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Wednesday, 23 October 1974
Page: 1921

Senator Poyser asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:

(   1 ) What amount of loan funds was made available by the Australian Government for State education requirements in each of the last three years.

(2)   What rates of interest were set for the repayment of the loans.

(3)   and (4) What was the term, in years, of each loan. What proportion of Federal funds made available to the States for State education is required to be repaid to the Australian Government.

Senator Wriedt - The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question: (l), (2), (3) and (4). Funds provided by the Australian Government to the States for education in 1971-72 ($204.9m). 1972-73 ($259.4m) and 1973-74 ($622.5m) have been entirely in the form of grants. No loan funds are provided for the purpose.

In addition to the amounts mentioned, the Australian Government has, since 1970-71, provided a proportion of the States' annual Loan Council programs in the form of interest-free grants. While not subject to any conditions as to the purposes for which they may be expended, these grants are intended to assist States in financing capital works, such as schools, from which debt charges are not normally recoverable.

Treasury: 'Certificates of Inexpediency' (Question No. 135)

Senator Baume asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice:

(   1 ) What are the guidelines for the issue of 'certificates of inexpediency'.

(2)   How many contracts let without open tender under certificates of inexpediency' in the past two years have been for amounts exceeding ( a) $ 1 m and ( b ) $2m.

Senator Wriedt - The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(   1 ) Guidelines for the issue of certificates of inexpediency are set out in Treasury Directions 31/24 and 31/25, as follows:

Certificates of Inexpediency

24.   Regulation 52aa(4) provides for certificates of impracticability or inexpediency in respect of particular supplies which fall within the categories set out in regulation 52aa(3). Under these provisions a certificate cannot be given granting a general exemption to cover a series of contractsthe exemption can only apply to 'particular supplies', i.e., to the supplies covered by a particular contract. The certificate can be restricted to the tendering, procedures, in which case it will be necessary to obtain quotations in accordance with regulation 5 1, or to the quotation procedures. A certificate is not necessary in relation to the quotation procedures where it is not possible in the circumstances to obtain the number of quotations required by regulation 5 1 .

25.   The person authorised to give certificates of inexpediency will exercise his judgment upon the facts of each proposed purchase; he will consider, e.g., the nonavailability of competing sources of supply or the real urgency of the requirement. The responsibility for the issue of a certificate that it is impracticable or inexpedient to obtain the prescribed number of representative quotations or publicly invite tenders rests finally with him. The grounds upon which a dispensation is sought from the requirement either to obtain representative quotations or publicly invite tenders shall be clearly stated in writing by the recommending officer and contracts shall not be signed or orders placed until a certificate of inexpediency is given. If a situation arises where the obtaining of representative quotations or the public invitation of tenders is considered impracticable or inexpedient in the case of particular supplies, and the department has no person authorised to issue certificates of inexpediency, application may be made for the issue of a certificate to the Chief Executive Office, Australian Government Stores and Tender Board, 199 William Street, Melbourne.'

(2)   During the two-year period 1 July 1972 to 30 June 1974 18 contracts were let under the certificate of inexpediency provisions without open tender for amounts exceeding Sim and not exceeding $2m and 7 for amounts exceeding $2 m.

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