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Public Service Amendment Bill 2012

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2011 - 2012

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL 2012

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

Amendments to be moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the

Minister for the Public Service and Integrity,

the Honourable Gary Gray AO MP)



PUBLIC SERVICE AMENDMENT BILL 2012

OUTLINE

The parliamentary amendments to the Public Service Amendment Bill 2012 (“the Bill”) amend the Public Service Act 1999 (“the Act”) to retain the current provisions of the Act regarding non-ongoing employees and make a number of technical amendments.

FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

The amendments have low financial impact.

Regulation Impact Statement

No regulation impact statement is required for the measures contained in this Bill.

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Amendments to the Public Service Amendment Bill 2012

These amendments do not engage any human rights beyond those already engaged by the Bill. As they do not raise any additional human rights issues, the amendments remain compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

NOTES ON INDIVIDUAL AMENDMENTS

Items 1 to 5 and 20 to 28 concern proposed amendments to the engagement of non-ongoing Australian Public Service (APS) employees.

Items 6 to 19 concern proposed technical amendments relating to confidentiality of information and immunity from suit.

Item 1—Schedule 1, heading to Part 10, page 31 (line 1)

This item proposes to rename the heading of Part 10 to Schedule 1 of the Bill from “Temporary APS employees” to “Non-ongoing APS employees”.

Item 2—Schedule 1, items 57 to 60, page 31 (lines 3 to 15)

This item proposes to remove items 57 to 60 from Part 10 to Schedule 1 of the Bill.

Item 3—Schedule 1, item 61, page 31 (lines 16 to 24)

This item proposes to omit item 61 from Part 10 to Schedule 1 of the Bill.

This item also proposes to amend the regulation-making power in subsection 22(4) of the Act to ‘prescribe’ rather than ‘limit’ the circumstances in which persons may be engaged as non-ongoing APS employees.

Item 4—Schedule 1, item 62, page 31 (line 28) and item 5—Schedule 1, item 63, page 32 (line 2)

These items propose to remove references to the term “temporary APS employee” from subsection 29(4) and 29(5) of the Act.

Item 6—Schedule 1, item 70, page 35 (line 19) and item 7—Schedule 1, item 70, page 35 (line 20)

These items propose to remove the term “his or her” from the definition of “protected information” in proposed section 72A(1) of the Act (Public Service Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill).

This will remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72A(1)(c) and 72A(1)(e) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 8—Schedule 1, item 70, page 36 (line 4) and item 9—Schedule 1, item 70, page 36 (lines 5 to 10)

These items propose to amend section 72A(3) of the Act (Public Service Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill) to remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72A(1)(c) and 72A(1)(e) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 10—Schedule 1, item 70, page 37 (line 7) and item 11—Schedule 1, item 70, page 37 (line 8)

These items propose to remove the term “his or her” from section 72A(7) of the Act (Public Service Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill).

This will remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72A(1)(c) and 72A(1)(e) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 12—Schedule 1, item 70, page 37 (line 31) and item 13—Schedule 1, item 70, page 37 (line 32)

These items propose to remove the term “his or her” from the definition of “protected information” in section 72B(1) of the Act (Merit Protection Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill).

This will remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72B(1)(c) and 72B(1)(d) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 14—Schedule 1, item 70, page 38 (line 12) and item 15—Schedule 1, item 70, page 38 (lines 13 to 18)

These items propose to amend section 72B(3) of the Act (Merit Protection Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill) to remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72B(1)(c) and 72B(1)(d) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 16—Schedule 1, item 70, page 39 (line 18) and item 17—Schedule 1, item 70, page 39 (line 19)

These items propose to remove the term “his or her” from section 72B(7) of the Act (Merit Protection Commissioner’s functions etc—item 70 of Part 12 of Schedule 1 of the Bill).

This will remove any suggestion that those persons and members of staff referred to in section 72B(1)(c) and 72B(1)(d) have functions or powers conferred on them under particular provisions of the Act or the regulations.

Item 18—Schedule 1, item 72, page 44 (line 17) and item 19—Schedule 1, item 72, page 45 (line 6)

These items propose to amend section 78A(1) and 78A(2) of the Act (Immunity from civil proceedings:  Public Service Commissioner’s functions and Merit Protection Commissioner’s functions—item 72 of Part 13 of Schedule 1 of the Bill).  The proposed amendments will ensure that the persons and members of staff referred to in sections 78A(1)(c) and  78A(1)(e) and 72A(2)(c) and 72A(2) (d) of the Bill are immune from civil proceedings in respect of things done, or omitted to be done, in good faith by them in connection with the performance or purported performance of certain functions, or the exercise or purported exercise of certain powers, conferred by the Act or the Regulations.

Item 20—Schedule 3, item 8, page 53 (lines 16 and 17) and item 21—Schedule 3, items 10 and 11, page 53 (lines 20 to 26)

These items propose to remove references to “temporary APS employee” from the consequential changes to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 .

Item 22—Schedule 4, heading to Part 9, page 75 (line 1)

This item proposes to rename the heading of Part 9 to Schedule 4 of the Bill from “Temporary APS employees” to “Non-ongoing APS employees”.

Item 23—Schedule 4, items 32 and 33, page 75 (line 2) to page 76 (line 7)

This item proposes to remove items 32 and 33 of Part 9 to Schedule 4 of the Bill.

Item 24—Schedule 4, item 34, page 76 (lines 8 to 31)

This item proposes to amend the saving provision in item 34 of Schedule 4 of the Bill which preserves the circumstances under which a non-ongoing employee is engaged.   The amendment is necessary owing to the proposed amendment in item 3 above. 

Item 25—Schedule 4, item 35, page 77 (line 7)

This item proposes to amend item 35 of Part 9 of Schedule 4 of the Bill which concerns transitional provisions relating to the termination of employment of non-ongoing APS employees under section 29(5) of the Act.  The amendment is necessary owing to the proposed amendments in items 4 and 5 above.

Item 26—Schedule 4, item 36, page 77 (line 11), item 27—Schedule 4, item 36, page 77 (line 15)

These items propose to remove references to the term “temporary APS employee” from item 36 of Part 9 to Schedule 4 of the Bill and replaces them with “non-ongoing employee’.

Item 28—Schedule 4, item 36, page 77 (lines 17 to 19)

This item proposes to remove item 36(2).  As a result of the proposed amendment in item 4 above the termination regulations do not need to be read as referring to temporary APS employees.