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Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2018

 

2016-2017

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme Bill 2017

 

No.      , 2017

 

(Attorney-General)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to establish a scheme to improve the transparency of activities undertaken on behalf of foreign principals, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                              1

Division 1—Preliminary                                                                                               1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Object.................................................................................................. 2

4............ Simplified outline of this Act.............................................................. 2

5............ Extension to external Territories.......................................................... 3

6............ Extraterritoriality................................................................................. 3

7............ Constitutional basis and severability................................................... 3

8............ Application to Commonwealth, States and Territories........................ 5

9............ Concurrent operation of State and Territory laws................................ 5

Division 2—Definitions                                                                                                 6

10.......... Definitions.......................................................................................... 6

11.......... Undertaking activity on behalf of a foreign principal........................ 12

12.......... Activity for the purpose of political or governmental influence......... 13

13.......... Communications activity................................................................... 15

14.......... Purpose of activity............................................................................ 16

Part 2—Registration under the scheme                                                                   17

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                        17

15.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 17

Division 2—Requirement to register                                                                   19

16.......... Requirement to register..................................................................... 19

17.......... When a person is registered under the scheme.................................. 19

18.......... Persons who are liable to register...................................................... 19

19.......... Ceasing to be liable to register........................................................... 20

Division 3—Registrable activities                                                                         21

20.......... Registrable activities: parliamentary lobbying on behalf of foreign government       21

21.......... Registrable activities: activities in Australia for the purpose of political or governmental influence         21

22.......... Registrable activities: recent Cabinet Ministers................................. 22

23.......... Registrable activities: recent Ministers, members of Parliament and other holders of senior Commonwealth positions.......................................................................................................... 22

Division 4—Exemptions                                                                                             24

24.......... Exemption: humanitarian aid or assistance........................................ 24

25.......... Exemption: legal advice or representation......................................... 24

26.......... Exemption: diplomatic, consular or similar activities......................... 24

27.......... Exemption: religion........................................................................... 25

28.......... Exemption: news media.................................................................... 25

29.......... Exemption: commercial or business pursuits.................................... 26

30.......... Exemption: prescribed circumstances................................................ 27

Division 5—End of registration                                                                             28

31.......... Notice of end of liability to register................................................... 28

32.......... End of registration............................................................................. 29

Part 3—Responsibilities of registrants under the scheme                            30

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                        30

33.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 30

Division 2—Reporting to the Secretary                                                            31

34.......... Reporting material changes in circumstances.................................... 31

35.......... Reporting donor activity in Australia for the purpose of political or governmental influence (other than in voting period).......................................................................................................... 32

36.......... Reporting on registration review when voting period begins............ 33

37.......... Reporting registrable activity during voting periods.......................... 34

Division 3—Other responsibilities                                                                        36

38.......... Disclosure in communications activity.............................................. 36

39.......... Annual renewal of registration.......................................................... 36

40.......... Keeping records................................................................................ 37

Part 4—Obtaining and handling scheme information                                   39

Division 1—Simplified outline of this Part                                                        39

41.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 39

Division 2—Register of scheme information                                                   40

42.......... Secretary must keep a register........................................................... 40

43.......... Certain information to be made publicly available............................. 41

44.......... Secretary may correct or update information in the register............... 41

Division 3—Secretary’s powers to obtain information and documents 42

45.......... Notice requiring information to satisfy Secretary whether person is liable to register under the scheme  42

46.......... Notice requiring information relevant to scheme............................... 43

47.......... Self-incrimination.............................................................................. 44

48.......... Copies of documents......................................................................... 44

49.......... Retention of documents..................................................................... 44

Division 4—Communicating and dealing with scheme information   46

50.......... Scheme information.......................................................................... 46

51.......... Scheme officials................................................................................ 46

52.......... Authorisation—purposes of scheme................................................. 47

53.......... Authorisation—other purposes......................................................... 47

54.......... Authorisation—secondary communication of or dealing with information              48

55.......... Authorisation—information publicly available.................................. 48

Part 5—Enforcement                                                                                                          49

56.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 49

57.......... Failure to apply for or maintain registration...................................... 49

58.......... Failure to fulfil responsibilities under the scheme............................. 51

59.......... Failure to comply with notice requiring information......................... 52

60.......... False or misleading information or documents.................................. 53

61.......... Destruction etc. of records................................................................ 54

Part 6—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        56

62.......... Simplified outline of this Part............................................................ 56

63.......... Charges............................................................................................. 56

64.......... Treatment of partnerships.................................................................. 57

65.......... Treatment of other unincorporated bodies......................................... 57

66.......... Approvals......................................................................................... 57

67.......... Delegations....................................................................................... 58

68.......... Agreements....................................................................................... 58

69.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 58

70.......... Review of operation of the scheme................................................... 59

71.......... Rules................................................................................................. 59

 



A Bill for an Act to establish a scheme to improve the transparency of activities undertaken on behalf of foreign principals, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts: