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Monday, 20 September 1999
Page: 10017

Ms Ellis asked the Minister representing the Minister for Justice and Customs, upon notice, on 9 June 1999:

(1) Are members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) being offered fixed term appointments (FTA).

(2) How many FTAs did the AFP Commissioner offer in 1995.

(3) What do the AFP's policy and guidelines state shall be the criteria for FTA renewals.

(4) Are FTAs being made to individual AFP members at position or salary levels lower than that which the individual AFP members currently occupy; if so, does this (a) comply with the original intentions of the introduction of the fixed term employment provisions for AFP members and (b) amount to constructive dismissal of the officers concerned.

(5) What compensation will the members referred to in part (4) receive.

(6) Will their other lawful entitlements be affected.

(7) Were 1995 FTAs offered at a lower position or salary level.

Mr Williams (Attorney-General) —The Minister for Justice and Customs has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) Approximately 1200 members' FTAs were scheduled for renewal in 1995. Of these some 1140 FTAs were renewed and 60 members chose not to proceed into a new FTA.

(3) The AFP's policy and guidelines on FTA renewal were issued in 1994. The guidelines state that renewal is not guaranteed, that discretion lies with the AFP Commissioner or delegate and that unless an express decision is made to reappoint, the member is taken to be retired from the end of their current appointment term. Further, the guidelines state that a further appointment may not necessarily be to the same position, rank or level. These principles, together with the procedures under which reappointment elections are determined, are publicly accessible to all members of the AFP.

(4) Yes

(a) Yes.

(b) No.

(5) FTA employment replaced permanent tenure for all members of the AFP. In return for loss of tenure all members are entitled to be paid an adjustment payment (AFPAS) at the conclusion of their service with the AFP. For members who satisfactorily complete their agreed term(s) of appointment and who either choose not to enter a new FTA or are not reappointed, this payment amounts to 12½ per cent of base salary (including any higher duties) paid to the member during the period(s) of their FTA(s). AFPAS payments attract the concessional tax rates applying to Eligible Termination Payments (ETPs).

(6) Payments for accrued and unused leave entitlements on separation from the AFP are assessed on the basis of a member's final salary on separation. Superannuation and Cessation Payment entitlements are based on superannuation salary, which in the case of salary reductions, may be preserved at a higher level than actual salary.

(7) No.