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Tuesday, 31 August 1993
Page: 682

(Question No. 69)

Senator Short asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 5 May 1993 :

  (1) What funding, grant or other form of payment, has the department and its agencies approved to trade unions since 1 July 1992, in each case, please provide details of: (a) the name of the trade union; (b) the purpose of the funding; and (c) under what program the funding was made.

  (2) Are there any proposals for further funding to trade unions: if so, please provide details on the amount, recipient and purpose of the funding.

  (3) Could these details be provided by 13 May 1993.

Senator McMullan —The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Department of the Treasury

  There has been no funding, grant or other form of payment made by the Department of the Treasury to trade unions since 1 July 1992 and there are no proposals to do so.

Insurance and Superannuation Commission

  (1) (a) Public Sector Union

  (b) To meet the cost of travel expenses for a union official to attend National Consultative Council of the Insurance and Superannuation Commission on 18 December 1992.

  (c) The funding was provided under the Corporate Program of the Insurance and Superannuation Commission.

  (d) $410

  (2) (a) Public Sector Union

  (b) As in 1 (a). Meeting of 27 May 1993.

  (c) as in 1(c).

  (d) $401.

  It is anticipated that similar costs will be met for future National Consultative Council Meetings.

Australian Taxation Office

  (1) There are two matters to report on in answering part (1) of the question:

  Funding for URCOT

  (a) No grants to trade union groups have been made by the ATO since 1 July 1992. Funding has been granted to the joint ATO/Public Sector Union (PSU) Union Research Centre on Office Technology (URCOT) from 1 July 1991.

  The approved amount of funding provided for URCOT for the 1992/93 financial year was $500,000.

  (b) The purpose of the funding is to continue the co-operative introduction of ATO's major technological change through gaining commitment to the change program from staff and the Union. URCOT provides an independent expert advisory service to the PSU in regard to the impact of technological and organisational change taking place in the ATO and options for responding to the changing environment. ATO's commitment to fund URCOT is included in the ATO Modernisation Agreement, an agreement certified by the Industrial Relations Commission under the former section 115 of the Industrial Relations Act 1988.

  (c) The funding is provided under the program Taxation Administration.

Reimbursement of Union Travel

  (a) An Examination of ATO records shows that between 1 July 1992 and 13 May 1993 $40,493 was paid to the PSU in respect of union travel. It should be noted that this figure does not include travel by ATO staff when representing the union, as this information is not recorded separately.

  The ATO also provides a range of other general facilities, such as use of office services (telephones, photocopiers, computers etc), to assist the union to carry out its role within the Office.

  (b) The purpose of these payments has been to reimburse the PSU in respect of travel costs incurred by union officials in attending various ATO consultative forums, steering committees, etc. on which the PSU is represented.

  (c) Taxation Administration.

  (2) The total funding envelope for URCOT is $1,768,000. The amounts allocated, or expected to be allocated, in respect of the various years are:

  1991/92—$357,000; 1992/93—$500,000; 1993/ 94—$500,000; 1994/95—$411,000

  In addition, the ATO will continue to meet the travel costs incurred by union officials in attending ATO consultative forums.