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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1391

Mr DOWNER —On behalf of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts, I present the 266th report of the Committee-the response to the report on expenditure from the Advance to the Minister for Finance (Appropriation Acts 1983-84).

Ordered that the report be printed.

Mr DOWNER —by leave-The Committee's 266th report details the Government's response to the Committee's 239th report on expenditure from the Advance to the Minister for Finance under the Appropriation Acts 1983-84. The Advance to the Minister for Finance is a provision authorised by the annual Appropriation Acts. In this instance some $270m was made available to the Minister for issue in accordance with the terms of the appropriations and section 36A of the Audit Act. Each year the Committee examines expenditures from the Advance to the Minister for Finance. Such expenditure should be confined to urgent and unforeseeable requirements for which provision could not have been made in the original or additional estimates. Among the matters covered in this report are: The Department of Defence's problems and delays in meeting tax obligations, and difficulties in the staffing of positions and the management of salaries in the Department of Territories. I commend the report to honourable members.