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Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Page: 2378

Senator SMITH (Western AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (17:39): I present report No. 459, Annual report 2015-16, as well as executive minutes on various reports. I move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is one of the parliament's oldest and most significant committees, with a long history of enhancing accountability and improving efficiency in public administration. As we all know, government is an increasingly complex task. We also know that taxpayers have an expectation that their money will be expended prudently and transparently. As a result and as this annual report makes clear, 2015-16 was a period of noticeably increased activity for the committee, with a considerable increase in the number of reports tabled, recommendations made and submissions received by the committee during the course of the year. The increase in the submissions received is particularly heartening, as it demonstrates increasing awareness of the value of prudent public administration. I would like to extend my thanks to the former chairs, Dr Andrew Southcott MP and the Hon. Ian MacFarlane MP, the former deputy chair, Mr Pat Conroy MP, and all members of the committee for their diligent efforts in maintaining its strong tradition of proper parliamentary scrutiny.

With the work of this committee now fully underway, the current committee has been quick to adopt four new thematic inquiries into core aspects of public administration, including Commonwealth procurement, the Commonwealth performance framework, Commonwealth risk management and public sector governance. I look forward to working with members of the committee in the 45th Parliament on these and other inquiries to maintain standards of excellence and meet the public's expectation of ensuring the proper and efficient use of public resources by the executive and across all Commonwealth agencies.

Question agreed to.