Commission of Audit granted more time

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The group which will guide the Government to tighten its belt has asked to extend the date for its interim report by up to two weeks – and permission has been granted.

The Abbott government originally wanted the Commission of Audit – tasked with identifying opportunities to sell public assets and slash government spending – to deliver its recommendations by 31 January 2014.

But the time frame given was apparently too short.

“The Commission has advised the Government that while it has made considerable progress in preparing the report, it would require a short extension,” Treasurer Joe Hockey said in a statement this morning.

“The Government has granted this extension on the basis that it is important for this report to be as comprehensive as possible,” Hockey said.

“It is essential that the Commonwealth Governmentlive within its means and begin to pay down Labor's debt, currently projected to rise to $667 billion if no action is taken.”

This Commission will carry out the most comprehensive government review of spending in a generation, and is essential to get the Budget back under control and ensure the government lives within its means, he said.

A second report is due from the Commission in March but Hockey will keep all recommendations under wraps until after he delivers his first budget in May.

The Commission's Terms of Reference are available on the National Commission of Audit's website.