Territory Stories

Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 20 August 2002



Debates Day 4 - Tuesday 20 August 2002

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Parliamentary Record 6


Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 20 August 2002 It is also necessary that the Central Holding Authority be subject to requhements for sound financial management practices. In this regard, the bill provides for the Treasurer to determine an accountable officer of the Central Holding Authority and specifies financial management responsibilities for this accountable officer similar to those that apply to agency accountable officers. Minor amendments have also been incorporated into the bill to amend the reporting requhements relating to the Treasurers quarterly financial statements to allow these statements to be prepared on an accrual basis rather than a cash basis. Accrual reporting requhements relating to the Treasurers annual financial statements and those of agencies will be incorporated into amendments to be enacted later in the year. The Working for Outcomes framework applies accrual accounting to agencies. This means that agencies will hold assets and liabilities, and will need to recognise equity in the same way as government business divisions. An amendment has been made to allow the equity and dividend provisions in the act that currently relate to government business divisions to also relate to agencies. While equity transactions are anticipated, agencies would not generally be expected to be in a position to return dividends. However, this amendment establishes the authority should an appropriate situation arise. A further amendment has been made to extend the existing provision, where allocation is not requhed for investments, to also enable the repayment of debt principal by the Central Holding Authority without allocation. The repayment of debt, along with the investment function, is a financing mechanism and as such has not previously been included as allocation. It is not appropriate for this position to be altered. The application of debt funds and investments to capital works projects is covered by allocation through capital appropriations specified in the Appropriation Act Minor changes have also been made to align the act with contemporary accounting practices by repealing provisions relating to the setting off of revenue and expenditure where amounts are recouped or refunded. In addition, minor changes have also been made to align terminology in the act with that contained in the Commonwealth Banking Act and Corporations Act following the Commonwealths recent reform of the financial services sector. The bill contains some technical provisions to facilitate transition from the requhements of the current Financial Management Act to those that apply following the passage of this bill. These transitional arrangements relate to the period from 1 July 2002 to commencement of the Financial Management Act amendments. The transitional provisions give legal capacity to actions performed during the interim period that are in compliance with the act. In the same context, the bill provides certainty to actions undertaken by the Central Holding Authority in compliance with these amendments by deeming the Under Treasurer to be the accountable officer of the Central Holding Authority for this transitional period. This bill is part of the governments budget package. As such, the government will seek to have the bill passed through all stages on the final day of the September sittings following the passage of the Appropriation Bill. This will give the opposition and the Independent members sufficient time to consider the bills and seek a briefing if they requhe one. In summary, the focus of the bills is on those amendments necessary to provide legislative capacity for the changed appropriation arrangements from the 2002-03 year, and that apply from the 2002-03 Appropriation Act. Madam Speaker, I commend the bill to the House. Debate adjourned. MOTION Estimates Committee - Appointment of and Terms of Reference Mr STIRLING (Leader of Government Business): Madam Speaker, I seek leave in order to be able to speak to the formation of the Proposed Sessional Orders surrounding the Estimates Committee. Leave granted. Mr STIRLING: I thank the House for that because I have been in fairly constant liaison over the past few days with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and I think we are fairly close. I would like to update the Assembly on where the process is up to. I do not think we have complete agreement, having seen a couple of amendments from the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, but this is the place to have that debate and go from here with a process by which we will scrutinise the budget this year. 2164

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