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Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2011

 

 

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of the

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform, the Hon Jenny Macklin MP)



SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2011

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The amendments ensure that a State or Territory authority can only be determined by the Minister to be a recognised State/Territory authority for the purposes of the State/Territory referrals income management measure if:

 

·          the officers or employees of the authority have powers, functions or duties in relation to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families; and

 

·          there is an appropriate process for reviewing decisions by employees or officers of the authority to issue notices requiring a person to be income managed.

 

 

Financial impact statement

 

The financial impact of these amendments is nil.

 



SOCIAL SECURITY LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2011

 

Amendments to be moved on behalf of the Government

 

 

A person is subject to the income management regime under the new State/Territory referral measure provided for in Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011 (the Bill) if, among other things, an officer or employee of a recognised State/Territory authority has given the Secretary a written notice requiring that the person be subject to income management.  The notice must be given under a State or Territory law or in the exercise of the executive power of the State or Territory.

 

The Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine that a specified department (or part of a department), body or agency of a State or Territory is a recognised State/Territory authority

 

The amendments require the Minister to be satisfied about two things before the Minister can make such a determination.  The first relates to the nature and functions of the authority to be recognised and the second to its review processes.

 

The Minister needs to be satisfied that the employees or officers of the State or Territory authority have powers, functions or duties relating to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families.  This focus is consistent with the objectives of income management. 

 

The Minister also needs to be satisfied that there is an appropriate process for reviewing de cisions to give a notice requiring a person to be subject to income management.  There are a number of matters to which the Minister must have regard in considering the appropriateness of a process of review.  It is considered important that applicants are not prevented from accessing review because of prohibitive costs or language or other barriers, and that the review process is timely and fair.  Therefore, in considering the appropriateness of a process of review, the Minister must have regard to the cost of review to the applicant, the timeliness of the review process, whether the applicant can be represented (by a lawyer or other advocate), the independence of the review, the availability of interpreter services and any other matters which the Minister considers relevant.

 

This will ensure that only State or Territory authorities with appropriate review processes will be able to give notices requiring a person to be income managed, and that the person will be able to seek review of the decision to give a notice.  The person would also be able to access usual social security review processes for decisions relating to income management made by officers under the social security law. 

 

 



 

NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

Amendment 1 makes a technical change.

 

Amendment 2 inserts new subsections 123TGAA(2), (3) and (4).

 

New subsection 123TGAA(2) provides that the Minister, before making a determination that a specified department (or part of a department), body or agency of a State or Territory is a recognised State/Territory authority, must be satisfied that the employees or officers of the State or Territory authority have powers, functions or duties relating to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families. 

 

New subsection 123TGAA(3) provides that the Minister, before making a determination that a specified department (or part of a department), body or agency of a State or Territory is a recognised State/Territory authority, must also be satisfied that there is an appropriate process for reviewing decisions to give written notice to the Secretary requiring that a person be subject to income management under the State/Territory referral measure.

 

In deciding whether there is an appropriate process for reviewing the subject decisions, the Minister must have regard to the factors specified in new subsection 123TGAA(4).  However, the Minister can also have regard to other matters.