New Joint Public Accounts Committee starts inquiry

A NEW parliamentary committee will examine the compliance of mines and major projects with national environmental laws, as well as cyber security and international mail screening as part of an inquiry launched today.

The inquiry, by the Joint Public Accounts Committee, will examine in detail five national audit office reports on the key issues, as well as review the administration of the Australian Business Register.

The audit office's report on managing compliance with approved projects, such as mines, ports and residential developments, had found a passive approach to regulation, lack of staff, and several failures to fully exercise compliance and enforcement laws.

It will also look at two other reports, one on protecting Commonwealth government information technology from "cyber-attacks", and the other on the "multi-role helicopter" program.

Committee chairman Dr Andrew Southcott MP said the reports were on "significant areas of public administration" where both the public and parliament wanted to improve "outcomes".

The committee will hold three hearings, and is urging interested people and groups to make submissions by October 14.

- APN NEWSDESK



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