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Financial Scrutiny of the Executive Paul McLeay MP Chair, PAC PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar 0905

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Page 1: Commonwealth Parliamentary Seminar   0905

Financial Scrutiny of the Executive

Paul McLeay MPChair, PAC

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

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Sunlight is the best of disinfectants

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3

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Spenders

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Auditors

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Public Representatives

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Produces accounts of expenditure

Inte

rpre

ts ac

coun

ts &

expla

ins a

udit o

pinion

sRepresents public

opinions & interest

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Public Finance and Audit Act 1983, Section 57

• PAC’s primary functions are to examine:

Total State Sector Accounts Financial reports of State authorities Opinions and reports of the Auditor-General

Restrictions on the Committee

x Government policy, unless inquiry referred by Assembly or Minister

x Estimates of proposed expenditure

FunctionsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Referral by:

Source of InquiriesPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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• Referral by:

Legislative Assembly

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• Referral by:

Legislative Assembly

Minister

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• Referral by:

Legislative Assembly

Minister

Auditor-General

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The NSW Public Accounts Committee

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Referral by:

Legislative Assembly

Minister

Auditor-General

the Committee

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Inquiries

Functions include reporting on circumstances connected with Auditor-General’s reports

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• Seek submission from agency 12 months after audit

• Refer agency’s submission to A-G for comment

• Hearings with agency and A-G

• Report to Parliament

• Debate in Parliament

• Government response within 6 months

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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• A-G made 15 recommendations

• Main issue: Need targets

• Committee found Legal Aid implementing 9, considering 2, rejected 3

• Reporting against targets rejected

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• PAC made 3 recommendations

• Government agreed to primary rec: Legal Aid to report services against targets

• Government did not agree to 2 minor recs.

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Purpose:

• Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Purpose:

• Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC

• Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten

Agency revised responses for hearing

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Purpose:

• Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC

• Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten

• Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena

Explain any rejection of recommendations

Demonstrate how any problems have been addressed

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Purpose:

• Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC

• Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten

• Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena

• Ensure CEOs account to the Parliament for how they respond to recommendations

Outline changes to address issues

Explain any lack of progress

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Purpose:

• Bring together the professional expertise of the Audit Office and political authority and accountability of the PAC

• Ensure recommendations of value are not forgotten

• Allow both recommendations and responses to be tested in the political arena

• Ensure CEOs account to the Parliament for how they respond to recommendations

• Provide reality check to Audit Office

External assessment of recommendation in light of experience

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Outcome:

• Improved accountability & performance of State agencies

Review of Performance AuditsPUBLIC ACCOUNTS

COMMITTEE

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Represents public interest

Interprets the accounts Spends the money

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www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/publicaccounts