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Tuesday, 10 March 2009
Page: 1211


Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 3 December 2008:

(1)   Given that spending on individual programs is not reported in either the budget papers or annual reports, did any program in the minister’s portfolio:

(a)   have underspends for the 2007-08 financial year; if so, for each underspend: (i) in what program did it fall, (ii) how much was the underspend, and (iii) what was the reason for the underspend; and

(b)   have overspends for the 2007-08 financial year; if so, for each overspend: (i) in what program did it fall, (ii) how much was the overspend, and (iii) what was the reason for the overspend.

(2)   Will any agencies and/or departments in the Minister’s portfolio return money in the 2008-09 Budget as a result of underspends for the 2007-08 financial year; if so how much


Senator Conroy (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)  

(a)   The following three programs had underspends in the 2007-08 financial year:

  • Telecommunications Service Inquiry: underspend of $0.350m as funding was not required;
  • Telstra Social Bonus 2: underspend of $4.408m - please see the Hansard for Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts, Monday 20 October 2008 from ECA 17 for further information; and
  • Program Other: underspend of $35.309m - the variance is largely driven by underspends in Australian Broadband Guarantee and Television Blackspots - Alternative Technical Solutions. Please see the Hansard for Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the Arts, Monday 20 October 2008 from ECA 10 and 15 for further information.

(b)   There was a small overspend of $0.034m for the International Organisations Contributions, a component of Program Other, which resulted from fluctuating foreign currency exchange rates, affecting the annual membership contribution which is paid in Swiss Francs.

  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation: $7.5m
  • The Special Broadcasting Service: $1.4m

   In addition, the Minster for Finance and Deregulation lapsed a total of $358.5m in administered appropriations for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy and the former Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts on 4 December 2008.