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Friday, 8 July 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) .- I move -

That the word "and", in sub-clause 4, be left out, and that after the words " AuditorGeneral " the following words be inserted: - " and the .Commissioner of Taxation."

My purpose is to bring taxation officers under the control of the Board in regard to staff matters.

Senator Senior - The AuditorGeneral's Department is regarded as a water-tight compartment. Are similar bulkheads to be built around the Taxation Department f

Senator RUSSELL - No. The intention is to give the head of the Taxation Office, namely the Commissioner, certain powers which he should possess as head of his staff, but which, hitherto, have not been conferred upon him.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - What power has the permanent head of the Department of Home and Territories that the AuditorGeneral and the Commissioner of Taxation have not?

Senator RUSSELL - Those two officials have not the authority in certain directions which other permanent heads of Departments possess. The Commissioner of Taxation has no authority at present concerning staff matters, for the reason that his branch is under the Treasury Department, whose Secretary (Mr. Collins) controls- Taxation staff affairs.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Then, the Government are practically creating a new Department?

Senator- RUSSELL.-Certainly nott The added powers will have regard only to such matters . as disciplinary control.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The 'Taxation Branch is practically a sub-department of the Treasury; but now, apparently, the Government are making it a Department in itself.

Senator RUSSELL - That is npt so. It might be desirable,, later, to confer similar staff authority upon the Deputy Postmasters-General in the different States. At present all matters such as I have indicated must go before the Central Administration. But, surely, there would be no suggestion that a different Postal Department was being established in every State.

Amendments agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 24 agreed to.

Clause 25 -

(   1 ) As soon as may be after the commencement of this Act, the Board shall classify or grade officers, other than officers of the First Division, within the Divisions specified in section twenty-one of this Act, in accordance with the importance and character of the work performed, and ' the classification or grading of each office, the officer assigned to- the office, and the salary of the officer shall be notified in the Gazette. The classification or grading of the Commonwealth Service may be gazetted wholly or in sections, as the Board deems expedient.

(3)   The Board shall, as prescribed, consider the appeal in conference with a representative of the Permanent Head of the Department .concerned, and with a representative of the organization to which the appellant officer belongs (or, if the appellant officer does not belong to any organization, with the officer himself), and following upon such conference the Board shall determine the appeal.

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