Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee


In Attendance

Senator Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation


Department of Finance and Deregulation


Mr David Tune, Secretary

Outcome 1

Mr David Martine, Deputy Secretary, Budget Group

Ms Teena Blewitt, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Budget Policy and Coordination Division

Ms Amanda Lee, Assistant Secretary, Budget Coordination Branch

Mr Neil Richardson, Assistant Secretary, Budget Analysis Branch

Mr Stephen Clively, First Assistant Secretary, Government and Defence Division

Mr David Hallinan, Assistant Secretary, Immigration and Foreign Affairs Branch

MrRob Antich, Assistant Secretary, Attorney General Branch

Mr Mark Thomann, First Assistant Secretary, Social Policy Division

Ms Lisa Foreman, Assistant Secretary, Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Branch

Mr Nicholos Hunt, Assistant Secretary, Health and Ageing Branch

Mr Steve O'Loughlin, Assistant Secretary, Human Services and Veterans' Affairs Branch

Mr David Weiss, First Assistant Secretary, Industry, Education and Infrastructure Division

Dr Stein Helgeby, Deputy Secretary, Governance and Resource Management Group

Mr Tim Youngberry, First Assistant Secretary, Central Budget Management System Redevelopment Project Division

Ms Anne Collins, Assistant Secretary, CBMS Redevelopment Project

Mr Alan Greenslade, First Assistant Secretary, Financial Reporting and Cash Management Division

Mr Marc Mowbray-d'Arbela, Assistant Secretary, Appropriations and Cash Management Branch

Mr Peter Gibson, Assistant Secretary, Financial Reporting and Accounting Branch

Mr John Grant, First Assistant Secretary, Funds and Superannuation Division

Ms Sharon Ong, Assistant Secretary, Superannuation Branch

Mr Brad Cook, Assistant Secretary, Funds Branch

Mr Lembit Suur, First Assistant Secretary, Financial Framework Division

Ms Kerry Markoulli, Assistant Secretary, Resource Management Branch

Mr Gareth Hall, Assistant Secretary, Resource Framework and Reporting Branch

Mr George Sotiropoulos, Assistant Secretary, Governance Branch

Ms Rosemary Deininger, First Assistant Secretary, Implementation and Performance Improvement Division

Mr Neil Robertson, Assistant Secretary, Assurance Reviews Branch

Ms Simone Pensko, Assistant Secretary, Efficiency Improvement Branch

Ms Laurie Van Veen, Assistant Secretary, Communications Advice Branch

Ms Susan Page, Deputy Secretary, Deregulation and Review Group

Mr Peter McCray, First Assistant Secretary, Strategic and International Policy Division

Mr Jason McNamara, Executive Director, Office of Best Practice Regulation

Mr Peter Saunders, First Assistant Secretary, Deregulation Policy Division

Mr Darrell Porter, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Best Practice Regulation

Outcome 2

Ms Jan Mason, Deputy Secretary, Business Procurement and Asset Management Group

Mr Greg Whalen, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Property and Construction Division

Mr Andrew Smith, Assistant Secretary, Property Portfolio Branch

Mr Mike Matthewson, Acting Assistant Secretary, Heritage, Environment and Land Policy Branch

Mr Robin Renwick, First Assistant Secretary, Moorebank Project Office

Mr John Edge, First Assistant Secretary, Commercial and Claims Division

Ms Stacie Hall, Assistant Secretary, Government Businesses Advice Branch

Mr Phil Smith, Assistant Secretary, NBN Policy and Shareholder Branch

Mr Robert Higgins, Assistant Secretary, Risk, Insurance and Special Claims Branch

Mr John Sheridan, First Assistant Secretary, Technology and Procurement Division

Mr Glenn Archer, First Assistant Secretary, Australian Government Information Management Office

Mr Marc Vickers, Assistant Secretary, Australian Government Information Management Office

Outcome 3

Ms Jenet Connell, Deputy Secretary, Chief Operating Officer

Ms Suzanne Pitson, Acting First Assistant Secretary,

Ministerial and Parliamentary Services Division

Mr Greg Miles, Assistant Secretary, Entitlements Management Branch

Ms Kim Baker, Assistant Secretary, Client Services Branch

Ms Cheryl-anne Moy, Assistant Secretary, Accountability and Reporting Branch

Mr Tony Nairn, Acting Assistant Secretary, Entitlements Policy Branch

Mr Jason Ford, Assistant Secretary, COMCAR


Mr Carl Murphy, First Assistant Secretary, Finance, People and Communications Division

Ms Rozanne Frost, First Assistant Secretary, Information, Technology and Workplace Divison

Mr David Yarra, First Assistant Secretary, Strategy and Governance Division

Mr Stephen Taylor, Assistant Secretary, Legal and Strategic Support Branch

Mr Andrew Harvey, Assistant Secretary, Chief Financial Officer Branch

Australian Electoral Commission

Mr Ed Killesteyn, Electoral Commissioner

Mr Tom Rogers, Deputy Electoral Commissioner

Mr Kevin Kitson, First Assistant Commissioner

Mr Pablo Carpay, First Assistant Commissioner

Mr Paul Pirani, Chief Legal Officer

Ms Rachel Harris , Chief Finance Officer

Ms Marie Neilson, Assistant Commissioner, Elections Branch

Mr Andrew Gately, Assistant Commissioner, Roll Management Branch

Ms Gabrielle Paten, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Strategic Capability Branch

Ms Kathy Mitchell, Assistant Commissioner, Education and Communications Branch

Ms Karen Lee-Archer, Acting Assistant Commissioner, People Services Branch

Future Fund Management Agency

Mr Mark Burgess, Managing Director

Mr David Neal, Chief Investment Officer


Dr Jill Charker, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Danni Woods, Executive Manager, Corporate Strategy and Support Group

Mr Richard Bridge, Chief Governance Officer

Mr Murali Venugopal, Chief Financial Officer

Ms Tracy Savage, Executive Manager, PSSap Administration Management

Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation

Mr Peter Carrigy-Ryan, Chief Executive Officer

Medibank Private Ltd

Mr George Savvides, Managing Director

Committee met at 09:05

CHAIR ( Senator Polley ): I declare open this meeting of the Senate Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee. The Senate has referred to the committee the particulars of proposed expenditure and particulars of certain proposed expenditure for 2013-14 for the parliamentary departments and the portfolios of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Finance and Deregulation. The committee may also examine the annual reports of the departments and agencies appearing before us.

The committee has fixed Friday, 12 July 2013 as the date by which answers to questions on notice are to be returned. Today the committee will continue examination of the departments and agencies of the Finance and Deregulation portfolio, beginning with Medibank Private. We will then proceed to outcomes 2 and 3 of the department and conclude with the Australian Electoral Commission.

Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings. If you need assistance or copies of those rules, they are available through the secretariat. I particularly draw the attention of witnesses to the order of the Senate of 13 May 2009, specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised and which I now incorporate into Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

(a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

(b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)