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Attorney-General and Justice – Integrity Commission Funding

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Tags: Integrity Commission, Budget Cuts

Dr WOODRUFF - I have a question about the Integrity Commission. Funding for the Integrity Commission on page No. 2, Volume 2 decreases from $2.86 million in this financial year to $2.69 million next financial year. What is that cut for? The Budget Papers don't provide an explanation.

Ms ARCHER - Yes, sometimes the Budget Papers do need explanation. I admit that and I am unable to give that explanation. Someone else, is it Gavin's area or the Integrity Commission? We will get our finance manager to the table. This Gavin Wailes, Director of Finance.

Mr WAILES - Thank you, Attorney-General. With the introduction of the Financial Management Accounts last year, we no longer have carry forwards; we have rollovers of funding. For 2020 21, there was a rollover from the Integrity Commission of $40 000 from the previous year, and that is not required in 2021 22. Hence, there is a minor decrease into the following year.

Dr WOODRUFF - What is the difference between a carry-forward and a rollover?

Mr WAILES - It is an excellent question. This is fairly technical; previously with a carry-forward, the appropriation would be spent in the year that it was issued. Prior to the Financial Management Act, the $40 000 that was rolled over would have been included in the 2019 20 Appropriation expenditure. Because it has been rolled over, that funding has been taken from Appropriations in 2019 20 and applied to 2020 21. The effect is essentially the same. It is just dealt with differently through all the different funding sources.

Dr WOODRUFF - It is a question for the Minister for Finance - it sounds to me like that's hiding information. I don't understand why else it would be done. It seems to be a problem with transparency and it's ironic that I'm picking it up under the Integrity Commission.

Mr WAILES - I think in this case in prior years it wouldn't have appeared in the Budget Papers so it is more transparent from that perspective but that probably is a better question for the Minister for Finance and the Treasurer.