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Tuesday, 8 March 2005
Page: 208

Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 22 December 2004:

With reference to the cost of regional development policy advice for the 2003-04 financial year as reported on page 103 of the department’s annual report for 2003-04: why did the actual cost exceed the budget estimate by 70.5 per cent.

Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

The departmental budget and actual expenditure for Output 2.1: Regional Development Policy Advice was allocated on the basis of a notional attribution of expenses incurred by branches (including a prorated attribution of corporate expenses on the basis of full time equivalent staff). The attribution is based on estimates of the contribution of departmental expenses to outputs.

The actual expenses attributed to Output 2.1 included expenses of $5.5 million incurred in the Territories Branch, which may have been more appropriately attributed to Output 2.3: Services to Territories. The remaining $8.8 million of actual expenses attributed to Output 2.1 is in line with the revised budget of $8.4 million.