PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
Report: Year ended 30 June 1994
Mr GLACHAN (Albury) [1.27]: The past year has been the most productive in the 92-year history of the Public Accounts Committee: 11 major reports were prepared and 12,000 copies were distributed during the year; 26 deliberative meetings were held, with 15 days of hearings, 80 witnesses appearing 84 times, one overseas study tour comprising 19 meetings, three days of intrastate inspections, one conference, one workshop, one seminar and 18 major media releases, many of these appearing in the most prestigious papers and professional journals in this country. In addition, 37 speaking engagements were undertaken by members of the committee and staff members. So it has been a very busy but a very productive year. Many of the reports made recommendations to the Government which have been taken up and implemented. During the year the former chairman, the honourable member for Eastwood, Mr Andrew Tink, retired from the position of chairman and as a member of the Public Accounts Committee to take up the post of Parliamentary Secretary Assisting the Premier. I was elected as Chairman in his place. The honourable member for Davidson was appointed to the committee on 24 September to take his place.
I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the staff of the committee for their untiring work during the year, particularly the director, Mrs Patricia Azarias; Mr Ian Clark, then the senior project officer; Mr Joseph Imrich, clerk to the committee; Ms Caterina Sciara and Ms Debbie Isted, who provided
administrative support; and our accounting and auditing adviser, Mr John Lynas, who is now on secondment from the Auditor-General's office. I should like to pay special tribute to Ms Ronda Miller, the Clerk-Assistant (Committees) for her ready and constructive assistance to the committee on many occasions.
It is interesting to note that the committee finished $17,000 under budget; and as a result of a very successful seminar held at the Sydney Opera House the committee was able to make a payment of almost $15,000 to the Parliament by way of profit earned from that seminar. I should also like to pay a very special tribute on behalf of the members and staff of the committee to the former chairman, Mr Andrew Tink. We very much admired and appreciated the qualities he brought to the position. He has a very keen and analytical mind and great qualities of leadership that assisted us in many ways during the year. It was due to his leadership that such a record amount of work was undertaken and completed and that the results were of such a high standard. He has the admiration and sincere thanks of everyone associated with the committee. We are most grateful to him for the leadership he provided.
Mr RUMBLE (Illawarra) [1.31]: I am very pleased to speak to the 1993-94 annual report of the Public Accounts Committee, report No. 85. I wish to endorse the remarks of our chairman in respect of the operation and bipartisanship conduct of the committee. Some of the highlights of our very busy year included the presentation to the Parliament of 11 reports, 15 days of hearings, the issuing of 18 press releases, the examining of 80 witnesses, and the publishing of 88 articles. One of the highlights of the year was a conference held at the Opera House about infrastructure finance. The Public Accounts Committee intended to hold the conference at Parliament House. However, with a sell-out and 250 participants, the venue had to be changed to the Opera House. The committee organised two American speakers to come to Australia for the conference, Mr Bill Chew, Managing Director of Standard and Poor's, the New York based ratings agency, and Mr Carl Williams, Assistant Director, Department of Transportation, California. The conference was opened by the Premier, and Mr Rod McGeoch gave the luncheon address. The committee paid a dividend of $15,000 to the Parliament in the form of a profit from the Opera House conference.
Having printed 11 reports, 12,000 copies were distributed. Press interest was very high during the year, with 88 articles appearing in publications such as the Australian Financial Review, Business Review Weekly, Directions in Government, CPA News, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian, Australian Super Review: the Fund Management Magazine, BOMA magazine, and New Accountant. Report highlights during the year included "Infrastructure Financing", "Proceedings of the Seminar on the Internal Audit - Implementation of Change", "Public Defenders" and "Matters Arising from the Auditor-General's Reports". With the internal auditors report we stressed that the internal auditor should have a direct line to the chief executive of agencies. We came across some instances when the internal auditor had to go through other senior people. Our strong recommendation, and we hope that it has been carried out by all government departments, is that the internal auditor have direct access to chief executives.
I was pleased to hear of the appointment of our new chairman, Mr Ian Glachan, from 15 September, and I congratulate him on that. I wish our former chairman, Mr Andrew Tink, all the best in his new position as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier. I thank him for his leadership as chairman. Mr Tink's place on the committee was taken by the honourable member for Davidson, who was appointed on 14 September. I should also like to thank the secretariat for its assistance during the year, including our energetic director, Mrs Patricia Azarias, who was ably assisted by Ian Clark and John Lynas, together with assistant committee officers Caterina Sciara, Wendy Terlecki and Debbie Isted. I am very proud to be a member of this very active and successful bipartisan committee.
[Mr Acting-Speaker (Mr Rixon) left the chair at 1.35 p.m. The House resumed at 2.15 p.m.]
[Notices of Motion]
Mr SPEAKER: Order! I call the honourable member for Smithfield to order.
Mr SPEAKER: Order! The business of the House would proceed more quickly and in a more orderly fashion if all members were silent. The honourable member for Davidson has the call to read his notice of motion. I call the honourable member for Coogee to order. I call the honourable member for Smithfield to order for the second time. I call the honourable member for Mount Druitt to order. I call the honourable member for Heffron to order. I call the honourable member for Moorebank to order. I call the honourable member for Auburn to order. I call the honourable member for Londonderry to order. I call the honourable member for Kogarah to order. I call the honourable member for Blacktown to order.