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Amendment to an order of continuing effect

1  Departmental and agency contracts—Order for production of documents

That paragraph (7) of the order be amended to read as follows:

(7) The Finance and Public Administration Committee consider the ongoing operation of the order and report on relevant developments from time to time.

( Agreed to 1 March 2007 upon adoption of recommendation 13 in the Finance and Public Administration Committee’s second report on the operation of the Senate order for the production of lists of departmental and agency contracts (2003-06) .)

Committees

2  Allocation of departments

Departments and agencies are allocated to the legislative and general purpose standing committees as follows:

Community Affairs

Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Health and Ageing

Economics

Treasury

Industry, Tourism and Resources

Employment, Workplace Relations and Education

Employment and Workplace Relations

Education, Science and Training

Environment, Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Environment and Water Resources

Communications, Information Technology and the Arts

Finance and Public Administration

Parliament

Prime Minister and Cabinet

Finance and Administration

Human Services

 

  Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence (including Veterans’ Affairs)

Legal and Constitutional Affairs

Attorney-General

Immigration and Citizenship

Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport

Transport and Regional Services

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

( Agreed to 9 February 2006, amended 8 February 2007 .)

3  Privileges—Standing Committee—Adoption of 94th report recommendation

That the Senate authorise the President, if required, to engage counsel as amicus curiae if either the action for defamation against Mr David Armstrong or a similar action against Mr William O’Chee is set down for trial.

( Agreed to 4 September 2000 .)

4  Unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings

That the following order operate as an order of continuing effect:

(1) The Senate confirms that any disclosure of evidence or documents submitted to a committee, of documents prepared by a committee, or of deliberations of a committee, without the approval of the committee or of the Senate, may be treated by the Senate as a contempt.

(2) The Senate reaffirms its resolution of 20 June 1996, relating to procedures to be followed by committees in cases of unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings.

(3) The Senate provides the following guidelines to be observed by committees in applying that resolution, and declares that the Senate will observe the guidelines in determining whether to refer a matter to the Committee of Privileges:

1. Unless there are particular circumstances involving actual or potential substantial interference with the work of a committee or of the Senate, the following kinds of unauthorised disclosure should not be raised as matters of privilege:

(a) disclosure of a committee report in the time between the substantial conclusion of the committee's deliberations on the report and its presentation to the Senate;

(b) disclosure of other documents prepared by a committee and not published by the committee, where the committee would have published them, or could appropriately have published them, in any event, or where they contain only research or publicly-available material, or where their disclosure is otherwise inconsequential;

(c) disclosure of documents and evidence submitted to a committee and not published by the committee, where the committee would have published them, or could appropriately have published them, in any event;

(d) disclosure of private deliberations of a committee where the freedom of the committee to deliberate is unlikely to be significantly affected.

 

 2. The following kinds of unauthorised disclosure are those for which the contempt jurisdiction of the Senate should primarily be reserved, and which should therefore be raised as matters of privilege:

(a) disclosure of documents or evidence submitted to a committee where the committee has deliberately decided to treat the documents or evidence as in camera material, for the protection of witnesses or others, or because disclosure would otherwise be harmful to the public interest;

(b) disclosure of documents prepared by a committee where that involves disclosure of material of the kind specified in paragraph (a);

(c) disclosure of private deliberations of a committee where that involves disclosure of that kind of material, or significantly impedes the committee's freedom to deliberate.

3. An unauthorised disclosure not falling into the categories in guidelines 1 and 2 should not be raised as a matter of privilege unless it involves actual or potential substantial interference with the work of a committee or of the Senate.

4. When considering any unauthorised disclosure of material in the possession of a committee, the committee should consider whether there was any substantive reason for not publishing that material.

(4) Before deciding to raise a matter of privilege involving possible unauthorised disclosure of committee proceedings, any committee may seek the guidance of the Committee of Privileges as to whether a matter should be pursued. If the committee decides that such a matter should be raised, it must consult with the Committee of Privileges before taking the matter further.

(5) When applying this resolution a committee shall have regard to the matters set out in paragraphs 3.43 to 3.59 of the 122nd Report of the Committee of Privileges, June 2005.

( Sessional order agreed to on 6 October 2005 adopted as an order of continuing effect on 17 September 2007 .)

Meeting of Senate

*5  Next meeting of Senate—Routine of business—Variation

(1) That the Senate meet on Wednesday, 13 February, at 9.30 am.

(2) That, recognising the historic importance of a National Apology to the Stolen Generations, the first item of business after prayers shall be consideration of government business notice of motion no. 1 proposing a National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

(3) That only the leaders of each party represented in the Senate may speak to the motion, and that each leader may speak for no more than 20 minutes.

(4) That, immediately after all of the leaders have spoken, the question for the resolution shall be put.

(5) That consideration of matters of public interest not occur at 12.45 pm, and that consideration of government business continue till 2 pm.

( Agreed to 12 February 2008 .)

 

Orders for production of documents

6  Family and Community Services—Housing Assistance agreements—Order for production of documents

(1) That the Senate:

(a) notes that the Housing Assistance (Form of Agreement) Determination 2003 in Schedule 1, subsections 4(33) to 4(36) requires states to report on expenditure and progress towards their respective bilateral agreements to the Commonwealth within 6 months after the end of each grant year;

(b) orders that there be laid on the table, no later than 3.30 pm on 12 May 2005, all reports provided by the states and territories to the Commonwealth under those provisions for the financial year 2003-04; and

(c) orders that all reports provided by the states and territories to the Commonwealth under those provisions be tabled in the Senate within 5 sittings days, or one calendar month, after receipt (whichever is the later), and that the Senate be notified in writing by the Minister for Family and Community Services within 5 sitting days of the expiration of the 6 months if reports have not been provided within the required 6 months.

(2) That this order is of continuing effect.

( Motion of Senator Bartlett agreed to 12 May 2005 .)