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Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 2992


Senator DEAN SMITH (Western AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (10:07): I seek leave to make a short clarifying statement.

Leave granted.

Senator DEAN SMITH: On behalf of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit, I wish to provide additional information in relation to my statement of 8 May 2018 regarding the budget estimates of the Australian National Audit Office. Each year, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit is required by legislation to consider the draft budget estimates of the Australian National Audit Office and report to parliament on the ability of the Australian National Audit Office to undertake its functions within the budget that it has been allocated. Since I made my statement to the Senate, the Auditor-General has provided the committee with updated information in relation to the budget allocation for the Australian National Audit Office. Due to budget confidentiality provisions, the Auditor-General was unable to provide the committee with this information prior to the release of the budget. As I indicated in my statement, the Australian National Audit Office did not seek supplementation in the 2018-19 budget. In his recent communication, however, the Auditor-General informed the committee that the Australian National Audit Office budget appropriation has been reduced by $0.69 million in 2018-19 and $0.9 million over the forward estimates. The Auditor-General is proposing using accumulated appropriation reserves to ensure that the Australian National Audit Office performance targets are still able to be met. The committee is currently considering how to ensure that it continues to have access to the information necessary to discharge its responsibility to consider the budget estimates of the Australian National Audit Office.