Debates Day 3 - Thursday 19 June 2003
Parliamentary Record 13
Debates for 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 9th Assembly 2001 - 2005
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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
DEBATES Thursday 19 June 2003 4438 The member for Sanderson pulls a face. He knows that he did that. Mr KIELY: A point of order, Madam Acting Deputy Speaker! I did not pull any face. He cannot attribute actions to me. Dr LIM: Just talk to your member ... Mr KIELY: No, no, no!. I will not put up with that. Madam ACTING DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Sanderson, there is no point of order. You have stated your view that you did not pull a face. Member for Greatorex, continue. Dr LIM: Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, as I say, the member for Sanderson sought legal advice at great cost to the committee, without referring to the committee in the first instance. Had it not been for the estimates papers that we accidentally Mr Kiely: I will answer that one real soon. Dr LIM: perusing many lines of fine print, that we saw that entry. When we tried to seek an explanation, there was all hell to pay for it when the question was asked. It is unprecedented that a member of this parliament would seek legal advice on how to pursue another one in this Chamber. Is it not an indication of how the PAC has been so prejudiced in its actions? Let us hope there will be no more of this in the future, that the committee can work together in a gainful way for this parliament, and explore how public monies are being expended by the government, and report fairly to the parliament. That is what it is all about. That is why a parliamentary committee is formed: to report fairly to the parliament. The resources provided to the PAC have been reasonable. Most things that we wanted to do have been achieved within the budget that we had and, hopefully, those resources will continue to allow us to do the work that we have been set up to do. We have been liaising with the Auditor-General a lot more than in previous years, in my experience, and it is a good thing that the Auditor-General comes to talk to us at frequent intervals and provides us with some development as well. I am not an accountant, and I do not believe that any other member of the PAC is an accountant, so having an accountant such as the Auditor-General teaching, training and giving us development to our roles as PAC members will always be good. I look forward to more instruction from the man who is able to provide unbiased and frank advice, pointing us in the right direction. When we go off in the wrong direction, he does pull us back so that we can refocus our efforts. The PAC report, in this instance, was a bit bland. It does not tell the reader what we did in the last 12 months. We did a lot of work. The work looking at the previous governments last budget was a significant amount of work. That was not reported on, but I thought this report should have referred to that earlier report that we tabled in this parliament. It did not do so in a very direct way. As regard the committees efforts with this was raised by the member for Johnston, regarding the A member: The general audits. Dr LIM: No, not the internal audits, the departmental reports that are put out and the sponsorship that the PAC provided for judging the best agency report. This year, let me tell you, the number of reports that were submitted for the award was drastically down on previous years. We have put some questions to the agencies as to why they have not submitted the reports. It might be that they have lost interest, or whatever, so that is a concern. We like to see the agencies continue to submit their reports because producing an annual report is about accountability and allowing the Auditor-General to ensure that outcomes are being achieved for public monies expended. Hence, the quality of reports are such that that sort of information should be readily accessed from those reports. If those reports being produced are not of the right quality, it makes it very difficult. For a lay person like myself reading an annual report, I like to make it as easy as possible, otherwise it just makes my work so much harder. With those few remarks, Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I acknowledged the tabling of the PAC report and added some comments about why we - we meaning the member for Drysdale and myself - had to put in a dissenting report so that those points that were left out could be formally incorporated into the tabling of the report. Mr KIELY (Sanderson): Madam Acting Deputy Speaker, I address the Public Accounts Committee Annual Report, year ended 30 June 2002. It was indeed a pleasure to serve on the Public Accounts Committee. The members, even from both sides, I found to be interesting, under the stewardship and chairmanship of the member for Johnston. I thought it was a great committee to be on; it was certainly into the parliamentary process at the deep end. I believe, with the help of the Legislative Assembly staff, that we managed quite well. I would like to acknowledge the help of Mr Terry Hanley and Ros Vogeli. Their assistance over the year was much appreciated by myself and other members. I would also like to acknowledge the
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