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Thursday, 26 February 1987
Page: 656


Senator GARETH EVANS (Manager of Government Business in the Senate) —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

That, in accordance with the recommendation contained in item 2 of the 1st Report of the Standing Orders Committee for the 61st Session, the following proposed standing order 36aaa be agreed to:

Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills

36aaa-

(1) (a) At the commencement of each Parliament, a Standing Committee of the Senate, to be known as the Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills, shall be appointed to report, in respect of the clauses of Bills introduced into the Senate, and in respect of Acts of the Parliament, whether such Bills or Acts, by express words or otherwise-

(i) trespass unduly on personal rights and liberties;

(ii) make rights, liberties and/or obligations unduly dependent upon insufficiently defined administrative powers;

(iii) make such rights, liberties and/or obligations unduly dependent upon non-reviewable decisions;

(iv) inappropriately delegate legislative power; or

(v) insufficiently subject the exercise of legislative power to parliamentary scrutiny.

(b) The Committee, for the purpose of reporting upon the clauses of a Bill when the Bill has been introduced into the Senate, may consider any proposed law or other document or information available to it, notwithstanding that such proposed law, document or information has not been presented to the Senate.

(2) The Committee shall have power to consider the Minutes of Evidence and records of Standing Committees for the Scrutiny of Bills appointed during previous Sessions.

(3) (a) Unless otherwise ordered, the Committee shall consist of six Senators, three being members of the Government to be nominated by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, and three being Senators who are not members of the Government, to be nominated by the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate or by any minority group or groups or Independent Senator or Independent Senators.

(b) The nominations of the Opposition or any min- ority group or groups or Independent Senator or Independent Senators shall be determined by agreement between the Opposition and any minority group or groups or Independent Senator or Independent Senators, and, in the absence of agreement duly notified to the President, the question as to the representation on the Committee shall be determined by the Senate.

(4) The Committee may proceed to the despatch of business notwithstanding that all members have not been duly appointed and notwithstanding any vacancy.

(5) The quorum of the Committee shall be three.

(6) The Committee shall have power to appoint sub-committees consisting of three or more of its members, and to refer to any such sub-committee any of the Bills, Acts or other document or information which the committee is empowered to consider. The quorum of a sub-committee shall be two Senators.

(7) The Committee shall elect a Government member as Chairman.

(8) The Chairman may from time to time appoint a member of the Committee to be Deputy-Chairman and the member so appointed shall act as Chairman of the Committee at any time there is no Chairman or the Chairman is not present at a meeting of the Committee.

(9) In the event of an equality of voting, the Chairman, or the Deputy-Chairman when acting as Chairman, shall have a casting vote.

(10) The Committee or any sub-committee shall have power to send for and examine persons, papers and records, to move from place to place, and to meet and transact business in private session notwithstanding any prorogation of the Parliament or dissolution of the House of Representatives.

(11) The Committee shall be empowered to print from day to day such papers and evidence as may be ordered by it.

(12) The Committee shall be empowered to appoint with the approval of the President counsel to advise the Committee.

(13) The Committee shall not meet while the Senate is actually sitting, unless by special order of the Senate.

(14) The Committee shall have leave to report from time to time its proceedings and the evidence taken and such recommendations as it may deem fit, and is expected to make regular reports as to the progress of the proceedings of the Committee.