a n d t h e B o a r d .

7. A s a r e s u l t o f f u r t h e r d i s c u s s i o n s , th e

P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a g r e e d t o t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n o u t l i n e d

in t h e a t t a c h e d c h a r t .

8. T h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a l s o a g r e e d t h a t

M r J. C. W o l l a s t o n (who h a d b e e n r e c r u i t e d f r o m t h e p r i v a t e

s e c t o r i n 1 9 7 8 f o r a p e r i o d o f t w o to t h r e e y e a r s ) h a v e

h i s e n g a g e m e n t e x t e n d e d fo r a f u r t h e r p e r i o d o f up to

t h r e e y e a r s as S p e c i a l C o n s u l t a n t o n C o m m o n w e a l t h

P r o p e r t y . In c o n c e n t r a t i n g o n h i s n e w a d v i s o r y r o l e ,

M r W o l l a s t o n is to w o r k a l o n g s i d e , b u t s e p a r a t e from,

t h e P r o p e r t y D i r e c t o r a t e , a n d h a v e d i r e c t a c c e s s to th e

D e p u t y S e c r e t a r y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r d o m e s t i c a n d o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y a c t i v i t i e s .

9. In p r o p o s i n g t h e s e a r r a n g e m e n t s to th e P u b l i c

S e r v i c e B o a r d t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s

s t r e s s e d t h e m a g n i t u d e a n d c o m p l e x i t y o f t h e

C o m m o n w e a l t h ' s p r o p e r t y h o l d i n g s , a n d it s o w n v i e w t h a t

th e c o s t s a v i n g s a n d i m p r o v e m e n t s t h a t c a n be a c h i e v e d

r e q u i r e t h a t t h e D e p a r t m e n t c o n t i n u e t o h a v e a c c e s s to

th e p r i v a t e s e c t o r i n s i g h t s a n d e x p e r t i s e w h i c h M r W o l l a s t o n

c a n c o n t r i b u t e . In p a r t i c u l a r M r W o l l a s t o n ' s r o l e as

S p e c i a l C o n s u l t a n t w a s , in r e s p e c t o f A u s t r a l i a n a n d

o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y , t o e n c o m p a s s :

(a) e x a m i n a t i o n o f m a j o r c o n s t r u c t i o n , p u r c h a s e ,

l e a s e / p u r c h a s e , l e a s e , r e f u r b i s h i n g , f i t - o u t ,

l a n d us e a n d d i s p o s a l p r o p o s a l s , a g a i n s t a

b a c k g r o u n d o f t e c h n i c a l f e a s i b i l i t y a n d c o s t

e f f e c t i v e n e s s , w i t h a v i e w to a c h i e v i n g

s a v i n g s a n d i m p r o v e m e n t s ;

(b) a d v i c e o n p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s of p r o p e r t y

a c t i v i t i e s r e q u i r i n g s p e c i a l i s e d k n o w l e d g e

o f c o m m e r c i a l p r a c t i c e s ;

27

(c) p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h p r i v a t e

s e c t o r a n d g o v e r n m e n t a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s on

i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t s o f (a) a n d ( b ) ; a n d

(d) s p e c i a l i s e d a d v i c e to s t a f f e n g a g e d in -

(i) d a y - t o - d a y t e c h n i c a l s e r v i c e s

f u n c t i o n s ; a n d

(ii) p a r t i c u l a r p r o j e c t s i n c l u d e d in

the p r o p o s e d s h o r t - t e r m p r o g r a m

of s p e c i a l p r o p e r t y a c t i v i t i e s .

10. T h e P u b l i c S e r v i c e B o a r d a g r e e d t h a t th e S e n i o r

A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y , OP O, b e s u p p o r t e d in the m a n a g e m e n t

o f t h e O f f i c e b y t w o A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r i e s , L e v e l 1.

W i t h th e a g r e e m e n t o f t h e B o a r d a n d t h e P e r m a n e n t H e a d s

o f t h e D e p a r t m e n t s o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s a n d T r a d e an d

R e s o u r c e s , t h e t h r e e S e c o n d D i v i s i o n p o s i t i o n s in O P O

w i l l be o c c u p i e d b y an o f f i c e r f r o m e a c h o f t h o s e

D e p a r t m e n t s a n d an o f f i c e r f r o m the D e p a r t m e n t of

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s . M r A. A. H i l l i e r o f D A S w a s

p r o m o t e d as h e a d o f O P O - he is at p r e s e n t in the

U K on d u t y w i t h it s p r o p e r t y a g e n c y - a n d M r A l a n Fo gg

o f the D e p a r t m e n t o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s (until r e c e n t l y

A u s t r a l i a n A m b a s s a d o r to Pe ru ) is a c t i n g as S e n i o r

A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y , OPO. O n e o f th e L e v e l 1 p o s i t i o n s

in t h e O f f i c e is f i l l e d b y an A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y s e c o n d e d

f r o m th e D e p a r t m e n t of T r a d e a n d R e s o u r c e s s h o r t l y a f t e r

c o m p l e t i n g an o v e r s e a s p o s t i n g . Th e o t h e r is c u r r e n t l y

f i l l e d b y a t e c h n i c a l l y q u a l i f i e d A s s i s t a n t S e c r e t a r y

t r a n s f e r r e d f r o m d o m e s t i c p r o p e r t y w o r k in th e D e p a r t m e n t

o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s .

11. A n o t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t h a s b e e n e l e v a t i o n o f the

l e v e l s o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o n th e O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y C o m m i t t e e .

It is n o w c h a i r e d at D e p u t y S e c r e t a r y l e v e l a n d ha s

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s at t h a t l e v e l f r o m s e v e r a l d e p a r t m e n t s ,

n o t a b l y th e D e p a r t m e n t s o f F o r e i g n A f f a i r s a n d T r a d e a n d

R e s o u r c e s . T h i s w a s d e s i g n e d to s t r e n g t h e n the

e x i s t i n g c o n s u l t a t i v e p r o c e s s a n d to p r o v i d e r e g u l a r r e v i e w

28

of t h e k e y e l e m e n t s i n p r o g r a m s , as w e l l as a

s a t i s f a c t o r y m e a n s o f c o o r d i n a t i o n o f v i e w s on

p a r t i c u l a r o r g e n e r a l i s s u e s r e l e v a n t t o o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y .

12. T h e n e w a r r a n g e m e n t s w e r e s e e n b y t h e

D e p a r t m e n t o f A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S e r v i c e s as o f f e r i n g a

c o n s t r u c t i v e s t e p t o w a r d s m e e t i n g t h e c h a l l e n g e s in

t h e f i e l d o f o v e r s e a s p r o p e r t y a c t i v i t i e s .

29

Chief Executive Officer (Estate and Management

Policy)

APPENDIX B (R e c o m m e n d a t i o n

A P P E N D I X C

U n d e r t a k i n g i n r e s p e c t o f R e s i d e n t i a l

_______ A c c o m m o d a t i o n o v e r s e a s ______

( R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 12 r e fe rs)

I, .........................................................

(full n a m e , d e s i g n a t i o n a n d d e p a r t m e n t ) a c c e p t th e t e r m s l i s t e d

b e l o w as t h e y a p p l y to G o v e r n m e n t o w n e d / l e a s e d p r e m i s e s a t .....

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (f u l l a d d r e s s ) w h i c h

n a v e b e e n s u p p l i e d f o r o c c u p a t i o n b y m y s e l f a n d m y d e p e n d a n t s .

1. I , o n f i r s t o c c u p y i n g t h e p r e m i s e s (or u p o n s i g n a t u r e

h e r e o f ) a n d u p o n v a c a t i n g t h e p r e m i s e s , w i l l s i g n a n d d e l i v e r to

t h e H e a d o f P o s t o r h i s d e l e g a t e at . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(post) a n i n v e n t o r y o f a l l f u r n i t u r e a n d e q u i p m e n t p r o v i d e d in

t h e p r e m i s e s , a n d n o t e o n t h a t i n v e n t o r y th e c o n d i t i o n of t h a t

f u r n i t u r e a n d e q u i p m e n t ;

2. A s i n d i c a t e d b y t h e t e r m s of th e l e a s e (as a p p l i c a b l e ) , an d

to t h e b e s t o f m y a b i l i t y , I w i l l m a i n t a i n the p r e m i s e s an d

g r o u n d s , f u r n i t u r e a n d e q u i p m e n t in t h e s a m e o r d e r a n d c o n d i t i o n

as t h e y w e r e r e c e i v e d , n o r m a l w e a r a n d t e a r e x c e p t e d ; 3

3. If t h e p r e m i s e s o r a n y a r t i c l e o f f u r n i t u r e and equipment

s o r e c e i v e d , o r f u r n i t u r e a n d e q u i p m e n t s u b s e q u e n t l y received,

a r e d a m a g e d o r l o s t d u r i n g m y o c c u p a n c y I w i l l s u b m i t to u. .e

H e a d o f P o s t a f u l l r e p o r t o f c i r c u m s t a n c e s in which the

d a m a g e o r l o s s t o o k p l a c e . U p o n d i r e c t i o n of the Head o .

P o s t I w i l l m a k e g o o d such proportion o: the dam a :e

o r l o ss , h o w e v e r o c c a s i o n e d , which is beyond normal ' ■ ■ · - a r and

t e a r , a n d fo r w h i c h , in th e o p i n i o n of the Head o . . ·..

r e s p o n s i b l e ;

33

. ./2.

4. I u n d e r s t a n d t h a t t h e p r e m i s e s I w i l l o c c u p y h a v e b e e n

m a d e a v a i l a b l e b y t h e A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t f o r th e p e r i o d

o f m y o v e r s e a s d u t y w i t h t h e D e p a r t m e n t of ..............

a n d I w i l l v a c a t e t h e s e p r e m i s e s p r o m p t l y a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n

o f m y p o s t i n g u n l e s s o t h e r w i s e d i r e c t e d to e a r l i e r v a c a t e

t h e m b y t h e H e a d o f P o s t ;

5. D u r i n g a n y a b s e n c e f r o m th e p o s t I w i l l n o t p e r m i t the

o c c u p a n c y o f t h e p r e m i s e s b y a n y o t h e r p e r s o n o r f a m i l y

(o th er t h a n m y d e p e n d a n t s ) u n l e s s I h a v e f i r s t r e c e i v e d

w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n f r o m t h e H e a d o f P o st ;

6. I w i l l p a y o n t h e d u e d a t e to t h e l o c a l a u t h o r i t y a l l

u t i l i t y c o s t s a p p l i c a b l e at th e p o s t a n d n o t p a i d b y the

A u s t r a l i a n G o v e r n m e n t w h i c h a r e c o n s u m e d d u r i n g m y

o c c u p a n c y .

O f f i c e r

D e s i g n a t i o n

D a t e W i t n e s s

7G-2 4 1 / 1 0 . 0 9 . 7 9 .

34

A P P E N D I X C

R E C O V E R Y P R O C E D U R E S

( R e c o m m e n d a t i o n 12 r e f e r s )

C h i e f A c c o u n t i n g O f f i c e r is r e s p o n s i b l e fo r

m a i n t e n a n c e o f i n v e n t o r i e s o f f u r n i t u r e a n d

e q u i p m e n t at G o v e r n m e n t o w n e d a n d l e a s e d

a c c o m m o d a t i o n a n d f o r e n s u r i n g t h a t

c o n d i t i o n o f r e s i d e n c e s , c o n t e n t s a n d g r o u n d s

a r e r e c o r d e d w h e n o f f i c e r s f i r s t o c c u p y a n d

f i n a l l y v a c a t e p r e m i s e s .

O f f i c e r u p o n o c c u p y i n g r e s i d e n c e s i g n s u n d e r t a k i n g

(see A t t a c h m e n t A). U n d e r t a k i n g r e t a i n e d a t p o s t .

W h e n o f f i c e r f i r s t o c c u p i e s r e s i d e n c e (and f i n a l l y

v a c a t e s ) an i n s p e c t i o n is t o b e m a d e b y the

o f f i c e r , th e S e n i o r A d m i n i s t r a t i v e O f f i c e r (or

h i s d e l e g a t e ) a n d th e a g e n t (if a p p l i c a b l e ) , a n d

c o n d i t i o n of r e s i d e n c e , g r o u n d s a n d c o n t e n t s a r e

t o b e n o t e d o n a n I n s p e c t i o n R e p o r t ( A t t a c h e m n t B ) .

A n y l o s s o r d a m a g e t o p r e m i s e s o r c o n t e n t s is t o b e

n o t e d a n d r e p o r t e d to t h e H e a d o f P o st .

R e p o r t i n d i c a t e s w h e t h e r d a m a g e is d u e to 'f a i r

w e a r a n d t e a r ' a n d t h e o f f i c e r is t o p r o v i d e H e a d

o f P o s t a f u l l r e p o r t o n c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f d a m a g e

o r l o s s .

H e a d o f P o s t w i l l a d v i s e t h e o f f i c e r t h e p o r t i o n

o f d a m a g e o r l o s s h e c o n s i d e r s t o b e r e a s o n a b l y

b e y o n d f a i r w e a r a n d t e a r . In m a k i n g t h e a s s e s s m e n t

o f t h e a m o u n t t o b e r e c o v e r e d f r o m t h e o f f i c e r , th e

H e a d of P o s t w o u l d b e g u i d e d b y t h e a c t u a l d a m a g e ,

th e c o s t of r e p l a c e m e n t , a n d t h e a g e o f t h e d a m a g e d

a r t i c l e .

T h e D e p a r t m e n t a d m i n i s t e r i n g t h e p o s t w i l l i s s u e

D e b i t A d v i c e N o t e to o f f i c e r a n d t a k e f o l l o w up

a c t i o n t o r e c o v e r a m o u n t o w i n g . If n e c e s s a r y

o f f i c e r ' s D e p a r t m e n t w i l l b e r e q u e s t e d to a s s i s t

in t h e r e c o v e r y .

35

A P P E N D I X d

G O V E R N M E N T L E A S E P R O P O S A L S - H E A D O F P O S T D E L E G A T I O N

(C U R R E N T D E L E G A T I O N )

S u b j e c t t o t h e p r o v i s i o n s o f M O P 7 . D . 5 . , a h e a d of

’post m a y a p p r o v e a n d s i g n t h e l e a s e o f r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n

( i n c l u d i n g g a r a g e , s t a f f q u a r t e r s , etc) o n b e h a l f o f t h e

1 1 C o m m o n w e a l t h o f A u s t r a l i a " w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e t o t h e o v e r s e a s

p r o p e r t y o f f i c e w h e r e :

- t h a t l e a s e r e p l a c e s o r r e n e w s a n e x i s t i n g l e a s e in r e s p e c t

o f a n e x i s t i n g s t a f f i n g c o m m i t m e n t at t h e p o s t ; or

- i t is a l e a s e i n r e s p e c t o f a n i n c r e a s e d s t a f f i n g c o m m i t m e n t

e m a n a t i n g f r o m t h e t r a n s f e r o f a n e x i s t i n g p o s i t i o n f r o m

a n o t h e r p o s t .

P r o v i d e d t h a t :

(a) A d d i t i o n a l c o m m i t m e n t s f o r r e n t , u t i l i t i e s , m a i n t e n a n c e ,

f u r n i t u r e a n d f i t t i n g s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e p o s i t i o n

c o n c e r n e d c a n b e m e t f r o m w i t h i n a p o s t ' s a p p r o v e d

p r o g r a m s a f t e r t a k i n g i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n a n y f u n d s w h i c h

m i g h t a t t a c h t o a t r a n s f e r r e d p o s i t i o n . U p o n a d v i s e of

t h e l o s s of t h e p o s i t i o n th e l o s i n g p o s t w i l l a d v i c e th e

O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e , a n d t h e g a i n i n g p o s t , o f the

f u n d s (i) p r o g r a m m e d f o r t h e p o s i t i o n a n d (ii) a v a i l a b l e

f o r t r a n s f e r . If t h e g a i n i n g p o s t ' s f u n d s i n c l u d i n g

f u n d s t o b e t r a n s f e r r e d , a r e s u f f i c i e n t t o c o v e r a d d i t i o n a l

c o m m i t m e n t s t h e O v e r s e a s P r o p e r t y O f f i c e w i l l t r a n s f e r funds

u p o n r e q u e s t . If t h e f u n d s a r e i n s u f f i c i e n t the delegation

c a n n o t b e e x e r c i s e d a n d f u n d s a n d a p p r o v a l to enter into

a l e a s e m u s t b e s o u g h t from t h e Overseas Property Office;

(b) R e n t a l p a y m e n t s i n r e s p e c t o f t h e lease do not exceed the

r e n t a l c e i l i n g s s e t o u t in t h e appropriate Part 6 schedule

o f t h e d e t e r m i n a t i o n s r e l a t i n g to overseas service;

(c) D u e c o n s i d e r a t i o n is g i v e n to the area standards for the

a p p r o p r i a t e a c c o m m o d a t i o n g r o u p i n g set out at MOP Annexure

8F;

(d) T h e l e a s e d o e s n o t i n v o l v e :

- A d v a n c e r e n t a l p a y m e n t s in e x c e s s of 12 m o n t h s ;

- D e a d r e n t ;

- T h i r d c o u n t r y p a y m e n t s .

37

A P P E N D I X D ( c o n t i n u e d )

G O V E R N M E N T L E A S E P R O P O S A L S - H E A D OF P O S T D E L E G A T I O N

A h e a d o f P o s t m a y a p p r o v e a n d s i g n the l e a s e of

r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n ( i n c l u d i n g g a r a g e , s t a f f q u a r t e r s etc.)

o n b e h a l f o f " T h e C o m m o n w e a l t h of A u s t r a l i a " w h e r e t h a t l e a s e

r e p l a c e s o r r e n e w s an e x i s t i n g l e a s e o r is a l e a s e in r e s p e c t of

a n i n c r e a s e d s t a f f i n g c o m m i t m e n t at th e p o s t p r o v i d e d :

(a) r e n t a l p a y m e n t s in r e s p e c t o f the l e a s e do

n o t e x c e e d t h e r e n t a l c e i l i n g s se t o u t in

t h e a p p r o p r i a t e P a r t 6 s c h e d u l e of the

D e t e r m i n a t i o n s R e l a t i n g to O v e r s e a s S e r v i c e ;

(b) a r e n t a l c o m m i t m e n t in r e l a t i o n to th e p o s i t i o n

c o n c e r n e d w a s s p e c i f i c a l l y n o m i n a t e d in th e

d r a f t a n n u a l e s t i m a t e s p r o v i d e d to t h e O v e r s e a s

P r o p e r t y O f f i c e ;

(c) d u e c o n s i d e r a t i o n is g i v e n to the a r e a s t a n d a r d s

fo r th e a p p r o p r i a t e a c c o m m o d a t i o n g r o u p i n g set

o u t at M O P A n n e x u r e 8F;

(d) t h e l e a s e d o e s n o t i n v o l v e an y of th e f o l l o w i n g

(i) a d v a n c e r e n t a l p a y m e n t s in e x c e s s of

12 m o n t h s ; or

(ii) s i g n i f i c a n t c o s t i n c r e a s e s in p a y m e n t s

for m a i n t e n a n c e u t i l i t i e s or d e a d rent; or

(iii) a n y a d d i t i o n a l e x p e n d i t u r e on f u r n i t u r e

or f i t t i n g s in the f i n a n c i a l y e a r in w h i c h

the l e a s e is s i g n e d or re ne wed .

38

A P P E N D I X E

A M P L I F I C A T I O N OF R E S P O N S E T O J O I N T C O M M I T T E E

O F P A R L I A M E N T A R Y P U B L I C A C C O U N T S

BO ND S Y S T E M ( P a r a g r a p h 18 o f o u r O P 7 8 / 5 9 o f 15 July)

In c o n c l u d i n g t h a t a b o n d s y s t e m w o u l d n o t b e c o s t

e f f e c t i v e , D e p a r t m e n t s c o n s i d e r e d t h e i m p l e m e n t a t i o n o f s u c h a

s y s t e m a n d i t s l i k e l y e f f e c t i v e n e s s a g a i n s t t h e c u r r e n t

a r r a n g e m e n t s .

C o m m e r c i a l l e a s i n g p r a c t i c e o f t e n r e q u i r e s a s e c u r i t y

b o n d t o be d e p o s i t e d w i t h t h e l a n d l o r d a n d it is u s u a l f o r t h e

a m o u n t o f t h e b o n d t o b e e q u a l t o o n e m o n t h ' s re nt . T h e s i m i l a r

b o n d i n g o f o f f i c e r s , if r e l a t e d t o t h e a c t u a l r e n t a l p a i d f o r

the o f f i c e r ' s a c c o m m o d a t i o n , c o u l d i n v o l v e s e c u r i t y d e p o s i t s

r a n g i n g f r o m a f e w h u n d r e d t o s e v e r a l t h o u s a n d d o l l a r s . A n

i m p u t e d r e n t a l v a l u e w o u l d n e e d t o b e c a l c u l a t e d f o r o f f i c e r s

o c c u p y i n g C o m m o n w e a l t h o w n e d r e s i d e n c e s .

S e c u r i t y b o n d s o f d i f f e r i n g a m o u n t s w h e r e o f f i c e r s ar e

n o t i n a p o s i t i o n t o c h o o s e t h e i r a c c o m m o d a t i o n w e r e c o n s i d e r e d

to b e i n e q u i t a b l e . T h e a v e r a g e m o n t h l y r e n t a l t o b e p a i d in

1 9 8 1 / 8 2 f o r l e a s e d r e s i d e n t i a l a c c o m m o d a t i o n o v e r s e a s is a b o u t

$1 1 5 0 .

D e p a r t m e n t s b e l i e v e t h a t i n a n o v e r s e a s s e r v i c e t h a t

r e q u i r e s t h a t o f f i c e r s b e a v a i l a b l e f o r p o s t i n g s a n d g e n e r a l l y

t h a t t h e o f f i c e r o c c u p i e s t h e a c c o m m o d a t i o n a l l o c a t e d to him,

w i t h o u t c h o i c e , i t w o u l d n o t b e p o s s i b l e t o o b t a i n p a y m e n t o f

s e c u r i t y b o n d s o f t h e m a g n i t u d e o f t h e a v e r a g e m o n t h l y r e n t a l

w i t h o u t a c o m p e n s a t i n g p a y m e n t o r a l l o w a n c e f r o m t h e C o m m o n w e a l t h

to t h e o f f i c e r . S u c h a p a y m e n t w o u l d a p p e a r t o b e s e l f - d e f e a t i n g .

It m a y b e n e c e s s a r y f o r a t r u s t f u n d to b e c r e a t e d fo r the

h o l d i n g o f s e c u r i t y d e p o s i t s .

T h e u s e o f s e c u r i t y b o n d s i n c o m m e r c i a l l e a s i n g

p r a c t i c e is a r e f l e c t i o n o f a l a n d l o r d ' s d e s i r e to r e c o v e r th e

c o s t o f d a m a g e q u i c k l y a n d w i t h o u t r e c o u r s e to l i t i g a t i o n .

O f f i c e r s p o s t e d o v e r s e a s o n t h e o t h e r h a n d ar e m o s t l y

C o m m o n w e a l t h P u b l i c S e r v a n t s f r o m w h o m t h e C o m m o n w e a l t h , as b o t h

l a n d l o r d a n d e m p l o y e r , c a n r e c o v e r m o n e y r e l a t i v e l y s i m p l y

e. g. t h r o u g h s a l a r y d e d u c t i o n . T h e r e c o v e r y o f th e c o s t of

d a m a g e is o n l y e f f e c t i v e i f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r th e d a m a g e is

e s t a b l i s h e d a n d i n t h i s r e g a r d a b o n d s y s t e m h a s n o a d v a n t a g e s

o v e r t h e e x i s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s .

W h i l s t a c o m p r e h e n s i v e l i s t of a l l r e c o v e r i e s u n d e r t a k e n

t h r o u g h o u t t h e o v e r s e a s e s t a t e i n t h e l a s t f i v e y e a r s w a s n o t

u n d e r t a k e n f o r t h e r e a s o n s p r o v i d e d in th e r e s p o n s e of 15 J u l y ,

a n u m b e r o f c a s e s w h i c h c o u l d b e r e a d i l y i d e n t i f i e d o v e r th e l a s t 5

y e a r s w a s i n v e s t i g a t e d . I n s e v e n c a s e s t h e a m o u n t s i n v o l v e d r a n g e d

f r o m $ 3 0 - $ 3 0 8 - b u t w e r e m o s t l y u n d e r $100. G i v e n the r e l a t i v e l y

s m a l l a m o u n t s i n v o l v e d , a n d th e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n r e q u i r e d for a b o n d

s y s t e m , e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f s u c h a s y s t e m w a s n o t c o n s i d e r e d t o h a v e

a n y c o s t a d v a n t a g e s .

F a c e d w i t h e x i s t i n g p r o c e d u r e s f o r r e c o v e r y f r o m

o c c u p a n t s f o r d a m a g e to p r e m i s e s , it w a s b e l i e v e d t h a t the

e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a b o n d s y s t e m w o u l d i n v o l v e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e

c o s t s t o c o l l e c t a n d m a i n t a i n a s u m o u t o f p r o p o r t i o n to the

a m o u n t s t h a t m a y n e e d to b e r e c o v e r e d a n d w o u l d n o t b e c o s t

e f f e c t i v e .

39

A P P E N D I X F - D e t a i l s of

r e c o v e r y in r e s p e c t of

p r o p e r t y d a m a g e - 1980

O P 7 8 / 5 9 W e s t B l o c k

C A N B E R R A . A . C . T . 2 6 0 0

22 J a n u a r y 19 82

T h e S e c r e t a r y

D e p a r t m e n t o f F i n a n c e

C A N B E R R A . A . C . T . 2 6 0 0

A t t e n t i o n : M r C . J . L o u t t i t

J o i n t C o m m i t t e e o f P u b l i c A c c o u n t s - 1 7 2 n d R e p o r t -

F i n a n c i n g a n d A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f C o m m o n w e a l t h P r o p e r t y

Overseas * 2 3 4 5

I r e f e r t o t h e e v i d e n c e g i v e n b e f o r e t h e J o i n t

P a r l i a m e n t a r y C o m m i t t e e o f P u b l i c A c c o u n t s o n 22 O c t o b e r

19 81 , a t w h i c h t h e C o m m i t t e e i n d i c a t e d t h a t it s t i l l f a v o u r e d

a b o n d s y s t e m i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e s a f e g u a r d o f th e

C o m m o n w e a l t h a s s e t s o v e r s e a s a n d s o u g h t d e t a i l s o f r e c o v e r i e s

t a k e n i n r e s p e c t o f p r o p e r t y d a m a g e .

2. A l l o v e r s e a s p o s t s w e r e r e q u e s t e d t o p r o v i d e the

f o l l o w i n g d e t a i l s f o r t h e c a l e n d a r y e a r 1 9 8 0 -

(a) d e t a i l s o f r e c o v e r i e s m a d e a t p o s t ;

(b) d e t a i l s of r e c o v e r i e s i n s t i t u t e d a f t e r

a n o f f i c e r h a s d e p a r t e d th e p o s t .

3. T h e d e t a i l i n e a c h i n c l u d e d -

(i) b r i e f d e t a i l s o f d a m a g e i n c u r r e d ;

(ii) a m o u n t of r e c o v e r y m a d e o r s o u g h t .

4 . O n l y t h r e e (3) o v e r s e a s p o s t s h a d t h e n e c e s s i t y

to m a k e r e c o v e r i e s f r o m o f f i c e r s d u r i n g 1980. T h e r e m a i n i n g

p o s t s a d v i s e d t h a t n o r e c o v e r y a c t i o n w a s w a r r a n t e d or

n e c e s s a r y a t t h e i r p o s t s d u r i n g t h a t p e r i o d .

5 . D e t a i l s o f t h e r e c o v e r i e s s o u g h t ar e s h o w n in the

a t t a c h e d .

(H.B. M a c D o n a l d ) D e p u t y S e c r e t a r y

41

A P P E N D I X F - A T T A C H M E N T

P o s t a n d O f f i c e r ' s

N a m e

a n d D e p a r t m e n t

B r i e f D e t a i l s of

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G E N E V A

O f f i c e r 1 A' D a m a g e to w h i t e

c a r p e t v a l u e d at

S w i s s F r a n c s

2 0 0 0 (approx. $ A 4 13

T h e a c c o m m o d a t i o n w a s l e a s e d f u r n i s h e d

a n d th e o w n e r s

c l a i m e d fu ll

r e p l a c e m e n t c o s t . A f t e r d i s c u s s i o n s a n d c o r r e s p o n d e n c e b e t w e e n th e p o s t an d

th e o w n e r ' s solicitors, d a m a g e w a s s e t t l e d at

S w i s s F r a n c s 1630

(approx. $ A 3 3 7 ) . T h i s

a m o u n t w a s p a i d in

full.

P A R I S

O f f i c e r 'B ' L a u n d r y c h a r g e s

for m a t t r e s s

p r o t e c t o r

$ A 2 .57 R e c o v e r e d

O f f i c e r 'C ' C l e a n i n g of

a p a r t m e n t a n d

c u r t a i n s

$ A 1 8 8 .12 R e c o v e r e d

O f f i c e r 'D ' C o s t of r e p l a c e m e n t

m a t t r e s s

$ A 2 41 .3 6 R e c o v e r e d

O f f i c e r 'E 1 C o s t o f r e p l a c e m e n t

t e a t r o l l e y

$ A 4 4 .40 R e c o v e r e d

O f f i c e r 1F 1 C o s t of p a p e r i n g

m a i n a n d c h i l d r e n ' s

b e d r o o m s

$A18 8.10 R e c o v e r e d

N o n e o f t h e a b o v e r e c o v e r i e s (for Paris) w e r e m a d e at the

p o s t . L a n d l o r d s o b t a i n a n d p r e s e n t q u o t a t i o n s for r e p a i r s a n d s u c h

a d v i c e is n o t a v a i l a b l e u n t i l w e l l a f t e r th e o f f i c e r ha s d e p a r t e d

t h e p o s t . R e c o v e r y is m a d e t h r o u g h t h i s D e p a r t m e n t a n d w h e n

n e c e s s a r y th e o f f i c e r ' s o w n D e p a r t m e n t .

B U E N O S A I R E S

O f f i c e r 'G'

O f f i c e r 'F 1

D a m a g e to w a l l s

r e q u i r i n g r e p a i r an d

r e p a i n t i n g

D a m a g e to w a l l s

r e q u i r i n g r e p a i r and

r e p a i n t i n g

$282 R e c o v e r y a c t i o n s t i l l in p r o g r e s s

f i na l a c c o u n t i n g of s e c u r i t y

d e p o s i t no t

o b t a i n e d un ti l 8 m o n t h s a f t e r

e x p i r e of lease.

$1 41 "

42