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Thursday, 14 February 2019
Page: 10306

Senator DEAN SMITH (Western AustraliaChief Government Whip in the Senate) (16:22): On behalf of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, I present two reports of the committee, as listed at item 14 on today's Order of Business, as well as the executive minutes and responses to various reports. I move:

That the Senate take note of the reports.

I present two reports from the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit. The first is entitled Report 475: Defence First principles review, naval construction and mental health in the AFP. Chapter 2 of the report, based on audit report No. 34, outlines the Department of Defence's implementation of the First principles review. The First principles review was 'designed to ensure Defence is fit for purpose and able to promptly respond to future challenges'. The Australian National Audit Office assessed the effectiveness of Defence's implementation of the First principles review, finding that it had implemented a substantial number of the most important recommendations. However, a number remain a work in progress and have yet to be implemented.

The committee's recommendations included that Defence maintain momentum to implement recommendations of the First principles review and work to improve its forecasting of financial expenditure. The committee also noted various aspects in regard to the Australian Federal Police and the work of the Department of Health, and acknowledged the Australian National Audit Office finding that the quality of the IAHP primary health care value-for-money assessments is in need of improvement. Their advice to the committee is that it is currently working to address this. The committee's recommendations included that Health continue to prioritise the implementation of the planned funding model of the IAHP, which was four years behind schedule, and develop a revised national key performance indicator.

The committee thanks officials from all agencies involved for assisting the committee in its inquiries. I'd like to extend my appreciation and thanks to all members of the committee for their continued deliberations. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.