Additional Estimates 2011–12
On 9 February 2011, the Finance and Public Administration Legislation
Committee (the committee) was referred the following documents from the Senate:
Particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the
year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2011–2012];
- Particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect
of the year ending on 30 June 2012 [Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2011–2012]; and
Final budget outcome 2010–11 and the Issues from the advances
under the annual Appropriations Acts for 2010–11.
The committee has responsibility for examining the expenditure and
outcomes of the following:
- Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio; and
Finance and Deregulation portfolio.
Appendix 1 lists the departments, agencies, authorities and companies
under the portfolios mentioned above.
Variation of portfolios
There were a number of changes to the committee's portfolio oversight
resulting from changes to the continuing order relating to the allocation of
departments and agencies to committees and various changes to the Administrative
As a result of the Administrative Arrangements Order on 14
December 2011, responsibility for the Arts and Sport was transferred to the new
Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport portfolio.
On 8 February 2012, the allocation of departments and agencies to committees
was amended by the Senate with the oversight of the Regional Australia, Local
Government, Arts and Sport portfolio transferred to the Senate Rural and
Regional Affairs and Transport Committee.
Portfolio Additional Estimates Statements
Prime Minister and Cabinet
There were a number of significant changes to the outcomes and programs
of the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio resulting from the Administrative
Arrangements Orders on 19 October
and 14 December 2011.
As was previously noted, responsibility for the Arts and Sport functions
was transferred to the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
portfolio. This resulted in the removal of outcomes 2 and 3 from the portfolio.
The National Archives of Australia and Old Parliament House were also
transferred to the Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
Other changes to the PM&C portfolio include:
responsibility for the Freedom of Information Act 1982,
the Privacy Act 1988 and the Australian Information Commissioner Act
2010, including the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was
transferred to the Attorney-General's portfolio;
transfer of the national security science and innovation function
to the Department of Defence;
transfer of the Australian Institute of Family Studies to the
Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs portfolio,
including responsibility for the Family Law Act 1975, Part XIVA; and
- the cyber security policy function was transferred from the
Attorney-General's Department to the Department of the Prime Minister and
In addition, the National Mental Health Commission was established as an
executive agency within the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio on 1 January
Finance and Deregulation
As was discussed in the committee's second report on annual reports for
2011, the Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation was established when the
Australian Reward Investment Alliance, the Military Superannuation and Benefits
Board and the Defence Force Retirement and Death Benefits Authority were merged
to form a single trustee body under the Governance of Australian Government
Superannuation Scheme Act 2011 with effect from 1 July 2011.
The committee held public hearings on Monday, 13 and Tuesday, 14
February 2012. The committee took evidence from the President of the Senate,
Senator the Hon John Hogg; Senator the Hon Chris Evans, Minister for Tertiary
Education, Skills, Science and Research, representing the Prime Minister and
Senator the Hon Penny Wong, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, together
with officers of departments and agencies. The committee expresses its
appreciation for the assistance of the President, Ministers, Departmental
Secretaries and the officers who appeared before it.
The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman and the National Australia Day
Council were released from the hearing without examination. The Office of
National Assessments, Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation and the Australian
River Company Ltd were dismissed prior to the hearings.
Copies of the Hansard transcripts are available on the internet
Further written information from departments and agencies will be
tabled, as received, in the Senate. This information is available on the committee's
As in previous estimates rounds, the committee's programs including
indicative timings for departments and agencies. The committee continues to
find this helpful as it contributes to the smooth running of the hearing and
enables senators to focus their questioning on matters within the program.
Note on references
References to the estimates Hansard are to the proof Hansard; page
numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.
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