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Thursday, 23 June 2011
Page: 7212


Mr GRAY (BrandSpecial Minister of State for the Public Service and Integrity and Special Minister of State) (10:43): I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and I move government amendment (1), as circulated:

(1) Schedule 2, item 3, page 4 (lines 20 to 24), omit the item, substitute:

3 At the end of section 52

Add:

(3) An instruction is not a legislative instrument.

The amendment to the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2011 will amend item 3 of schedule 2 of the bill in relation to the status of chief executive's instructions made under section 52 of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997. The amendment would ensure that chief executive's instructions will continue to be considered as not being legislative instruments. Schedules 2 and 3 of the bill currently aim to improve the interaction of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 with the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 regarding three types of instruments: special account determinations, guidelines such as those dealing with procurement, and chief executive's instruments.

Special accounts and guidelines have always been treated as legislative instruments and have been registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments. That will continue to be the case under the bill. By contrast, chief executive's instructions are an integral management tool that, since their inception, have not been treated as legislative instruments and have not been registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments by the Office of Legislative Drafting and Publishing within the Attorney-General's Department. This amendment would ensure that chief executives' instructions continue to be treated this way through definitive statement that they are not legislative instruments. Indeed, the view of the Attorney-General's Department is that this amendment to the bill is declaratory of the current law.

I commend the amendment to the House.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Ordered that this bill be reported to the House with an amendment.