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Government departmental staff air travel costs

QUESTION NO 565

Senator Scott Ludlam asked the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, upon notice, on 4 April 2011:

With reference to travel undertaken by departmental staff: can a list be provided by the department itemising all air travel completed across each department of the Australian Government; if not, where are such costs itemised annually.

Senator Wong - The answer to the honourable Senator's question is as follows:

For the period 1 July 2010 to 31 March 2011, 557,771 airline bookings have been made at the whole of government level (Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) Agencies and the participating Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 (CAC Act) bodies). Itemising all air travel across each Australian Government agency would be a large and unreasonable volume of information to collate.

The new travel arrangements, which came into effect on 1 July 2010, are delivering on their intended objectives by reducing costs and improving competition in the industry.

An analysis of 30 most travelled domestic routes for the March Quarter (representing about 74 per cent of domestic travel) shows that on average savings of approximately 30 per cent were achieved on cost of airfares, using 2007-08 data as the baseline.
The savings are based on the reduction in unit cost prices achieved though the whole of government contract tender process.  

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