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Wednesday, 11 August 2004
Page: 26187

Senator FERRIS (4:46 PM) —On behalf of Senator Watson and the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, I present the 401st report of the committee, entitled Annual report 2003-2004, and move:

That the Senate take note of the report.

I seek leave to incorporate a tabling statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Mr President, it gives me great pleasure to present the annual report of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit for 2003-2004 on behalf of the Committee. The tabling of the annual report is an important accountability mechanism by which Parliament and, through it the public, can conveniently assess the Committee's performance.

The Committee had a productive year in 2003-2004 with the completion of 3 major inquiries: Report 395, Inquiry into the Draft Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill; Report 399, Management and Integrity of Electronic Information in the Commonwealth; and Report 400, Review of Aviation Security in Australia. The Committee also tabled 2 reports with recommendations as part of its on-going statutory obligation to review all reports of the Auditor-General.

The Committee has received a continuing stream of re-ponses by Government to the recommendations of previous reports. Nearly 90% of the Committee's recommendations have been agreed to, which demonstrates the seriousness with which the Government takes the Committee's recommendations. It also demonstrates the Committee's success in influencing Government policy and agency activity. Many committees, I am sure, would envy the JCPAA's success in getting its recommendations adopted.

Finally, the Chairman, Mr Bob Charles MP, wishes to thank members of the Committee, and in particular the Deputy Chair Tanya Plibersek, for their support and commitment to the Committee during the year.

Mr President, I commend the Report to the Senate.

Question agreed to.