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Tuesday, 3 May 1994
Page: 76


Senator CROWLEY (Minister for Family Services) (6.36 p.m.) —This amendment is acceptable to the government. May I ask Senator Lees whether her circulated amendment that proposes to omit the words `proposes to conduct' should read to omit `or proposes to conduct'. I believe the word `or' also should be deleted.

  The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Senator Teague)—If that amended version is acceptable to the committee, I will put Senator Lees' amendment to government amendment No. 8.

  Amendment agreed to.

  Government amendment, as amended, agreed to.

  Amendments (by Senator Crowley)—by leave—agreed to:

(9)Clause 11, page 6, proposed subsection 8N(1), lines 29 to 35, omit the proposed subsection, substitute the following subsection:

  "`8N.(1) The Managing Director or an authorised officer may require a person to give information or produce a document that is in the person's custody, or under the person's control, to the Commission if the Managing Director or authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that:

    (a)a relevant offence has been or is being committed; and

    (b)the information or document is relevant to the offence.".

(10)Clause 11, page 7, add at the end of proposed section 8N the following subsection:

  "`(3) Subject to subsection (4), the power under this section to require information to be given or documents to be produced does not include:

    (a)the power to require information to be given about the contents of a part of a record that is a part containing clinical details relating to a patient; or

    (b)the power to require production of a part of a record that contains such clinical details.

  `(4) Subsection (3) does not apply if:

    (a)the person being required to give information or produce documents is the patient to whom the clinical details relate; and

    (b)the information or documents relate to treatment the person has received in respect of which medicare benefits and/or pharmaceutical benefits have been claimed. " .

(11)Clause 11, page 7, proposed subsection 8Q(2), lines 28 to 31, omit the proposed subsection, substitute the following subsection:

  "`(2) A person must not, in purported compliance with a notice under section 8N, knowingly:

    (a)give information that is false or misleading in a material particular; or

    (b)produce a document containing information that is false or misleading in a material particular unless the person identifies the respects in which the information is false or misleading in a material particular.

  Penalty: Imprisonment for 12 months.".

(12)Clause 11, page 7, add at the end of proposed section 8Q the following subsection:

  "`(3) Without limiting what may be taken to be a reasonable excuse for the purposes of subsection (1), it is, for the purposes of that subsection, a reasonable excuse for refusing or failing to comply with the notice if compliance would have the effect of disclosing the contents of a part of a record that is a part containing clinical details relating to a patient.".

(13)Clause 11, page 7, after proposed section 8Q insert the following new section:

Self-incrimination

  "`8QA.(1) A person is not excused from giving information or producing a document pursuant to a notice under section 8N on the ground that the information, or production of the document, may tend to incriminate the person.

  `(2) In any criminal proceeding:

    (a)evidence of any information given or document produced pursuant to a notice under section 8N; and

    (b)evidence of any information, document or thing obtained as a direct or indirect result of the person having given the information or produced the document;

cannot be used against the person. However, this subsection does not apply to a proceeding for an offence against section 8Q.".

(14)Clause 11, page 8, Division 3 of proposed Part IID, heading to the Division, line 1, omit the heading, substitute the following heading:

"`Division 3—Searches in relation to possible offences".

  Amendment (by Senator Crowley) proposed:

(15)Clause 11, page 8, proposed subsection 8S(1), lines 4 to 11, omit the proposed subsection, substitute the following subsection:

  "`8S.(1) Subject to this Division, if an authorised officer has reasonable grounds for believing that a relevant offence has been or is being committed, he or she may:

    (a)enter, at any reasonable time of the day or night, any premises that the authorised officer has reasonable grounds to believe are premises to which this section applies; and

    (b)exercise his or her powers under section 8T;

to the extent that it is reasonably necessary for the purpose of ascertaining whether the relevant offence has been or is being committed.".

  Amendment (by Senator Newman) proposed:

2.Proposed subsection 8S(1), omit "has been or", twice occurring.