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Economics Legislation Committee
03/06/2015
Estimates
TREASURY PORTFOLIO

TREASURY PORTFOLIO

In Attendance

Senator Cormann, Minister for Finance

Senator Ronaldson, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, Special Minister of State.

Department of the Treasury

Mr John Fraser Secretary

Output Group 1.1—Macroeconomic Group/Corporate Strategy and Services Group

Ms HK Holdaway, Acting Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic Group, International

Ms Jenny Wilkinson, Acting Deputy Secretary, Macroeconomic Group, Domestic

Mr Simon Duggan, General Manager, Macroeconomic Modelling and Policy Division

Ms Christine Barron, General Manager, Macroeconomic Conditions Division

Mr Brenton Goldsworthy, Principal Adviser, Macroeconomic Conditions Division

Ms Kerstin Wijeyewardene, Acting General Manager, International Policy and Engagement Division

Mr John Lonsdale, Chief Operating Officer

Ms Mary Balzary, Group General Manager

Mr Matthew King, Chief Finance Officer, Financial and Parliamentary Division

Mr Nick Creagh, Deputy Chief Finance Officer, Financial and Parliamentary Division

Mr Luke Hickey, General Manager, Publishing and Engagement Division

Ms Shannon Kenna, Manager Community Engagement Unit, Publishing and Engagement Division

Ms Emma Greenwood, General Manager, People and Organisational Strategy Division

Ms Tarin O’Connor, Acting Team Leader, People and Organisational Strategy Division

Mr Peter Alexander, General Manager, Business Services Division

Output Group 2.1—Revenue Group

Mr Rob Heferen Deputy Secretary

Mr Russell Campbell, General Manager, Small Business Tax Division

Ms Jessica Mohr, Manager, Small Business Tax Division

Ms Katherine Lynch, Senior Adviser, Small Business Tax Division

Mr Steve French, General Manager, Tax Analysis Division

Mrs Marisa Purvis-Smith, Principal Adviser, Tax Analysis Division

Mr Matthew Maloney, Manager, Tax Analysis Division, Business and Indirect Tax Costings Unit

Dr John Clark, Senior Adviser, Tax Analysis Division, Revenue Analysis Unit

Ms Luise McCulloch, General Manager, Corporate and International Tax Division

Mr Matt Brine, Manager, Corporate and International Tax Division

Mr Brendan McKenna, Manager, Corporate and International Tax Division

Mr Paul Tilley General Manager Personal and Retirement Income Division

Mr Roger Brake General Manager Tax White Paper Taskforce

Mr Anthony Regan Principal Advisor Law Design Practice

Ms Danika Maxwell, Corporate and International Tax Division

Output Group 3.1—Fiscal Group

Mr Nigel Ray, Deputy Secretary

Mr Matthew Flavel, General Manager, Budget Policy Division

Mr Matthew Crooke, Principal Advisor, Budget Policy Division

Mr Jonathan Rollings, Principal Advisor, Budget Policy Division

Ms Leesa Croke, General Manager, Social Policy Division

Mr Robert Raether, Principal Advisor, Social Policy Division

Mr Marty Robinson, Principal Advisor, Social Policy Division

Ms Jenny Allen, Principal Advisor, Jobs and Small Business Taskforce, Social Policy Division

Mr Damien White, General Manager, Industries and Infrastructure Division

Ms Sam Reinhardt, General Manager, Commonwealth-State Relations Division

Ms Lee Steel, Manager, Federal Finances Unit, Commonwealth-State Relations Division

Ms Karla Rayner, Manager, State Engagement and Finances Unit, Commonwealth-State Relations Division

Output Group 4.1—Markets Group

Mr Michael Willcock, Acting Deputy Secretary

Mr John Lonsdale, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Rob Donelly, General Manager, Foreign Investment and Trade Policy Division

Mr Paul McCullough, General Manager, Deregulation Division

Mr Ben Dolman, Principal Adviser, Small Business, Competition and Consumer Policy Division

Ms Anne Scott, Principal Adviser, Small Business, Competition and Consumer Policy Division

Ms Meghan Quinn, General Manager, Financial System and Services Division

Ms Diane Brown, Principal Adviser, Financial System and Services Division

Mr Trevor Power, Principal Adviser, Financial System and Services Division

Ms Vicki Wilkinson, Principal Adviser, Financial System and Services Division

Mr David Pearl, Principal Adviser, Financial System and Services Division

Mr Peter Martin , Australian Government Actuary

Mr Michael O’Neill, Senior Assistant Commissioner, A ustralian T axation O ffice

Australian Accounting Standards Board

Ms Kris Peach, Chair

Mr Angus Thomson, Research Director

Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

Ms Merran Kelsall, Chair

Mr Richard Mifsud, Executive Director

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Mr David W Kalisch, Australian Statistician

Mr Ian Ewing, Deputy Australian Statistician, Economic and Environment Statistics Group

Mr Peter Harper, Deputy Australian Statistician, Population, Labour and Social Statistics Group

Mr Jonathan Palmer, Deputy Australian Statistician, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Trevor Sutton, Deputy Australian Statistician, ABS 2017 Group

Dr Paul Jelfs, First Assistant Statistician, Social, Health and Labour Division

Ms Gemma Van Halderen, First Assistant Statistician, Population, Education and Data Integration Division

Ms Gillian Nicoll, Acting First Assistant Statistician, Program Management and Infrastructure Division

Ms Jenine Borowik, First Assistant Statistician, Program Delivery Division

Dr Siu-Ming Tam, First Assistant Statistician, Methodology and Data Management Division

Mr Patrick Hadley, First Assistant Statistician, Technology Services Division

Mr Michael Davies, First Assistant Statistician, Macroeconomic Statistics Division

Mr Bruce Hockman, First Assistant Statistician, Business, Industry and Environment Statistics Division

Mr Lewis Conn, Assistant Statistician, Office of the Statistician and External Engagement

Ms Debra Foggin, Assistant Statistician, Financial Management Branch

Mr Chris Libreri, Assistant Statistician, Human Resources Branch

Mr Duncan Young, Assistant Statistician, Census 2016 Branch

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Ms Susan Pascoe, Commissioner

Mr David Locke, Assistant Commissioner

Mr Murray Baird, Assistant Commissioner

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Mr Rod Sims, Chairman

Ms Rayne de Gruchy, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Scott Gregson, Executive General Manager, Consumer Enforcement

Mr Marcus Bezzi, Executive General Manager, Competition Enforcement

Mr Rami Greiss, Executive General Manager, Merger and Authorisation Review Division

Mr Nigel Ridgway, Executive General Manager, Consumer, Small Business and Product Safety Division

Ms Michelle Groves, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Energy Regulator

Mr Michael Cosgrave, Executive General Manager, Infrastructure Regulation Division

Australian Office of Financial Management

Mr Rob Nicholl, Chief Executive Officer

Mr Michael Bath, Director, Financial Risk

Mr Andrew Johnson, Head of Reporting

Mr Pat Raccosta, Chief Finance Officer

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Mr Wayne Byres, Chairman

Mr Ian Laughlin, Deputy Chairman

Mrs Helen Rowell, Member

Mr Charles Littrell, Executive General Manager, Policy, Statistics and International

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Mr Greg Medcraft, Chairman

Mr Peter Kell, Deputy Chairman

Mr Greg Tanzer, Commissioner

Mr John Price, Commissioner

Ms Cathie Armour, Commissioner

Mr Tim Mullaly, Senior Executive Leader

Mr Chris Savundra, Senior Executive Leader

Mr Greg Kirk, Senior Executive Leader

Ms Joanna Bird, Senior Executive Leader

Mr Warren Day, Senior Executive Leader and Regional Commissioner Victoria

Australian Taxation Office

Mr Chris Jordan, Commissioner of Taxation

Mr Geoff Leeper, Second Commissioner, People Systems and Services

Mr Jonathan Woodger, Acting Second Commissioner, Law Design and Practice

Mr Neil Olesen, Acting Second Commissioner, Law Design and Practice

Ms Frances Cawthra, Chief Finance Officer

Ms Jacqui Curtis, First Assistant Commissioner, ATO People

Ms Suzanne Sinclair, First Assistant Commissioner, ATO Corporate

Mr David Diment, Deputy Commissioner, Client Account Services

Ms Cheryl-Lea Field, Deputy Commissioner, Debt

Mr John Dardo, Acting Deputy Commissioner, Customer Services and Solutions

Ms Alison Lendon, Deputy Commissioner, Superannuation

Mr Matthew Bambrick, Assistant Commissioner, Superannuation

Mr Mark Konza, Deputy Commissioner, International

Mr Jeremy Hirschhorn, Deputy Commissioner, Public Groups

Mr James O’Halloran, Deputy Commissioner, Indirect Tax

Mr Tony Poulakis, Assistant Commissioner, Private Groups and High Wealth Individuals

Ms Debbie Hastings, First Assistant Commissioner, Review and Dispute Resolution

Mr Damien Browne, Assistant Commissioner, Review and Dispute Resolution

Mr Andrew England, First Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Tax Design

Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Mr Oliver Yates, Chief Executive Officer

Ms Meg McDonald, Chief Operating Officer

Mr Andrew Powell, Chief Financial Officer

Commonwealth Grants Commission

Mr John Spasojevic, Secretary

Mr Gary Markham, Acting Director Corporate Services

Inspector General of Taxation

Mr Ali Noroozi, Inspector-General of Taxation

Mr Andrew McLoughlin, Deputy Inspector-General of Taxation

Productivity Commission

Mr Peter Harris, Chair

Mr Daryl Quinlivan, Head of Office

Mr Ralph Lattimore, Assistant Commissioner

Ms Rosalyn Bell, Assistant Commissioner

Reserve Bank of Australia

Mr Frank Campbell, Assistant Governor, Corporate Services

Dr Malcolm Edey, Assistant Governor, Financial Services

Committee met at 09:00

CHAIR ( Senator Edwards ): I welcome everyone to this public hearing of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee dealing with the public estimates for 2015-16. The committee will continue its examination of the Treasury portfolio, commencing with questions for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and will then follow the order as set out in the circulated program. The committee is due to report to the Senate on 23 June 2015. The committee has set Friday, 12 June 2015 as the day by which senators are to submit written questions on notice and has set Friday, 17 July as the date by which answers to the questions on notice are to be returned.

Under standing order 26, the committee must take all evidence in public session. This includes answers to questions on notice. Officers and senators are familiar with the rules of the Senate governing estimates hearings. If you need assistance, the secretariat has a copy of the rules. In particular, I draw the attention of witnesses to an order of the Senate of 13 May 2009 specifying the process by which a claim of public interest immunity should be raised and which I now incorporate in Hansard.

The extract read as follows—

Public interest immunity claims

That the Senate—

(a) notes that ministers and officers have continued to refuse to provide information to Senate committees without properly raising claims of public interest immunity as required by past resolutions of the Senate;

(b) reaffirms the principles of past resolutions of the Senate by this order, to provide ministers and officers with guidance as to the proper process for raising public interest immunity claims and to consolidate those past resolutions of the Senate;

(c) orders that the following operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) If:

   (a) a Senate committee, or a senator in the course of proceedings of a committee, requests information or a document from a Commonwealth department or agency; and

   (b) an officer of the department or agency to whom the request is directed believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the officer shall state to the committee the ground on which the officer believes that it may not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, and specify the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(2) If, after receiving the officer’s statement under paragraph (1), the committee or the senator requests the officer to refer the question of the disclosure of the information or document to a responsible minister, the officer shall refer that question to the minister.

(3) If a minister, on a reference by an officer under paragraph (2), concludes that it would not be in the public interest to disclose the information or document to the committee, the minister shall provide to the committee a statement of the ground for that conclusion, specifying the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document.

(4) A minister, in a statement under paragraph (3), shall indicate whether the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee could result only from the publication of the information or document by the committee, or could result, equally or in part, from the disclosure of the information or document to the committee as in camera evidence.

(5) If, after considering a statement by a minister provided under paragraph (3), the committee concludes that the statement does not sufficiently justify the withholding of the information or document from the committee, the committee shall report the matter to the Senate.

(6) A decision by a committee not to report a matter to the Senate under paragraph (5) does not prevent a senator from raising the matter in the Senate in accordance with other procedures of the Senate.

(7) A statement that information or a document is not published, or is confidential, or consists of advice to, or internal deliberations of, government, in the absence of specification of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or document, is not a statement that meets the requirements of paragraph (1) or (4).

(8) If a minister concludes that a statement under paragraph (3) should more appropriately be made by the head of an agency, by reason of the independence of that agency from ministerial direction or control, the minister shall inform the committee of that conclusion and the reason for that conclusion, and shall refer the matter to the head of the agency, who shall then be required to provide a statement in accordance with paragraph (3).

(Extract, Senate Standing Orders, pp 124-125)

Witnesses are specifically reminded that a statement that information or a document is confidential, or consists of advice to government, is not a statement that meets the requirements of the 2009 order. Instead, witnesses are required to provide some specific indication of the harm to the public interest that could result from the disclosure of the information or the document.