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Tuesday, 22 April 1980
Page: 1651


Senator WALTERS (Tasmania) -On behalf of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare I present a report on the annual reports referred to the Committee.

Ordered that the report be printed.


Senator WALTERS -by leave-I have the honour, on behalf of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare, to present a report on annual reports referred to the Committee. In accordance with the terms of the resolution of the Senate dated 1 March 1978, a total of 27 annual reports were referred to the Committee between August and November 1979. Of the 27 annual reports, eight were tabled in the Parliament more than 12 months after the period reported on. However, annual reports of all of these organisations have already been referred to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Government Operations for inquiry into, among other things, the reasons for their late presentation to Parliament.

The annual reports of the Australian Military Forces Relief Trust Fund, the Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund and the Royal Australian Navy Relief Trust Fund for the calendar year 1978 were tabled together on 13 November 1979. This was almost 11 months after the period reported on. The Committee was told that the delay in tabling was caused by the fact that the Auditor-General took three months to report on the accounts of the Royal Australian

Air Force Relief Trust Fund and by the Australian Government Publishing Service taking four months to print its 12 page report.

With the recent moves to reduce the delays in the tabling of annual reports of departments and statutory bodies, some consideration needs to be given to the concomitant pressures being placed on the Auditor-General's Department and the Australian Government Publishing Service with regard to their role in the preparation of reports. They need to have the capacity to deal with annual reports quickly so that the reports can be tabled in the Parliament without some of the lengthy delays that have occurred.

In the case of the Royal Australian Air Force Welfare Trust Fund report for 1978, the time taken to print 12 pages was inordinate and the Committee recommends that the Joint Committee on Publications takes up this matter with the Australian Government Publishing Service. I commend the report to the Senate.







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