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Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Page: 200


Senator Ronaldson asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 24 November 2008:

In regard to the Minster’s administered portfolio area, for the 2008 calendar year, can lists be provided for: (a) the top 5 program overspends and their costs; and (b) the top 5 program underspends and their costs.


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

I am not prepared to authorise the expense of time and diversion of resources that would be required for the Department to assemble the requested information on a calendar year basis. Departments, and the Government more broadly, generally budget on a financial year basis. Accordingly, information has been provided on a financial year basis for the 2007-08 financial year.

(a)   In 2007-08, against the estimated actual expense shown at page 37 of the 2008-09 Portfolio Budget Statements, the Department had only one administered program that was over-expensed: International Organisations Contributions, by $34,000.

(b)   In 2007-08, against the estimated actual expense shown at page 37 of the 2008-09 Portfolio Budget Statements, the top five under-expensed programs were:

(1)   Australian Broadband Guarantee, by $25.6m;

(2)   Telstra Social Bonus 2, by $4.4m;

(3)   Television Black Spots Program - Alternative Technical Solutions, by $4.3m;

(4)   Protecting Australian Families Online, by $2.6m; and

(5)   Connect Australia, by $1.3m.