Peter Costello

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Audit Report on Taxation Reform Communications

Crest ACTING TREASURER Press Release

NO. 106

AUDIT REPORT ON TAXATION REFORM COMMUNICATIONS

The Government welcomes the release today by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) of its performance audit; Taxation Reform – Community Education and Information Programme, to the President of the Senate, the Acting Treasurer, Senator Rod Kemp, said today.

In particular it welcomes the fact that "the ANAO concluded that the Government acted legally and officials acted ethically" in relation to the issues raised over the community education and information programme.

The findings of the report are significant in light of the fact that the Opposition has continually tried to denigrate and smear the communications arrangements by suggesting the expenditure and the use of public servants to provide information to the public were somehow improper.

The report endorses the position of the Government on all the issues raised by the Opposition.

According to the ANAO the expenditure on taxation reform communications was legitimate, and the approval of funds met the legislative conditions.

Furthermore, with regard to using public servants to provide information to the public, the ANAO says that: ‘A refusal by an agency head or his or her officers to undertake work associated with the CEIP (community education and information programme) could have been regarded as a failure to perform his or her duty under the Public Service Act 1922’.

Senator Kemp said the report shows up the Opposition claims for what they were: a desperate and deceitful political stunt.

The Government will study the ANAO report closely.

If it believes it is necessary to do so, it will respond further in due course.

MELBOURNE
29 October 1998

29 Oct 1998

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