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Thursday, 23 October 1913

Senator READY asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   Has his attention been called to the following remarks appearing on page g of the last Annual Report of the Public Service Commissioner : -


" The time of my office staff has bees very considerably occupied during the past two sessions of the Parliament in the preparation of returns involving the special compilation of statistics and references to records extending back over a number of years. This work, which can only be carried out by trained officers, has involved a severe tax on the staff, and has interfered very largely with current work, which has during the past three years increased in magnitude and importance. While it is recognised by me that the Parliament should be possessed of the fullest information relating to the administration of the Public Service Act and the organization and general management of the public Departments, it is questionable whether many of the returns called for and supplied are of sufficient value to justify the time and money expended on them. The delay in the publication of the Permanent Staff List, and in the compilation of the necessary matter for this report, has been to some extent attributable to th« special work necessitated by the preparation of returns. "I do not wish to be understood as objecting in any way to supply information relative to the Public Service; indeed, it has always been my desire to throw the fullest light on all transactions connected with the administration of the Act and Regulations, this being evidenced by the reports presented to Parliament from year to year, But, where enormous returns - which, I am convinced, can have no practical value - are called for, and where their preparation imposes such a heavy tax on the limited staff of my office, it becomes my duty to represent the matter so that some consideration may be given to the future policy to be adopted."

2.   Does the Prime Minister agree with the attitude adopted by the Public Service Commissioner towards the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia?

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