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Higher Education Endowment Fund Bill 2007

Part 1 Introduction

   

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Higher Education Endowment Fund Act 2007 .

2   Commencement

                   This Act commences on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

3   Object

                   The object of this Act is to enhance the Commonwealth’s ability to:

                     (a)  make grants of financial assistance to eligible higher education institutions in relation to capital expenditure; and

                     (b)  make grants of financial assistance to eligible higher education institutions in relation to research facilities.

4   Simplified outline

                   The following is a simplified outline of this Act:

•      This Act sets up the Higher Education Endowment Fund which consists of:

               (a)     the Higher Education Endowment Fund Special Account; and

              (b)     the investments of the Higher Education Endowment Fund.

•      The main purposes of the Higher Education Endowment Fund Special Account are:

               (a)     to make grants of financial assistance to eligible higher education institutions in relation to capital expenditure; and

              (b)     to make grants of financial assistance to eligible higher education institutions in relation to research facilities.

•      This Act establishes the Higher Education Endowment Fund Advisory Board to advise the Education Minister about grants.

•      The Education Minister is responsible for authorising grants.

•      The total amount of grants authorised in a financial year must not exceed the maximum grants amount calculated in accordance with the Maximum Grants Rules.

•      The terms and conditions on which financial assistance is granted are to be set out in a written agreement between the Commonwealth and the eligible higher education institution concerned.

•      The Future Fund Board of Guardians is responsible for deciding how to invest the Higher Education Endowment Fund.

•      Investments of the Higher Education Endowment Fund will consist of financial assets.

•      The Future Fund Board of Guardians is bound by a Higher Education Endowment Fund Investment Mandate given to it by the responsible Ministers.

Note:          The Future Fund Act 2006 provides that the Future Fund Management Agency is responsible for assisting and advising the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

5   Definitions

                   In this Act:

accumulated nominal earnings of the Fund has the meaning given by section 49.

Advisory Board means the Higher Education Endowment Fund Advisory Board established under section 40.

Agency means the Future Fund Management Agency.

asset means:

                     (a)  any kind of real or personal property; or

                     (b)  any legal or equitable estate or interest in real or personal property; or

                     (c)  any legal or equitable right.

balance of the Fund means the sum of:

                     (a)  amounts standing to the credit of the Fund Account; and

                     (b)  the value of investments of the Fund.

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

business entity means:

                     (a)  a company; or

                     (b)  a partnership; or

                     (c)  a trust; or

                     (d)  a body politic.

Chair means the Chair of the Future Fund Board.

derivative means a derivative (within the meaning of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 ) that is a financial asset.

Education Minister means the Minister responsible for administering the Higher Education Support Act 2003 .

eligible higher education institution means:

                     (a)  a Table A provider (within the meaning of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 ); or

                     (b)  a Table B provider (within the meaning of that Act).

Finance Department means the Department administered by the Finance Minister.

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

financial asset has the meaning given by section 6.

Fund means the Higher Education Endowment Fund established by section 11.

Fund Account means the Higher Education Endowment Fund Special Account established by section 12.

Future Fund Board means the Future Fund Board of Guardians.

Future Fund Board member means a member of the Future Fund Board, and includes the Chair.

Future Fund Special Account means the Future Fund Special Account established by section 12 of the Future Fund Act 2006 .

GFS Australia means the publication of the Australian Bureau of Statistics known as Australian System of Government Finance Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods, as updated from time to time. This updating takes 2 forms:

                     (a)  from time to time, a new version of the publication is produced;

                     (b)  from time to time, material in the current version of the publication is updated by other publications of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

GFS system has the same meaning as in GFS Australia.

Government contribution to the Fund Account means:

                     (a)  the amount credited to the Fund Account under section 13; or

                     (b)  an amount credited to the Fund Account under section 14.

Higher Education Endowment Fund investment function of the Future Fund Board means:

                     (a)  a function or power conferred on the Future Fund Board by section 22, 23, 29, 31, 33 or 34; or

                     (b)  a right or power conferred on the Future Fund Board in its capacity as the holder of an investment of the Fund.

Higher Education Endowment Fund Investment Mandate has the meaning given by subsection 24(4).

investment means any mode of application of money or financial assets for the purpose of gaining a return (whether by way of income, capital gain or any other form of return).

investment manager means a person or body (other than the Agency) who undertakes to do any or all of the following:

                     (a)  invest amounts on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                     (b)  manage the investment of funds on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                     (c)  acquire derivatives on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                     (d)  manage derivatives on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                     (e)  enter into securities lending arrangements on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                      (f)  realise financial assets on behalf of the Future Fund Board;

                     (g)  perform custodial functions in relation to the financial assets of the Future Fund Board.

investment of the Fund means a financial asset that, under a provision of this Act, is taken to be an investment of the Fund.

Maximum Grants Rules means the rules made under section 47.

nominated Minister has the meaning given by section 54.

person (except in Part 4) includes a partnership.

Note:          See also paragraph 22(1)(a) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

realise includes redeem or dispose of.

responsible Ministers means:

                     (a)  the Treasurer; and

                     (b)  the Finance Minister.

securities lending arrangement means an agreement of the kind known as a securities lending arrangement.

value of an investment of the Fund means the market value of the investment. For this purpose, disregard anything that would prevent or restrict conversion of a financial asset to money.

6   Financial assets

                   A reference in this Act to a financial asset is a reference to:

                     (a)  an asset that, in accordance with GFS Australia, is treated as a financial asset for the purposes of the GFS system in Australia; or

                     (b)  an asset specified in regulations made for the purposes of this paragraph;

but does not include a reference to an asset that, under the regulations, is taken to be a non-financial asset for the purposes of this Act.

Note:          For specification by class, see subsection 13(3) of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 .

7   Crown to be bound

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  This Act does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

8   Extension to external Territories

                   This Act extends to every external Territory.

9   Extra-territorial application

                   This Act extends to acts, omissions, matters and things outside Australia (unless the contrary intention appears).