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Ministers of State (Post-Retirement Employment Restrictions) Bill 2002 [2008]

Part 1 Preliminary

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Ministers of State (Post-Retirement Employment Restrictions) Act 2002 .

2   Commencement

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

3   Object s

                   The objects of this Act are:

                     (a)  to ensure that Ministers and ministerial advisers shall not act after they leave office in such a manner as to take improper advantage of their previous office; and

                     (b)  to enhance public confidence in the integrity of ministerial office holders and the independence of the decision-making processes of government by establishing clear rules of conduct respecting conflict of interest for, and post-employment practices applicable to, Ministers and ministerial advisers; and

                     (c)  to eliminate the possibilities of preferential treatment or privileged access to government being obtained from or through Ministers and ministerial advisers after they have left office.

4   Interpretation

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

ceasing to be a Minister in relation to a Minister means ceasing to be a Minister in accordance with section 64 of the Constitution.

department or agency includes any body for which the Minister had ministerial responsibility during his or her term as Minister.

former Minister means a Minister who has ceased to be a Minister in accordance with section 64 of the Constitution.

former ministerial adviser means a person who has ceased in accordance with the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 to be employed as a ministerial adviser.

Minister means a minister appointed in accordance with section 64 of the Constitution and includes a Parliamentary Secretary.

ministerial adviser means a person appointed as a member of staff of an office-holder in accordance with Part III of the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 , where that appointment is to the level, or is remunerated at the level equivalent to, officers appointed as Senior Executive Service Officers in accordance with Part 4, Division 2 of the Public Service Act 1999 .

5   Conduct relating to employment before ceasing to be a Minister or a ministerial adviser

                   Ministers and ministerial advisers shall not allow themselves to be influenced in the conduct of their official duties and responsibilities by plans for or offers of employment or other remuneration for when they cease to be Ministers or ministerial advisers.

6   Conduct relating to employment after ceasing to be a Minister

                   A former Minister shall not, within two years after ceasing to be a Minister:

                     (a)  provide advice for personal profit or for commercial advantage on any aspect of the work of any department or agency for which the former Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the last two years of service as a Minister; or

                     (b)  accept employment with a person or entity, association or union or an appointment to the board of directors or equivalent body of an entity that had significant dealings with a department or agency for which the former Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the last two years of service as a Minister; or

                     (c)  enter into a contract for services with any commercial entity which had significant commercial dealings with any department or agency for which the former Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the last two years of service as a Minister; or

                     (d)  make representations in return for any consideration for or on behalf of any other person or entity to a department or agency for which the former Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the last two years of service as a Minister.

7   Conduct relating to employment after ceasing to be a ministerial adviser

                   A former ministerial adviser shall not, within two years after ceasing to be employed as a ministerial adviser:

                     (a)  provide advice for personal profit or for commercial advantage on any aspect of the work of any department or agency for which the ministerial adviser’s Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the ministerial adviser’s last two years of employment with the Minister; or

                     (b)  accept employment with a person or entity, association or union or an appointment to the board of directors or equivalent body of an entity that had significant dealings with a department or agency for which the former ministerial adviser’s Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the ministerial adviser’s last two years of employment with the Minister; or

                     (c)  enter into a contract for services with any commercial entity which had significant commercial dealings with any department or agency for which the former ministerial adviser’s Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the ministerial adviser’s last two years of employment with the Minister; or

                     (d)  make representations in return for any consideration for or on behalf of any other person or entity to a department or agency for which the former ministerial adviser’s Minister had ministerial responsibility for any period of time during the ministerial adviser’s last two years of employment with the Minister.

8   Exceptions

                   Sections 6 and 7 do not prevent a former Minister or former ministerial adviser from taking action on behalf of or engaging in the service of:

                     (a)  a charitable organisation; or

                     (b)  official duties on behalf of the Commonwealth; or

                     (c)  duties on behalf of an international organisation in which the Commonwealth participates, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs certifies that such duty is in the interests of the Commonwealth; or

                     (d)  duties on behalf of a foreign government or an instrumentality of a foreign government, where the Minister of Foreign Affairs certifies that such duty is in the interests of the Commonwealth; or

                     (e)  a political party.

9   Offences and penalties

                   A person who contravenes section 5, 6 or 7 is guilty of an offence.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for two years or a fine not exceeding $250,000.