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Media Statement: Auditor-General Report on Affording Our Future – Treasury's 2013 Long-Term Fiscal Statement

8 Aug 2013

The Treasury will study carefully a discussion paper released today by the Controller and Auditor-General into the processes adopted to prepare the 2013 Statement on the Long-Term Fiscal Position, Chief Economist and Deputy Secretary Girol Karacaoglu said today.

"I welcome Controller and Auditor-General Lyn Provost's decision to issue a discussion paper looking at the processes used to prepare Affording Our Future, as well as the assumptions and models used in the 2013 Statement," Dr Karacaoglu said.

"In her paper, the Auditor-General noted that since our first Statement published in 2006, the Treasury has improved how it prepares its long-term statements, making them more inclusive. In particular, she noted that the Treasury has strived to make Affording Our Future an accessible, public document," Dr Karacaoglu said.

Overall, the Treasury is assessed to have done a good job in preparing Affording Our Future, and presenting it in an easy-to-understand format.

The Auditor-General makes some recommendations about how the Treasury could further improve its long-term fiscal reporting, including that consideration be given to utilising a wider set of indicators.

"I look forward to meeting with the Controller and Auditor-General to discuss her suggestions on how the Treasury can further improve its efforts to encourage an evidence-based national discussion on the long-term fiscal outlook.

"The Treasury is particularly interested in discussing the challenges involved in turning sometimes unfamiliar economic and accounting issues into information that is accessible and comprehensible to the general public, and is always open to ways to improve its efforts," Dr Karacaoglu said.

The Treasury tabled Affording Our Future, its third Statement on the Long-Term Fiscal Position on 11 July.

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