O R IG IN A L P A P E R No....fe.&l...
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PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 1991
REPORT NO. 13 OCTOBER 1991
Presented and Ordered to be printed by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory
on 19 November 1991
(1) Salaries and Allowances increased in 1990/91 as positions in th e Secretariat were fully staffed for th a t period.
(2) C onsultants Fees relate to th e employment by th e Committee o f two consultants to assist in the enquiry into th e 1987/88 and
1988/89 A uditor-G eneral’s reports.
(3) T h e Committee produced and tabled 3 reports compared to only one in 1989/90.
(4) E xpenditure in this category relates to the 1991 Biennial C onference hosted by th e N orthern Territory.
CREDITORS AND ACCRUALS:
The Committee has several outstanding accounts in relation to th e Biennial Conference amounting to approximately $10 000.00.
In relation re sta ff entitlem ents, th e Committee Secretary has accrued 3
months, 9 days Long Service Leave and has approxim ately $1 500.00 in airfare entitlem ents.
LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 1991
REPORT NO. 13
SUSANNE LEEBA (Accounting) CPA -
Secretary DIANNE STANFORD - Administrative Assistant
Legislative Assembly of the N orthern T erritory
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
G PO BOX 3721 Telephone: (089)461411
DARWIN NT 0801 Telex: AA85154
Telegrams Comparlas Facsim ile : (089)812528
This statem ent is prepared on a cash accounting basis.
STATEMENT OF PAYMENTS FOR TH E YEAR ENDED 30 JUNE 1991
4 5 6 8 3 Sa l a r i e s a n d Al l o w a n c e s ( 1 ) 6 4 0 5 1
2 4 8 5 Ad v e r t i s i n g 1 6 5
1 7 9 2 Co m p u t e r Se r v i c e s 6 5 7 2
9 7 6 3 Co n s u l t a n t s Fe e s ( 2 ) 3 7 4 3 8
4 2 3 4 Fu r n i t u r e a n d Fi t t i n g s 2 4 5
1 8 0 Ge n e r a l Eq u i p m e n t a n d Ma c h i n e s 3 1 9 9 8 0 Of f i c e Re q u i s i t e s a n d St a t i o n e r y 4 1 9
2 0 5 1 Do c u m e n t Pr o d u c t i o n ( 3 ) 1 0 2 8 2
2 9 0 5 Re g u l a t o r y Ad v i s o r y Bo a r d s 1 1 0 0
1 2 0 Tr a i n i n g a n d St u d y Ex p e n s e s 5 9 6
5 3 9 Tr a n s p o r t - Ve h i c l e s 2 8 8
7 1 8 0 Tr a v e l l i n g Al l o w a n c e 3 4 2 0
1 3 5 2 6 Of f i c i a l Du t y Fa r e s 1 1 5 4 9
- Wo r k e r s Co m p e n s a t i o n 9 3
3 2 1 9 Pa y r o l l Ta x 4 0 1 9
2 9 4 2 Co n s u m a b l e s a n d Ge n e r a l Ex p e n s e s ( 4 ) 1 1 1 1 3
9 7 5 9 9 T O T A L E X P E N D I T U R E 1 5 1 6 6 8
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
YEAR ENDED 30 JU N E 1991
Contents Pag? No,
CHAIRMAN’S REVIEW 1
CHAPTER 1 - N orthern T erritory Public Accounts
CHAPTER 2 - Activities 1990/91 7
CHAPTER 3 - A dm inistration and S taffing 15
APPENDIX 1 - Terms of Reference 17
APPENDIX 2 - A ustralasian Council of Public
Accounts Committee 23
APPENDIX 3 - Summary of Meetings 29
APPENDIX 4 - Financial Report 33
Meeting No. and
No. 60 21.3.91
No. 61 7.5.91
No. 62 30.5.91
Type o f Meeting
Key Agenda Items
Deliberative - Biennial Conference - New Reference: Cost
Efficiency o f 1990 Election
Briefing - D epartm ent of Industries and Development
- NT Treasury
- Gasgo & Darnor
- O ffice of the Auditor-General
Deliberative Biennial Conference - update Reference: Inquiry into 1990
Election Costs Budget
Biennial Conference N T Electoral O ffice
Mr D Robinson Mr P Caldwell Mr M M artin Ms I Barry Mr J T ark a Mr E Isaacson
Mr C Phillips Mr W Shepherd Mr G Davis
T he past year was highlighted by three significant events.
Firstly, on 14 February 1991 the Committee tabled its second report on th e Actual and C ontingent Liabilities of th e N orthern Territory Government. T h a t report expressed the Com m ittee’s concern about th e accuracy of the projections underlying the Governm ent’s decision to proceed with Y ulara and th e Darwin and Alice Springs Sheraton projects. Aside from the ongoing problems facing th e three hotel projects, the Comm ittee was generally satisfied th a t th e Actual and Contingent Liabilities o f the N orthern Territory Government are being properly m anaged, reported and accounted for.
Secondly, on 8 May 1991 th e Committee tabled its report on th e A uditor-G eneral’s Annual Reports 87/88 and 8 8/89. In addressing the A uditor-G eneral’s reports th e Committee undertook a thorough exam ination of th e issues raised and is confident th a t as a result, significant advances will be made in public accountability in the N orthern Territory.
Finally, th e Comm ittee hosted the Seventh Biennial Conference of Public Accounts Committees. The conference was th e first held under th e auspices o f the A ustralasian Council of Public Accounts Committees and attracted delegates from all of the A ustralian states and Territories as well as Papua New G uinea, New Zealand and C anada. T he conference was adjudged by delegates attending as a resounding success.
During th e year, th e Com m ittee’s work was interrupted by the G eneral Election resulting in the loss to the Committee of Messrs Ede and Leo who were replaced by Messrs Stirling and Bailey.
I would like to express my appreciation of the efforts o f both Dan Leo and Brian Ede in m aintaining th e bipartisan nature of th e Committee and for the constructive contributions they made to its deliberations and reports.
Mr Leo was first appointed to th e Committee a t its inception on 19 June 1986 and was a strong advocate of the need for the Committee to work coherently for th e betterm ent of both the Parliam ent and the N orthern T erritory.
I am confident th e Committee will continue to provide Parliam ent with both useful and fearless reports.
M J PALMER
SUMMARY OF MEETINGS
Meeting No. and
No. 55 26.7.90
No. 56 6.12.90
No. 57 14.14.90 No. 58
No. 59 12.3.91
Type o f Witness
Key Agenda Items
Deliberative - Biennial Conference - Consultants
- Updates on G ran ts-In -A id - Actual and Contingent
- Access to NT Government Purchasing and Tendering Requirements
Briefing - D epartm ent of Industries Mr N Almond and Development Mr O Alder Deliberative - Biennial Conference
- Contingent Liabilities - A uditor-G eneral’s Report Deliberative - Contingent Liabilities
Deliberative - Contingent Liabilities - Annual Report
- Proposed meeting dates
- Reinstatem ent of G rants-in-A id Reference
Deliberative - Biennial Conference - G rants-in -A id Reference - Administrative Support
- A uditor-G eneral’s Reference
NORTHERN TERRITORY PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMITTEE
T he N orthern T erritory Public Accounts Comm ittee was first established by Standing O rder 21A of th e Legislative Assembly on 16 August 1986 as a sessional com mittee. It achieved perm anent standing status on 23 August 1988.
A t th e commencement o f th e 1990/91 financial year, th e Comm ittee members were:
Mr Mick Palm er Mr Brian Ede Mr Dan Leo Mr Eric Poole Mr Rick Setter
On 27 O ctober 1990 th e A dm inistrator prorogued th e P arliam ent for th e purposes of a general T erritory election. This election resulted in several changes to the Committee. Mr Brian Ede (who was appointed Leader of the Opposition) and Mr Dan Leo (retired) were replaced by Mr Joh n Bailey and M r Syd Stirling.
PROFILE OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS MR MICK PALMER, MLAC hairm an Appointed 16 August 1986
C hairm an from 1 July 1987 - to date Country Liberal Party
Member for K aram a. F irst elected 1983
Other Committees: House, Subordinate Legislation and Tables Papers, Use and Abuse o f Alcohol by th e Community, Environment.
MR JOHN BAILEY, MLA
From 28 O ctober 1991 - to date A ustralian Labor Party
Member for Wanguri. F irst elected 1989
Deputy Leader of the O pposition, Shadow M inister for Mines and Energy; Industries and Development; Trade Development Zone.
Other Committees: C onstitutional Development; Environment;
MR RICK SETTER, MLA
From 17 May 1988 - to date Country Liberal Party
Member for Jingili. F irst elected in 1984
Other Committees: New P arliam ent House, C onstitutional Development, Publications, Subordinate Legislation and Tabled Papers.
MR ERIC POOLE, MLA
Reappointed 10 O ctober 1988 - to date Country Liberal Party
M ember for Araluen. F irst elected 1986
Other Committees: House, Publication, Subordinate Legislation and
T abled Papers, Use and Abuse of Alcohol by th e Community (C hairm an).
MR SYD STIRLING, MLA
A ustralian Labor Party
M ember for Nhulunbuy. F irst elected 1990.
Shadow M inister for T ransport and Works; Power and W ater A uthority;
Sports and Recreation; Racing and th e TAB; Ports; Governmenmt P rinter.
Other Committees: C onstitutional Development; Subordinate Legislation and Tabled Papers.
SUMMARY OF MEETING
6. ACPAC shall meet in the form of a meeting of Committee C hairpersons, or their nominees, between conferences.
7. T he President of ACPAC shall be the Chairperson o f the host S tate of th e next conference.
REPORTS OF THE COMMITTEE
T h e Com m ittee is required to report to th e Legislative Assembly on an annual basis as well as providing specific reports from time to tim e to report its proceedings and evidence taken.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
T h e Comm ittee considers its aim to be T H E PROMOTION O F VALUE
FOR MONEY IN TH E PUBLIC SECTOR WITH INCREASED
PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY TO T H E PARLIAMENT AND TH E PUBLIC OF TH E NORTHERN TERRITORY.
T his aim th en allows th e Committee to pursue th e following objectives against w hich its own perform ance m ight be assessed:
to increase the efficiency and effectiveness w ith which government policy is implemented.
to increase the public sector’s awareness o f th e need to be efficien t and effective and accountable for its operations; and
to increase th e awareness and understanding of parliam entarians and members of the public o f th e financial and related operations o f government.
AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES
T h e A ustralasian Council of Public Accounts Committees (ACPAC) is hereby established.
T he aims of ACPAC are:
a. To facilitate the exchange o f inform ation and opinion relating to Public Accounts Committees and to discuss m atters of mutual concern;
b. To improve the quality and perform ance of Public Accounts Committees in Australasia;
c. To liaise with A uditor-G enerals so as to improve th e effectiveness of both the Auditors and the Public Accounts Committee;
d. To communicate with individuals and organisations knowledgeable about matters of concern to public accountability; and
e. To provide an educational service for the elected Members of Parliam ent, the media and the general public as to the purposes and activities of Public Accounts Committees.
M embership of ACPAC is open to all Parliamentary committees scrutinising public spending.
ACPAC shall meet at least biennially in the form of a conference with the meeting open to members of the respective Committees and s ta ff of such Committees and such other persons as may be determined.
In th e case of questions to be decided a t the ACPAC Conference, one vote may be cast by each member Committee represented by its Chairm an or h is/h er nominee.
(1) T h a t the next meeting of the Council will be held in Brisbane in 1992.
Moved:Mr Ken Hayward, MLA
Seconded:Mr Nick C atania, MLA
(2) T h e next Biennial Conference scheduled for 1993 will be hosted by Tasm ania.
Moved:M r Neil Robson, MHA
Seconded:Mr Ken H ayward, MLA
CHAPTER 2 ACTIVITIES 1990/91
T he Com m ittee met on 8 occasions during th e year, 3 o f w hich were deliberative briefings. Briefings were received from 11 witnesses and in accordance w ith parliam entary practice, were held in camera.
T h e following reports were tabled before th e N orthern T erritory Legislative Assembly during th e 12 months to 30 June 1991.
SECOND REPORT ON THE ACTUAL AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT - Report No. 10.
T he Committee received this reference in O ctober 1989 and tabled its report during the February 1991 sittings.
T he report attracted substantial media coverage including this article in th e NT News dated 15 February 1991.
-N T GOVERNMENT OUTLAYS SOAR - The N T G o v er n m en t’s lia b il
ity in D arw in J o in e r y and F u r niture M an u factu rin g w h ich it b ailed out la s t y e a r a m o u n ts to
$3.6 m illion , th e 1990 P u b lic A ccou n ts C o m m ittee rep o rt h a s rev ea le d .
And the report shows that Govern
ment outlays to the Y ulara and other Sheraton hotels have far exceeded original estim ates.
The report, tabled in the L egislat
ive Assembly yesterday by comm it
tee chairman, K aram a MLA, Mr Mick Palm er, said Darwin Joinery assets more than covered the Gov
The underestimation of Darwin Sheraton contributions w as m a ssiv e:
$27 m i l l i o n had been given up to 1 9 9 0 ,
slightly more than double original estim ates.
Projected estim ates to 1996, the earliest the Territory can divest itself of the hotel are a further $25 m, compared to the $4 m originally expected.
The report said there would be a complete loss of faith in the Territory by the business community plus possible litigation if the Government pulled out before 1996.
It said the “ current financial model” suggested that if a sale was delayed until 1998, the Government could net $22 m instead of as pre
dicted $17 m loss in 1996.
For the Yulara project, taxpayer contributions to 1990 were $56 m,
$10.5 m more than originally estim ated. Projected contributions to 1996 are a further $87 m, $13 m more than originally expected.
The resort cannot be sold before September 1996 without agreement, from equity partners.
Mr Palmer said it was difficult to place a market value on Yulara and the conditions of a potential sale remained unknown.
The report said the majority of commercial elem ents at Yulara had
been achieving better than expected results but the Yulara Sheraton was consistently unsatisfactory because of Sheraton management style, the pilots’ strike and flooding.
Contributions to the Alice Springs Sheraton — $34 m to 1990 exceeded original estim ates by $13 m. A further $14 in is predicted until 1993,
$3 m more than original estim ates.
Investnorth had negotiated the in
terest rate on borrowed funds from 13.5 per cent to 10.2 per cent; but although the Sheraton could be sold without penalty, the report said it would difficult to find a buyer at an attractive price because of low occu
pancy levels. It said the Sherarton would revam p its managem ent style this year to catch the business con
Outside the House, the Industries and Developm ent Minister, Mr Steve Hatton, said there were no sales on the horizon and the Government was try in g to find w here it stood contractually with the Sheraton ho
“Hopefully we have rem oved the risk of unforseen shocks” he said.
“Who could have predicted the interest rate hike or the pilots’
strike,” he said.
He said it by cutting losses now, the Government could be forgoing a future surplus.
“It’s not easy but we are con
fronted with contractual obligations
— we can ’t renege on that.”
He c r it ic is e d th e S h era to n - G ovem m ent m anagem ent system , negotiated in the early 1980s by form er chief minister, Mr Paul Everingham .
It gives the Government the “least control” of any possible structure, Mr Hatton said.
But he argued that returns from the Sheratons were equal to the cash put into them.
The Opposition will debate the report during the next A ssem bly sittings in May.
AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, FRIDAY 31 MAY 1991
BEAUFORT HOTEL, DARWIN
Mr Mick Palm er, MLA, C hairm an, N orthern Territory Public Accounts Committee in th e Chair.
New South Wales Public Accounts Committee
Commonwealth Jo in t Parliam entary Committee o f Public Accounts
V ictorian Economic and Budget Review Committee V ictorian Public Bodies Review Committee
South A ustralian Public Accounts Committee
Tasm anian Parliam entary Public Accounts Com m ittee Western A ustralian Public Accounts and Expenditure
Queensland Parliam entary Committee o f Public Accounts N orthern Territory Public Accounts Committee
A ustralian Capital Territory Public Accounts Committee Papua New Guinea Perm anent Parliam entary Committee on
New Zealand Finance and Expenditure Committee
T he th ru st o f th e Com m ittee’s recommendations were th a t it continue to m onitor, on an annual basis, the G overnment’s exposure to m ajor com mitments such as the Alice Springs, Yulara and Darwin Sheratons, and th e Darwin Joinery. It also elected to report annually on any new contingent liabilities as well as the N orthern T erritory Governments exposure in relation to its Superannuation Liability.
REPORT ON THE AUDITOR-GENERAL’S ANNUAL REPORTS 1987/88 and 1988/89-Report No. 12.
T he recom mendations contained in th e A uditor-G eneral’s report for 1987/88 were superceded by th e recom mendations in his 1988/89 report, hence th e Com m ittee, in essence, only reviewed th e 1988/89 report. Because of th e natu re o f th e A uditor-G eneral’s report, th e Com m ittee engaged two consultants to review th e content o f th e A uditor-G eneral’s report and m ake appropriate recommendations.
T h e Comm ittee considered the C onsultant’s reports and comments it received from various D epartm ents and Statutory A uthorities and tabled its report during th e May 1991 sittings of Parliam ent.
A part from th e recommendation th a t a Working P arty of representatives from th e four central agencies (Public Service Commissioner’s O ffice, A uditor-G eneral’s O ffice, C hief M inister’s D epartm ent and NT Treasury) be established w hich will report to the P arliam ent through the Public Accounts Comm ittee on a number of issues, the Committee m ade a number of recommendations in relation to companies, corporations and trusts in w hich the Government m aintains a controlling interest.
It recommended th a t a register of these interests be m aintained by th e N T Treasury and th a t these interests be audited by th e A uditor-G eneral.
PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE - ANNUAL REPORT YEAR ENDED 30 June 1991 - Report No. 11.
T his report was tabled in February 1991 and reviewed th e activities of th e Comm ittee over the previous 12 m onths.
THIRD REPORT ON THE ACTUAL AND CONTINGENT LIABILITIES OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT
In its second report on Actual and Contingent Liabilities, the Comm ittee decided it would m onitor and report the N orthern T erritory Government’s exposure to these liabilities on an annual basis. Briefings will be sort from relevant personnel.
A report will be issued during 1991/92.
INQUIRY INTO 1990 ELECTION COSTS
In accordance with Clause 2(d) of th e Terms o f Reference o f th e Public Accounts Com m ittee, th e C hief M inister requested th e Comm ittee to inquire into and report to th e Legislative Assembly on:
"The efficient conduct of th e O ctober 1990 G eneral T erritory Election with particular regard to th e cost efficiency of:
(a) th e employment an d /o r secondment of tem porary staff;
(b) mobile polling, (c) postal voting and,
(d) th e conduct of the actual poll including th e subsequent count of votes".
T h e Comm ittee has been briefed by th e Electoral O ffice and is pursuing issues arising from this briefing.
A report will be issued during 1991/92.
AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
REPORT ON THE AUDITOR-GENERAL’S ANNUAL REPORT 1989/90
T h e Com m ittee has a standing reference to inquire into the A u ditor-G eneral’s Reports on an annual basis. T he 1989/90 report reflects a return to m atters o f cost saving and efficiency gains ra th e r th a n financial accountability. Hence th e Committee prefers to review th e A uditor-G eneral’s Report 12 m onths a fte r it has been tabled w hich allows D epartm ents and Statutory A uthorities time to im plem ent/
question th e recommendations.
A b rief will be sought from th e A uditor-G eneral and report will be issued during 1991/92.
INQUIRY INTO THE APPLICATION OF NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT GRANT-IN-AID FUNDING BY COMMUNITY ORGANISATIONS
This reference was reinstated by th e Comm ittee afte r th e O ctober 1990 election, however, th e Committee has deferred the inquiry pending a report by CRESAP into the operations of th e D epartm ent of H ealth and Community Services.
A report will be issued in due course.
INQUIRY INTO ACCESS BY INTERSTATE BUSINESSES TO NORTHERN TERRITORY GOVERNMENT PURCHASING AND TENDERING REQUIREMENTS
A num ber o f submissions were received by th e Committee in response to public advertising, all of which were investigated by th e Committee. A num ber of minor procedural problems were raised w ith the relevant D epartm ents and resolved satisfactorily.
This reference lapsed w ithin th e prorogation of Parliam ent on S October 1990 and was not reinstated.
AUSTRALASIAN COUNCIL OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES
T he Annual G eneral Meeting o f the Public Accounts Com m ittee was held on Friday, 24 May during the 1991 Biennial Conference of Public Accounts Committees.
I t was decided th a t :
(a) th e next meeting of the Council will be in Brisbane in 1992;
(b) Tasm ania would host th e next Biennial Conference scheduled for 1993.
BIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES
T h e Comm ittee hosted th e Seventh Biennial Conference of Public Accounts Committees between 22 and 26 May 1991. T he Conference was attended by 52 delegates and 15 accompanying persons representing Public Accounts Committees from A ustralia, New Z ealand, Papua New Guinea and Canada as well as A uditor-G enerals from several A ustralian states. A number of academics and invitees also attended.
T he Conference was opened by the H onourable Shane Stone, MP, M inister fior Education and the following papers were presented:
* "PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES - A BUREAUCRATS PERSPECTIVE" by M r David Shand, Commissioner, Public Sector M anagement Commission, Queensland.
* "ANNUAL REPORTING AND T H E PARLIAMENT" by Mr Nick C atania, MLA, C hairm an, Public Accounts Committee, W estern A ustralia.
* "THE FORMAT OF T H E PUBLIC ACCOUNTS" by M r Kevin H am ilton, MLA, C hairm an Public Accounts Com m ittee, South A ustralia.
(9) T he Committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees and to refer to any such sub-com m ittee any m atter which the Committee is empowered to examine.
(10) Three members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum of the Committee and two Members of a sub-committee shall constitute a quorum of the sub-com m ittee.
(11) The Committee or any sub-com m ittee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records, to adjourn from place to place, to meet and transact business in public or private session and to sit during any adjournm ent of the Assembly.
(12) The Committee shall be empowered to p rint from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it and, unless otherw ise ordered by the Committee, a daily Hansard shall be published of such proceedings of th e Committee as take place in public.
(13) The Committee may proceed to th e despatch of business notw ithstanding th a t all Members have not been appointed and notw ithstanding any vacancy.
(14) The Committee shall report annually and shall have leave to report from time to time and to report its proceedings and evidence taken; and any Member o f th e Committee shall have power to add a protest or dissent to any Report.
(15) Unless otherwise ordered by the Comm ittee, all documents received by the Committee during its inquiry shall remain in the custody of th e Assembly: provided th a t, on th e application of a departm ent or person, any document, if not likely to be furth er required, may, in the Speaker’s discretion, be returned to the D epartm ent or person from whom it was obtained.
(16) T he Committee shall be provided w ith all necessary staff, facilities and resources and shall be empowered, with the approval of th e Speaker, to appoint persons with specialist knowledge for the purposes of the Committee.
(17) The foregoing provisions of this Resolution, so far as they are inconsistent with th e Standing Orders, have effect notw ithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders.
(e) to examine th e reports of the A uditor-G eneral laid before the Legislative Assembly with the accounts of a Public Authority of the N orthern Territory (including any documents annexed or appended to those reports).
(3) T h e Committee shall exam ine only those accounts or receipts and expenditure fo th e N orthern T erritory and reports of the A uditor-G eneral for financial years commencing afte r 30 June
1986; provided th a t this shall not prevent the consideration by th e Committee of m atters included in reports of the A uditor-G eneral for the year ending 30 June 1986 w hich have or may have a continuing effect on the form o f th e public accounts; th e method of receipt, control, issue or paym ent of public moneys.
(4) P rio r to determining w hether to undertake an inquiry into any m atter w hich may have arisen in connection with the public accounts of the T erritory, pursuant to paragraphs (2) (a) and (e), with th e concurrence of the Committee, the C hairm an is empowered to write to the C hief Executive O fficer of the relevant D epartm ent or Public A uthority for a report on the m atter.
(5) T h e Committee shall take care not to inquire into any m atters w hich are being examined by a Select Committee of the Assembly especially appointed to inquire into such m atters and any question arising in connection therew ith may be referred to the Assembly for determ ination.
(6) T h e Committee shall elect a Government member as C hairm an.
(7) T h e C hairm an of the Committee may, from time to time, appoint a Member of the Committee to be th e Deputy C hairm an of the Committee and the Member so appointed sh all act as C hairm an of th e Committee any any tim e when th e re is no Chairm an or when the C hairm an is not present a t a meeting o f the Committee.
(8) In the event of any equality of voting, the C hairm an, or the Deputy Chairm an when acting as C hairm an, shall have a casting vote.
"THE ADOPTION OF CORPORATE FORMS FOR
GOVERNMENT BUSINESS UNDERTAKINGS:
ACCOUNTABILITY ISSUES FOR TH E 1990’s", financial reporting
provision of auditing perform ance review
funding of community service obligations o th er accountability issues
jo in t presentation by Mr Jam es G uthrie, University o f New South Wales and Commonwealth Jo in t Parliam entary Committee.
* "AUDITING IN TH E AFTERMATH O F TH E FITZGERALD COMMISSION O F INQUIRY" by Mr Ches B aragw anath, A uditor-G eneral for V ictoria.
* "AN OVERVIEW OF TH E PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY PROCESS IN CANADA WITH A SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON
CANADIAN PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEES: WHAT
THEY HAVE IN COMMON, MAJOR DIFFERENCES AND PROPOSED REFORMS" by Mr Barry P ashak, MLA, C hairm an, Standing Committee on Public Accounts, A lberta, Canada.
* "THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PUBLIC ACCOUNTS
COMMITTEES AND AUDITORS-GENERAL" by Hon Theo Theophanous, MLC, Chairperson, V ictorian Economic and Budget Review Committee.
* "MEDIA REVIEW" by Ms C lare M artin, ABC Radio, Darwin.
Delegates voted th e Conference a success and elected to hold th e next Biennial Conference in Tasm ania in 1993.
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTING GROUP/PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE JOINT SEMINAR
On 28 M ay 1991 th e P u b lic A ccounts C om m ittee and th e G overnm ent A ccou n tin g Group h eld a sem inar in D arwin on "Keeping P ace w ith P u blic Sector A ccou ntin g and R eporting in th e 9 0 ’s". T h e Sem inar was opened by Mr M ick Palm er, C hairm an o f th e N orthern T erritory Public A ccou nts C om m ittee and included speakers from C anada, South A u stralia and N ew South W ales as w ell as th e S ecretary o f th e C h ief M in ister’s D epartm ent w h o provided th e lu n ch eon address.
A p p roxim ately 100 attended th e Sem inar.
ANNUAL REPORTS AWARDS
T h e C om m ittee continues to provide fin an cial assista n ce to th e A nnual R eports Awards sponsored by Panel Kerr Forster (C hartered A ccou n tan ts) and th e G overnm ent A ccou ntin g Group.
T h e 1991 Awards b uilt on th e su ccess o f previous Awards and saw an overall im provem ent in th e quality o f annual reports.
A nnual Reports are im portant docum ents from th e C om m ittees as w ell as th e p u b lic’s point o f view . T h ey provide an overview o f th e activities o f a particular d ep artm en t/statu tory authority and con tain valuable fin a n cia l in form ation regarding th e cost o f th e service provided.
It is th e C om m ittee’s in ten tio n to con tin ue to support th ese awards w h ich prom ote q uality in th e con ten t o f Annual R eports.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
STANDING ORDER 21A PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE
(1 ) A Standing C om m ittee o f Public A ccou nts to consist o f 5 members sh a ll be appointed at th e com m encem ent of each A ssem bly.
(2 ) T h e duties o f th e C om m ittee sh all be -
(a) to exam ine th e accounts o f th e receip ts and expenditure o f th e N orthern Territory and ea c h statem ent and report transm itted to the L egislative Assem bly by th e A u d itor-G en eral, pursuant to the Financial A d m in istration and A udit A ct;
(b) to report to th e L egislative A ssem bly w ith such com m ents as it th ink s fit, any tim e or matters or arising in con n ection w ith th e receipt or disbursem ent o f th e m oneys to w h ich th ey relate, to w h ich th e Committee is o f th e opinion th a t th e atten tion o f Parliam ent should be drawn;
(c) to report to th e L egislative A ssem bly any alteration w h ich th e C om m ittee thinks desirable in the form o f th e public accounts or in th e m ethod o f keeping them or in th e m ethod o f receip t, control, issue or payment o f public moneys;
(d) to inquire in to and report to th e leg isla tiv e Assem bly on any question in con n ection w ith th e p ublic accounts o f th e Territory -
(i) w h ich is referred to it by a resolution o f the Assem bly; or
(ii) w hich is referred to it by th e A dm inistrator or a M inister; and
ADMINISTRATION AND STAFFING
S taffin g for th e Public Accounts Com m ittee S ecretariat is provided by th e Legislative Assembly.
T he Com m ittee currently has a fu ll-tim e Secretary w ith shared adm inistrative support services.
S ta ff as a t 30 June 1990:
SECRETARY- Ms Susanne Lee BA (Accounting) CPA
SUPPORT STAFF - Ms D ianne Stanford Ms Rosalind Vogeli
Ms D ianne Stanford, who is on tem porary higher duties from th e D epartm ent of th e C hief M inister, commenced in the S ecretariat in M arch 1991.
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