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Friday, 2 March 1984
Page: 347

(Question No. 621)

Senator Messner asked the Minister representing the Minister for Administrative Services, upon notice, on 15 December 1983:

(1) Has the Department of Administrative Services spent any money in connection with the proposed assets test program; if so, on what.

(2) From what funds have these moneys been appropriated.

(3) Who authorised the appropriations.

Senator Gietzelt —The Minister for Administrative Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question.

(1) and (2) Yes; annual rental commitments totalling $1,836,605 and $485,021 have been entered into to date for the lease of accommodation for the Departments of Social Security and Veterans' Affairs respectively. The moneys were taken from the Department of Administrative Services rental appropriation, Division 130-4-01. In addition, 155 vehicles earmarked for disposal were withheld from auction for use by the Department of Social Security in connection with the assets test program. The vehicles would have realised an estimated $0. 57m at auction and delayed disposal will decrease their sale value. Revenue foregone would have been paid to the transport and storage trust account revenue item 00/24/20.

(3) Appropriation, Division 130-4-01, was authorised in the context of the 1983 -84 Budget. Withholding the 155 vehicles from auction was done with the approval of the Department of Finance.

The Minister for Finance has approved additional rental obligation for urgent accommodation requirements for the pensions assets test.