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Wednesday, 9 May 2007
Page: 181


Senator O’Brien asked the Minister representing the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 10 November 2006:

With reference to the answer to question on notice CASA 50, taken on notice during the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport Committee Budget estimates hearings in May 2005, concerning the procurement of legal services by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA):

(1)   Does CASA maintain a panel arrangement for the provision of external legal services.

(2)   Do the firms Malleson Stephen Jacques, Phillips Fox and Blake Dawson Waldron still comprise the panel; if not: (a) when was the panel varied; and (b) which firms are members of the current panel.

(3)   Since 1 June 2005, has CASA used non-panel members to provide legal services: if so, can the following information be provided for each occasion that a non-panel firm was engaged: (a) the name of the firm; (b) the period of engagement; (c) the matter for which they were engaged; (d) the cost; (e) why the firm was engaged; (f) who authorised the engagement; (g) whether CASA’s Legal Services area was consulted before they were engaged; (h) whether a contract was executed before the legal services were provided; if so, who prepared the contract; (i) whether the engagement was consistent with CASA’s contractual arrangements with panel members.


Senator Johnston (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The Minister for Transport and Regional Services has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   Yes.

(3)   Yes.

First occasion

(a)   Australian Government Solicitor (AGS).

(b)   June 2005 to January 2007.

(c)   Operation of the Trans-Tasman Mutual Recognition Act 1997 in relation to pilot licences; whether infringement notices can be issued to body corporate for the conduct of individuals; legislative instruments - documents within the scope of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003; interpretation of the Civil Aviation (Fees) Regulations 1995; further issues concerning Legislative Instruments Act 2003; and provision of advice in relation to the disclosure of certain information in response to a request from a Senate Committee.

(d)   Legal advice on the above matters cost a total of $29,722.80.

(e)   The issues related to the interpretation and application of Commonwealth legislation. CASA considered it prudent to secure external legal advice from the AGS as they had advised on these issues in the past.

(f)   CASA Legal Services Group.

(g)   Yes.

(h)   An estimate of the charges was provided by AGS and a contract to undertake the work involved was signed before work commenced.

(i)   Yes.

Second occasion

(a)   Clayton Utz.

(b)   July -November 2006.

(b)   Representation at the Industrial Relations Commission and specialist employment advice on Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs) during CASA restructuring.

(c)   $47,761.

(d)   Unavailability of relevant panel members and a need to seek specialist counsel.

(e)   CASA CEO.

(f)   Yes.

(g)   No.

(h)   Yes.

Third occasion

(a)   Australian Government Solicitor.

(b)   September 2006.

(c)   Specialist employment advice on AWAs.

(d)   $700.

(e)   Specialist advice from counsel.

(f)   CASA Head of Human Resources.

(g)   Yes.

(h)   No.

(i)   Yes.