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Thursday, 26 June 2014
Page: 4047


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance) (13:38): I thank Senator Wong for her contribution to the debate on behalf of the opposition and also for facilitating efficient consideration of these bills through the Senate. As Senator Wong mentioned, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act was passed in June 2013 and is due to come into effect on 1 July 2014. Many of the amendments in these consequential bills merely insert cross-references to the PGPA Act and over 250 other acts to displace references to two predecessor financial management acts. The consequential revisions ensure that governance acts for Commonwealth government bodies are not rendered ineffective in part or whole by the changeover to the PGPA regime.

Likewise, the three appropriation modification acts ensure that government entities are able to access all current appropriation acts that the parliament has previously approved. The consequential and transitional provisions in these bills are the result of extensive consultation involving about 200 Australian government bodies and other interested stakeholders from December 2013 through to February 2014. They also address all of the bipartisan recommendations that were made by the JCPAA after an extensive inquiry into this legislation.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate has flagged an amendment in relation to the Commonwealth Cleaning Services Guidelines 2012. I understand that your position is that you are keen to ensure that there remains a legal basis for these guidelines after these bills are passed through the Senate, and I can confirm that, while of course the government, as has previously been indicated, is not supportive of the guidelines themselves, to ensure timely commencement of this legislation as an act the government will not oppose this amendment. I commend the bills to the Senate.

Question agreed to.

Bills read a second time.