Senator Siewert (Western Australia) asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice, on 20 June 2008:
In regard to the statement on page xxxvi of the Executive Overview of the report of the Independent Committee of Inquiry into National Competition Policy (The Hilmer report) where it is stated that, in addition to ‘its own Secretariat of perhaps 20 persons, in many cases it would be appropriate for [the Council] to contract out analytical work to other bodies, such as the Industry Commission': Was that recommendation implemented; if so, how much of a role did the Industry Commission and its successor the Productivity Commission play in the decisions and recommendations of the National Competition Council.
Senator Conroy (Victoria) (Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy) -The Treasurer has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:
Section 29N of the Trade Practices Act 1974 empowers the National Competition Council to engage persons to give advice to and perform services for the Council. The Council has from time to time engaged consultants although it has not engaged the Industry Commission or its successor the Productivity Commission.