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Wednesday, 24 February 1971

Senator WEBSTER (Victoria) - My attention was directed to proposed new sub-section 27d. Senator McClelland referred to 2 matters. Provided the Auditor-General feels there is an irregularity of sufficient importance to justify his doing so he may draw the attention of the Minister to that irregularity. To me that appeared to be something quite novel in legislation. I asked the Minister whether, when the Committee stage of this Bill was reached, she would indicate in which other pieces of legislation we could find a similar provision. Proposednew section 27d (2.) states: (2.) The Auditor-General may, at his discretion, dispense with all or any part of the detailed inspection and audit of any accounts or records referred to in the last preceding sub-section.

Here a discretion is being given to the Auditor-General to dispense with an audit of any area of accounts when he feels his action is justified. In recent times part of this matter has been drawn to the attention of the Public AccountsCommittee for comment. But this is the first piece of legislation of which I am aware in which these 2 matters have been included. To me they appear to be fairly substantial. I ask the Minister for comment.

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