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Annual Report 1987/1988 Public Accounts Committee Report No.5 August 1988



Annual Report 1987/1988 Public Accounts Committee Report No.5 August 1988

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Tabled Paper 525


Tabled Papers for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled by Michael Palmer


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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- 19 Whilst the Committee cannot claim direct credit for all developments in the sphere of government accountability, its presence, together with its- declaration of interest in a number of strategically important accountability issues has certainly had an effect. Some of those issues are now highlighted. The Committee Is ol the opinion that the traditional methoda. ol keeping and presenting Government accounts may, In view ol a better educated and Informed electorate, no longer satisfy the demand lor public accountability. Whilst the CoimUttee Is generally satisfied that expenditure Is accounted lor in a manner that meets the requirements ol the Financial Administration and Audit Act and inhere required compiles uiith the Treasurer's Directions, It Is not satisfied that the mere meeting ol those requirements properly accounts lor Government expenditure." (Public Accounts Committee Report Number 1) This matter had been raised by the Auditor-General in his Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 1986 where he concluded "It is not at present possible to readily extract financial information relative to the costs of particular operations/activities from accounting records currently maintained." Since being followed up by the Public Accounts Committee, the Treasury has introduced standard expenditure classifications and has embarked on a course that will see a system of program budgeting and expenditure reporting across all government departments and statutory corporations. 'The Committee recognises that there are limiting factors which would prevent a radical departure ptom the current system ol account keeping and presentation but believes eHiclencles could be obtained in requiring the various arms ol government to regularly justify programs they may be administering in terms ol stated objectives and progress towards such objectives. It is not unusual in other places lor accountable ollicers to be required to set criteria against which the perlormance ol a department, ij/utrumentality or a particular program cum be judged nor Is it unusual lor an Independent auditor to be required to report on the levels ol perlormance achieved against such criteria." (Public Accounts Committee Report Number 1)

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