PENNICUIK (Southern Metropolitan) — I move:
That the Council take note of the report.
And it is a pleasure today to present the second report of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee into the financial and performance outcomes. This is the second time that the committee has held hearings into these matters. The secretaries, deputy secretaries and other staff of the seven departments attended the hearings and also provided quite a lot of information on surveys, and I say that not by way of criticism but in the spirit of there always being room for improvement as to the timing of the receipt of that information and what is contained in it.
I say that with a view to continuous improvement rather than as a criticism of the departments, because I think the committee would agree that the departments have been very cooperative and very helpful in the committee's inquiries. This report contains some 98 findings and some 28 recommendations, and I do commend it to members of this house and the other house and indeed to members of the public who are interested in finding out how their taxpayer funds have been expended by the departments and the public service over that financial year.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff of the committee: Dr Caroline Williams, the executive officer; Dr Kathleen Hurley, senior research officer; Mr Alejandro Navarrete, research officer; Mr Bill Stent, research officer; Dr Jeff Fang; senior research officer; Ms Leah Brohm, senior research officer, Ms Melanie Hondros, business support officer; and Ms Amber Candy, desktop publisher and administration officer. The public accounts committee is a very busy committee with a very large workload and, really, the heavy lifting is done by the staff of the committee. They are all extremely dedicated, have a lot of expertise and give us a lot of assistance in everything we do, so I thank them very much for their work. I would also like to thank the members of the committee for the largely collegiate way in which the committee deliberations and hearings et cetera are carried out, particularly with this inquiry into the financial and performance outcomes. During that time Dr Rachel Carling-Jenkins left the committee and Ms Patten came in at the tail end of this particular inquiry.
I note that the President just before read out the letter of resignation of Mr Danny O'Brien from the committee. I would like to thank Mr O'Brien for his work on the committee. His questions and his knowledge of economics and financial matters have been of great assistance to the committee. He will be missed, and I wish him all the best in his recovery from his recent heart attack. Hopefully we will get someone of equal calibre to replace him on the committee.
This report, like last year's, is full of a lot of very useful information for members of Parliament and members of the public, and I commend the report to the Parliament.