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Tuesday, 11 February 1986
Page: 99

(Question No. 585)


Senator Withers asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice, on 8 October 1985:

(1) What sum is allocated in the current financial year for hospitality/entertainment which may be expended:

(a) by the Department; and

(b) by each and every Statutory Authority for which the Minister has responsibility.

(2) What were the guidelines in force as at 1 September 1985 for expenditure from the hospitality/entertainment account of:

(a) the Department; and

(b) each and every Statutory Authority for which the Minister has responsibility.

(3) Following upon the Statement by the Treasurer `Reform of the Australian Taxation System' on 19 September 1985 what action is proposed in relation to questions 1 and 2 above.


Senator Ryan —The Minister for Housing and Construction has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

1 (a) The Department has allocated an amount of $7,500 for hospitality/entertainment expenses in 1985/86.

1 (b) The portfolio incorporates two statutory authorities:

(i) Housing Loans Insurance Corporation-the Corporation has allocated an amount of $20,500 for hospitality/entertainment expenses in 1985/86.

(ii) Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation-the corporation's operating budget for 1985/86 estimates expenditure on hospitality/entertainment as follows:

Australia...$22,000

Overseas...$33,000

$55,000

2 (a) The guidelines in force as at 1 September 1985 relating to the provision of official hospitality/entertainment are contained in Finance Directions 13/1, 13/2 and Guidelines 13/1 to 13/14.

Any expenditure, in relation to the above Directions and Guidelines, on official hospitality/entertainment requires the prior approval of the Secretary.

2 (b) (i) Housing Loans Insurance Corporation-Individual items of expenditure at State Branches are authorised by State Managers or Assistant Managers and at Head Office by the Deputy Managing Director or Manager Head Office, within general expenditure delegations.

(ii) Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation-Under the terms of various instructions from the Corporation's Director, entertainment expenses may not be incurred without the approval of the Director himself. Guidelines indicate that entertainment is to be used only as an aid to SMEC's business development.

(3) Department of Finance issued Circular No. 1985/18 on 20 September 1985 requesting Departments and Authorities to record and monitor all entertainment expenses incurred on and after 20 September 1985 so that when the rules governing the liability for the new tax provisions are settled, the necessary transfer of funds to revenue can occur.