Save Search

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Parliamentary Service Amendment (Parliamentary Budget Officer) Bill 2011

Bill home page  


Download WordDownload Word


Download PDFDownload PDF

7177

2010-2011

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Service Amendment (Parliamentary Budget Officer) Bill 2011

 

 

(1)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 7 (line 29) to page 8 (line 10), omit subsections 64E(2) and (3), substitute:

             (2)  For the purposes of performing his or her functions under subsection (1), the Parliamentary Budget Officer may prepare, or have regard to, either or both of the following:

                     (a)  economic forecasts;

                     (b)  budget estimates (whether at the whole of government, agency or program level).

[functions of Parliamentary Budget Officer]

(2)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 8 (lines 14 to 29), omit section 64F, substitute:

64F   Information gathering powers and secrecy

             (1)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer has the powers and obligations set out in Schedule 2.

             (2)  A person who has obtained information in the course of performing a function of the Parliamentary Budget Officer has the obligations set out in clause 4 of Schedule 2.

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(3)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (line 22), omit “; and”, substitute “.”.

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(4)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (lines 23 to 25), omit paragraph 64H(3)(d).

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(5)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 9 (lines 26 and 27), omit the note.

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(6)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 10 (lines 10 and 11), omit “publicly announced”.

[requests for costings—requirement for public announcement]

(7)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 10 (line 25), omit “publicly announced”.

[requests for costings—requirement for public announcement]

(8)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 11 (line 20) to page 12 (line 31), omit sections 64L and 64LA, substitute:

64L   Public release of policy costings

             (1)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer must publicly release a policy costing if requested to do so by:

                     (a)  if the costing was requested under subsection 64H(2)—the Senator or Member who made the request; or

                     (b)  if the costing was requested under subsection 64J(2)—an authorised member of the Parliamentary party that made the request; or

                     (c)  if the costing was requested under subsection 64J(5)—the independent member who made the request.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer must not otherwise publicly release a policy costing.

64LA   Public release of responses to other requests by Senators or Members

             (1)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer must publicly release a response to a request under paragraph 64E(1)(c) if requested to do so by the Senator or Member who made the request.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer must not otherwise publicly release a response to a request under paragraph 64E(1)(c).

64LB   Public release of submissions and other work

                   The Parliamentary Budget Officer must ensure that the following are made publicly available:

                     (a)  requests by Parliamentary committees referred to in paragraph 64E(1)(d), and the submissions prepared in response to those requests;

                     (b)  the results of any work done in the performance of the functions of the Parliamentary Budget Officer under paragraph 64E(1)(e).

[public release of costings, responses, submissions etc.]

(9)     Schedule 1, item 16, page 13 (lines 1 to 7), omit section 64M and the note, substitute:

64M   Disclosure of personal information

                   A requirement to publish under this Division does not authorise the disclosure of personal information (within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1988 ) without the consent of the individual concerned.

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(10)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 15 (line 27) to page 16 (line 14), section 64U TO BE OPPOSED .

[public release of costings, responses, submissions etc.]

(11)   Schedule 1, item 16, page 16 (line 15) to page 17 (line 6), section 64V TO BE OPPOSED .

[information gathering powers and secrecy]

(12)   Schedule 1, page 20 (after line 20), at the end of the Schedule, add:

19  At the end of the Act

Add:

Schedule 2 Information gathering powers and secrecy

Note:       See section 64F.

 

 

1   Relationship of information gathering powers with other laws

                   The operation of clause 3:

                     (a)  is limited by laws of the Commonwealth (whether made before or after the commencement of this Act) relating to the powers, privileges and immunities of:

                              (i)  each House of the Parliament; and

                             (ii)  the members of each House of the Parliament; and

                            (iii)  the committees of each House of the Parliament and joint committees of both Houses of the Parliament; but

                     (b)  is not limited by any other law (whether made before or after the commencement of this Act), except to the extent that the other law expressly excludes the operation of clause 3.

2   Purpose for which information gathering powers may be used

                   The powers under clause 3 may be used for the purpose of, or in connection with, a function given to the Parliamentary Budget Officer by this Act.

3   Power of Parliamentary Budget Officer to obtain information

             (1)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer may, by written notice, direct an employee of an Agency to do all or any of the following:

                     (a)  provide the Parliamentary Budget Officer with any information that the Parliamentary Budget Officer requires;

                     (b)  attend and give evidence before the Parliamentary Budget Officer or an authorised officer;

                     (c)  produce to the Parliamentary Budget Officer any documents in the custody or under the control of the employee.

Note:          A proceeding under paragraph (1)(b) is a judicial proceeding for the purposes of Part III of the Crimes Act 1914 . The Crimes Act prohibits certain conduct in relation to judicial proceedings.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer may direct as follows:

                     (a)  that information or answers to questions be given either orally or in writing (as the Parliamentary Budget Officer requires);

                     (b)  that information or answers to questions be verified or given on oath or affirmation.

The oath or affirmation is an oath or affirmation that the information or evidence the person will give will be true, and may be administered by the Parliamentary Budget Officer or by an authorised officer.

             (3)  An employee of an Agency commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the employee is given a direction under this clause; and

                     (b)  the employee does not comply with the direction.

Penalty:  30 penalty units.

             (4)  A determination under section 71 may prescribe scales of expenses to be allowed to persons who are required to attend under this clause.

             (5)  In this clause:

Agency has the same meaning as in the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 .

authorised officer means a person who:

                     (a)  is an official within the meaning of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 ; and

                     (b)  is authorised by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in writing, to exercise powers or perform functions under this clause.

4   Confidentiality of information

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person discloses information; and

                     (b)  the information was obtained by the person in the course of performing a function given to the Parliamentary Budget Officer by this Act or another Act; and

                     (c)  the information is disclosed otherwise than in the course of performing a function given to the Parliamentary Budget Officer by this Act or another Act.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

             (2)  Subclause (1) does not prevent the Parliamentary Budget Officer from disclosing particular information to the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police if the Parliamentary Budget Officer is of the opinion that the disclosure is in the public interest.

5   Sensitive information not to be disclosed

             (1)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer must not include particular information in a policy costing, response or submission, or in any document publicly released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer, if:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Budget Officer is of the opinion that disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest for any of the reasons set out in subclause (2); or

                     (b)  the Attorney-General has issued a certificate to the Parliamentary Budget Officer stating that, in the opinion of the Attorney-General, disclosure of the information would be contrary to the public interest for any of the reasons set out in subclause (2).

             (2)  The reasons are the following:

                     (a)  it would prejudice the security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth;

                     (b)  it would involve the disclosure of deliberations or decisions of the Cabinet or of a committee of the Cabinet;

                     (c)  it would prejudice relations between the Commonwealth and a State;

                     (d)  it would divulge any information or matter that was communicated in confidence by the Commonwealth to a State, or by a State to the Commonwealth;

                     (e)  it would unfairly prejudice the commercial interests of any body or person;

                      (f)  any other reason that could form the basis for a claim by the Crown in right of the Commonwealth in a judicial proceeding that the information should not be disclosed.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Budget Officer cannot be required, and is not permitted, to disclose publicly or to:

                     (a)  a House of the Parliament; or

                     (b)  a member of a House of the Parliament; or

                     (c)  a committee of a House of the Parliament or a joint committee of both Houses of the Parliament;

information that subclause (1) prohibits being included in a policy costing, response or submission, or in any document publicly released by the Parliamentary Budget Officer.

             (4)  In this clause:

State includes a self-governing Territory.

[information-gathering powers and secrecy]