Odgers' Australian Senate Practice Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 18 - Documents tabled in the Senate

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Annual reports – scrutiny

Annual reports presented to the Senate by departments, statutory authorities, non-statutory bodies and companies are referred to the legislative and general purpose standing committees for inquiry and report.[98] This procedure provides those committees with an opportunity to inquire into the activities of government departments and agencies. The annual reports are referred to the committees in accordance with an allocation contained in a resolution. This allocation is also used to determine the allocation of references to the committees.[99]

The committees are required to report in relation to each report whether it is apparently satisfactory, and to report on any which are not apparently satisfactory and on any which are selected by the committees for detailed consideration. The committees are directed to report twice in each year, and draw to the attention of the Senate any significant matters relating to the operation and performance of the bodies furnishing the annual reports. The committees are also required to report on any lateness in the presentation of annual reports. Each committee must present each year a report indicating whether there are any bodies which do not present annual reports and which should do so.

The operation of these procedures is treated in more detail in Chapter 16, Committees.

98. SO 25(20). This replaced an earlier order of 14 December 1989.
99. SO 25(3).