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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTABILITY BILL 1994
COMMONWEALTH AUTHORITIES AND COMPANIES BILL 1994
AUDITOR-GENERAL BILL 1994
AUDIT (TRANSITIONAL AND MISCELLANEOUS) AMENDMENT BILL 1995

Order of the day read for the further consideration of the bills in

committee of the whole.

In the committee

AUDITOR-GENERAL BILL 1994--

Consideration resumed of the bill--and of the amendment moved by

Senators Gibson and Spindler--

Clause 14, page 4, subclause (2), lines 24 to 27, omit the subclause,

substitute the following subclause:

"(2) The Auditor-General may at any time conduct a performance audit

of a Commonwealth authority that is a GBE or any of its

subsidiaries.".

Debate resumed.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Clause 14, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 15--

Senator Short, also on behalf of Senator Spindler, moved the following

amendment:

Clause 15, page 5, subclause (2), lines 1 to 5, omit the subclause,

substitute the following subclause:

"(2) The Auditor-General may at any time conduct a performance audit

of a Commonwealth company that is a GBE (other than a GBE accepted by

the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit as a GBE with

significant private sector financial ownership) or any of its

subsidiaries.".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Clause 15, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 16--

Senator Chamarette moved the following amendment:

Clause 16, page 5, subclause (4), definition of "Commonwealth public

sector", lines 27 and 28, omit "(other than GBEs)" (twice occurring).

Debate ensued.

Senator Short moved--That Senator Chamarette's proposed amendment be

amended to read as follows:

Clause 16, page 5, subclause (4), definition of "Commonwealth public

sector", lines 27 and 28, after "GBEs" (twice occurring), insert

"accepted by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit as GBEs

with significant private sector financial ownership" .

Debate ensued.

Question--That Senator Short's amendment to Senator Chamarette's

proposed amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Question--That the amendment, as amended, be agreed to--put and passed.

Clause 16, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 17--

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 17, page 5, after proposed subclause (3), insert the following

subclause:

"(3A) A person to whom the Auditor-General gives a copy of a report

under this section must not disclose the information contained in the

report in any manner other than as may be necessary in the

consideration of the report or the preparation of comments on the

report.

Penalty: 10 penalty units.".

Clause 17, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 18 to 26, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Clause 27--

Senator Short moved the following amendment:

Clause 27, page 8, at end of clause, add the following subclause:

"(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to any law relating to the powers,

privileges and immunities of a House of the Parliament, its members or

committees.".

Debate ensued.

Documents: Senator Short, by leave, tabled the following documents:

Auditor-General Bill 1994--Copies of letters from--

Clerk Assistant (Procedure) (Peter O'Keeffe) to the Deputy President

(Senator Crichton-Browne), dated 9 March 1995.

Clerk of the Senate (Harry Evans) to Senator Gibson, dated 8 March

1995.

Debate continued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Clause 27, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 28--

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 28, page 8, paragraph (b), line 13, omit "22 or".

Clause 28, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 29 to 32, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Clause 33 debated and agreed to.

Clause 34--

Senator Spindler moved the following amendment:

Clause 34, page 10, paragraph (1)(b), lines 33 to 36, omit the

paragraph.

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and negatived.

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 34, page 10, paragraph (1)(b), line 33, after "the

Attorney-General", insert ", after consulting with the Joint Committee

of Public Accounts and Audit,".

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 34, page 11, paragraph (2)(f), lines 9 to 11, omit the paragraph.

On the motion of Senator Spindler the following amendment was debated

and agreed to:

Clause 34, page 11, after subclause (2), insert the following subclause:

"(2A) A certificate issued under paragraph (1)(b) must be laid before

each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days after the day it is

issued by the Attorney-General.".

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 34, page 11, at end of subclause (3), add "and the Joint

Committee of Public Accounts and Audit".

On the motion of Senator Short the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Clause 34, page 11, subclause (4), definition of "public report", lines

20 and 21, omit "tabled in either House of the Parliament", substitute

"published".

Clause 34, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 35 and 36, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Clause 37--

Senator Gibson moved the following amendment:

Clause 37, page 11, at end of clause, add the following subclause:

"(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of any other Act, regulation,

determination, order, instrument or enactment, the Auditor-General may

employ persons to work in the Audit Office on such terms and

conditions as the Auditor-General thinks fit, provided that at the

time they are agreed such terms and conditions are consistent with the

industrial relations policy of the Government.".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put.

The committee divided--

AYES, 28

Abetz Baume Boswell Brownhill Chapman Crane Ellison Ferguson Gibson Harradine Herron Kemp Knowles Macdonald, Ian Macdonald, Sandy McGauran Minchin Newman O'Chee (Teller) Parer Patterson Short Tambling Teague Tierney Troeth Watson Woods

NOES, 29

Beahan Bell Bolkus Bourne Burns Carr Chamarette Coates Collins Colston Cook Cooney Coulter Devereux Evans, Christopher Faulkner Foreman (Teller) Forshaw Lees McKiernan Margetts Murphy Neal Ray Reynolds Schacht Spindler West Woodley

Question negatived.

Clause 37 agreed to.

Clauses 38 and 39, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Senator Gibson moved the following amendment:

After clause 39, page 12, insert the following clause:

Independent Auditor and Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

"39A. The Independent Auditor must have regard to the audit priorities

advised by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit in

accordance with paragraph 8(1)(i) of the Public Accounts Committee Act

1951.".

Debate ensued.

Senator Gibson, by leave, amended his amendment as follows:

Omit "The Independent Auditor must", substitute "The Independent Auditor

should, so far as is practicable,".

Debate continued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Clauses 40 to 50, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Clause 51--

On the motion of Senator Spindler the following amendment was debated

and agreed to:

Clause 51, page 14, after subclause (1), insert the following subclause:

"(1A) Regulations referred to in subsection (1) must not take effect

before the time within which they may be disallowed by each House of

the Parliament has expired."

Clause 51, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 52 agreed to.

Schedule 1--

Senator Gibson moved the following amendment:

Schedule 1, page 16, subitem 1(2), omit the subitem, substitute the

following subitem:

"(2) Before making a recommendation to the Governor-General, the

Minister must consult the Finance Minister and obtain the approval of

the following in respect of the proposed appointment:

(a) the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives or

his or her nominee; and

(b) the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit.".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put.

The committee divided--

AYES, 29

Abetz Alston Baume Boswell Brownhill Chapman Ellison Ferguson Gibson Harradine Herron Kemp Knowles Macdonald, Ian Macdonald, Sandy McGauran Minchin Newman O'Chee (Teller) Panizza Parer Patterson Reid Short Tambling Teague Tierney Troeth Watson

NOES, 30

Beahan Bell Bolkus Bourne Burns Carr Chamarette Coates Collins Colston Cook Cooney Coulter Devereux Evans, Christopher Faulkner Foreman (Teller) Forshaw Lees McKiernan Margetts Murphy Neal Ray Reynolds Schacht Sherry Spindler West Woodley

Question negatived.

Senator Spindler moved the following amendment:

Schedule 1, page 16, subitem 1(2), omit the subitem, substitute the

following subitems:

"(2) A person is not to be appointed as Auditor General until:

(a) a proposal that the person be appointed has been referred to the

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit under section 8A of

the Public Accounts Committee Act 1951; and

(b) either the period that the Committee has under that section to

veto the proposed appointment has ended without the Committee

having vetoed the proposed appointment or the Committee notifies

the Minister that it has decided not to veto the proposed

appointment.

"(2A) A person may be proposed for appointment on more than one

occasion.".

Debate ensued.

Senator Spindler, by leave, amended his amendment as follows:

Proposed paragraph 1(2)(a), after "Public Accounts Committee Act 1951",

add "and the proposed recommendation has obtained the approval of at

least a two-thirds majority of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts

and Audit".

Debate continued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

Schedule 1, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 2--

Senator Gibson moved the following amendment:

Schedule 2, page 19, subitem 1(2), omit the subitem, substitute the

following subitem:

"(2) Before making a recommendation to the Governor-General, the

Minister must obtain the approval of the Joint Committee of Public

Accounts and Audit in respect of the proposed appointment.".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and negatived.

Senator Spindler moved the following amendment:

Schedule 2, page 19, subitem 1(2), omit the subitem, substitute the

following subitems:

"(2) A person is not to be appointed as Independent Auditor of the

Australian National Audit Office until:

(a) a proposal that the person be appointed has been referred to the

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit under section 8A of

the Public Accounts Committee Act 1951; and

(b) either the period that the Committee has under that section to

veto the proposed appointment has ended without the Committee

having vetoed the proposed appointment or the Committee notifies

the Minister that it has decided not to veto the proposed

appointment.

"(2A) A person may be proposed for appointment on more than one

occasion.".

Debate ensued.

Senator Spindler, by leave, amended his amendment as follows:

Proposed paragraph 1(2)(a), after "Public Accounts Committee Act 1951",

add "and the proposed recommendation has obtained the approval of at

least a two-thirds majority of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts

and Audit".

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and passed.

On the motion of Senator Gibson the following amendment was debated and

agreed to:

Schedule 2, page 19, subitem 1(4), omit "Joint Committee of Public

Accounts", substitute "Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit".

Schedule 2, as amended, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

AUDIT (TRANSITIONAL AND MISCELLANEOUS) AMENDMENT BILL 1995--

Clauses 1 to 9, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Clause 10--

Senator Spindler moved the following amendment:

Clause 10, page 4, at end of clause, add the following subclause:

"(2) Subsection (1) ceases to have effect at the end of 6 months after

it commences.".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and negatived.

Clause 10 agreed to.

Clauses 11 and 12, taken together by leave, agreed to.

Schedule--

On the motion of the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology

(Senator Cook) the following amendments, taken together by leave, were

agreed to:

Schedule, page 9, after item 51, insert the following items:

"51A. Subsection 192W(1):

Omit "fund', substitute "reserve'

"51B. Subsections 192W(2) to (5):

Omit the subsections, substitute:

"(2) The Land Fund is a component of the Reserved Money Fund.

"(3) So far as practicable, money in the Land Fund that is not

required for the purpose of making payments out of the Land Fund must

be invested under section 40 of the Financial Management and

Accountability Act 1995.

"(4) If income is received by the Commonwealth from the investment of

money from the Land Fund, an amount equal to the income must be

transferred to the Land Fund from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.".

"51C. Section 193F:

Repeal the section.

"51D. Paragraph 193G(1)(b):

Omit the paragraph, substitute:

"(b) any person to whom the Finance Minister has delegated powers

conferred on the Finance Minister by section 40 of the Financial

Management and Accountability Act 1995, in so far as those powers

relate to the Land Fund; and '.

"51E. Subsection 193G(1) (note):

Omit the note.

"51F. Section 193K:

Repeal the section, substitute:

Modifications of Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act

"193K.(1) Subsection 18(3) of the Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act 1995 does not apply to the Indigenous Land Corporation.

"(2) The annual report of the Indigenous Land Corporation under

section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1995 must

include such additional information (if any) as is specified in the

regulations under this Act.

"(3) Division 2 of Part 3 of the Commonwealth Authorities and

Companies Act 1995 applies as if the first category A year were a

financial year.'.".

Schedule, page 10, heading to item 52, omit "193", substitute "193V".

Schedule, page 17, item 120, omit the item.

Schedule, page 18, item 133, omit the item, substitute the following

item:

"133. Subsection 78:

Add at the end:

(7) Without limiting subsection (6), Section 28 of the Commonwealth

Authorities and Companies Act 1995 does not apply in relation to the

Corporation.".

Schedule, page 42, after item 353, insert the following item:

"353A. Paragraph 53(c):

Omit "appropriated out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund', substitute

"required to be transferred to the Reserve'.".

On the motion of Senator Gibson, also moved on behalf of Senator

Spindler, the following amendment was debated and agreed to:

Schedule, page 86, item 736, omit the item, substitute the following

items:

"736. Wherever occurring:

Omit "Joint Committee of Public Accounts', substitute "Joint Committee

of Public Accounts and Audit'.

"736A. Section 5:

Repeal the section, substitute:

Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

"5.(1) As soon as is practicable after the commencement of the first

session of each Parliament, a joint committee of 16 members of the

Parliament, to be known as the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and

Audit, is to be appointed according to the practice of the Parliament

with reference to the appointment of members to serve on joint select

committees of both Houses of the Parliament.

"(2) Subject to subsection (4), five members of the Committee must be

members of, and must be appointed by, the Senate, and 10 members of

the Committee must be members of, and must be appointed by, the House

of Representatives.

"(3) If there are minority groups or independents in the Parliament,

one member of the Committee is to be a member of the Parliament

nominated by such minority groups or independents.

"(4) If there are no minority groups or independents in the

Parliament, six members of the Committee must be members of, and

appointed by, the Senate.

"(5) Each member is to hold office during the pleasure of the House by

which he or she was appointed.

"(6) Either House of the Parliament may appoint one of its members to

fill a vacancy amongst the members of the Committee appointed by that

House.

"(7) Each member ceases to hold office when the House of

Representatives expires by effluxion of time or is dissolved.

"(8) At any time at which:

(a) there is constituted a Standing Committee of the House of

Representatives known as the Expenditure Committee; and

(b) the chairman of that Committee is not a member of the Joint

Committee of Public Accounts and Audit by virtue of an

appointment under subsection (2);

that chairman must, by virtue of his office as Chairman of the

Expenditure Committee, be a member of the Joint Committee of Public

Accounts and Audit in addition to the members referred to in subsection

(1), but is not eligible to be elected as chairman of the last-mentioned

Committee.'.

"736B. Subsection 8(1):

Omit the subsection, substitute:

Duties of the Committee

"8.(1) Subject to subsection (2), the duties of the Committee are:

(a) to examine the accounts of the receipts and expenditure of the

Commonwealth including the financial statements transmitted to

the Auditor-General under subsections 50(1) and 56(2) of the

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1995; and

(b) to examine the financial affairs of authorities of the

Commonwealth to which this Act applies and of inter-governmental

bodies to which this Act applies; and

(c) to examine all reports of the Auditor-General (including reports

of the results of performance audits) copies of which have been

laid before the Houses of the Parliament; and

(d) to report to both Houses of the Parliament, with such comment as

it thinks fit, on any items or matters in those accounts,

statements and reports, or any circumstances connected with

them, to which the Committee is of the opinion that the

attention of the Parliament should be directed; and

(e) to report to both Houses of the Parliament any alteration which

the Committee thinks desirable in the form of the public

accounts or in the method of keeping them or in the mode of

receipt, control, issue or payment of public moneys; and

(f) to inquire into any question in connection with the public

accounts which is referred to it by either House of the

Parliament, and to report to that House upon that question; and

(g) to report to the Parliament each year on the annual budget

estimates of the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO); and

(h) to advise the Auditor-General on the audit priorities of the

Parliament; and

(i) to advise the Independent Auditor of the ANAO on the audit

priorities of the Parliament in respect of audits of the ANAO;

and

(j) to report to both Houses of the Parliament on any matters

arising out of the Committee's consideration of ANAO resources,

reports of the Independent Auditor on operations of the ANAO, or

other matters relating to the performance of the

Auditor-General's functions which the Committee considers should

be drawn to the attention of the Parliament; and

(k) to prepare a report each year for presentation to both Houses of

the Parliament on the exercise of its functions; and

(l) to review the operations of the ANAO;

and include such other duties as are assigned to the Committee by Joint

Standing Orders approved by both Houses of the Parliament.

"(1A) Subsection (1) should not be read as authorising the Committee

to direct the activities of the Auditor-General or the Independent

Auditor of the ANAO.'.

On the motion of the Minister for Small Business, Customs and

Construction (Senator Schacht) the following amendments, taken together

by leave, were agreed to:

Schedule, page 99, heading to amendment of the Taxation (Interest on

Overpayments) Act 1983, after "Overpayments", insert "and Early

Payments".

Schedule, page 103, heading to item 896, omit "Paragraph 33(b)",

substitute "Paragraphs 33(b) and (c)".

On the motion of Senator Spindler the following amendment was debated

and agreed to:

Schedule, page 86, after item 736, insert the following item:

"736C. After section 8:

Insert:

Power to veto proposed appointments of Auditor-General or Independent

Auditor

"8A.(1) The Minister is to refer a proposal to appoint a person as:

(a) Auditor-General; or

(b) Independent Auditor of the ANAO;

to the Committee and the Committee is empowered to veto the proposed

appointment as provided by this section. The Minister may withdraw a

referral at any time.

"(2) The proposed appointment is vetoed if it is not supported by at

least two thirds of all of the members of the Committee.

"(3) The Committee has 14 days after the proposed appointment is

referred to it to veto the proposal and has a further 30 days (after

the initial 14 days) to veto the proposal if it notifies the Minister

within that 14 days that it requires more time to consider the matter.

"(4) The Committee is to notify the Minister, within the time that it

has to veto a proposed appointment, whether or not it vetoes it.

"(5) A referral or notification under this section is to be in

writing.

"(6) To avoid doubt it is declared that the Committee is to report to

the Parliament whether it has vetoed a proposed appointment.

"(7) In this section, "Minister" means the Minister for the time being

administering the Auditor-General Act 1995.'.".

Schedule, as amended, agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bills to be reported with amendments.

The Acting Deputy President (Senator Colston) resumed the Chair and the

Temporary Chairman of Committees (Senator McGauran) reported

accordingly.

Senator Schacht moved--That the report from the committee be adopted.

Senator Margetts moved the following amendment:

At end of motion, add "and the Senate declares that, in spite of

anything contained in these bills, it expects and requires Ministers to

ensure that, as far as is practicable, when Senators request

representatives of a body in receipt of money appropriated by the

Parliament or subject to any direction or control by the Commonwealth,

to attend before any committee considering estimates or annual reports,

such representatives will attend as requested".

Debate ensued.

Question--That the amendment be agreed to--put and negatived.

Main question put and passed.

Senator Schacht moved--That these bills be now read a third time.

Question put and passed.

Bills read a third time.