Turnbull questions transparency of NBN Co annual report

Turnbull and Cormann issue letter questioning NBN Co 2012-13 annual report

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has furnished the release of the NBN Co's annual report with a letter of warning as to the transparency of the document.

In a letter to NBN Co chairman, Ziggy Switkowski, Turnbull and Finance minister Mathias Cormann have questioned the transparency of the 2012-13 Annual Report, while stating that it did not necessarily provide a meaningful indicator of progress.

The letter was tabled to parliament today, along with the the report.

Turnbull and Cormann stated the reason for letter was to place some "important" matters on the public record.

"In several cases this information is expressed in a form, or measures a concept, specific to the previous Government's policies," Turnbull and Cormann said.

"However, in the view of the current Government, this does not necessarily provide a meaningful indicator of progress".

Turnbull and Cormann said the the report contained a metric that purported to measure the number of premises in the brownfields fibre footprint where construction had commenced or been completed.

"The claimed total for such premises, as of the week of the 7 September 2013 election, was 1.2 million," Turnbull and Cormann said.

"A casual observer might assume this figure just includes premises able to connect to the NBN plus those where physical construction is underway.

"In fact 'construction commenced' also includes premises where high-level design work has been performed but actual physical build work with those designs has yet to commence."

Turnbull and Cormann foreshadowed the outcomes of the strategic review, due in December, which would set a new statement of expectations for NBN Co, after taking the a swipe at the integrity of the report.

"Plainly there is substantial room to improve the quality and transparency of NBN Co's reporting."

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Tags: Malcolm Turnbull, Matthias Cormann, Communications Minister, NBN Co annual report 2012-13, NBN
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