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National Health Reform Amendment (Administrator and National Health Funding Body) Bill 2012

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2010-2011-2012

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM AMENDMENT (ADMINISTRATOR AND NATIONAL HEALTH FUNDING BODY) BILL 2011

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Health,

the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, MP)



 



TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION AND OUTLINE .. 2

FINANCIAL IMPACT . 2

STATEMENT OF COMPATABILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS . 2

COMMENCEMENT . 2

SCHEDULE 1 - AMENDMENTS . 3

ADDITION OF NEW CHAPTER 5 - ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FUNDING POOL .. 3

ADDITION OF CHAPTER 6 - MISCELLANEOUS . 10

TRANSITIONAL AND VALIDATION PROVISIONS . 11

 

 

NOTES

In this Explanatory Memorandum, a reference to a Part or a section in bold italics (eg Part 3.2 or section 186 ) is a reference to a Part or a section as it will appear in the National Health Reform Act 2011 as amended by this Bill.

 

A reference to an item in bold type ( item 120 ) is a reference to an item in Schedule 1 to this Bill.

 

A reference to “states” includes a reference to the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

 

 

 

 

 



 

NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM AMENDMENT (ADMINISTRATOR AND NATIONAL HEALTH FUNDING BODY) BILL 2012

 

INTRODUCTION AND OUTLINE

This Bill once enacted establishes the Administrator of the National Health Funding Pool and the National Health Funding Body (“Funding Body”) as set out in the National Health Reform Agreement (“the Agreement”) agreed to by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on 2 August 2011.

 

The Bill will amend the National Health Reform Act 2011 which establishes the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the National Health Performance Authority, and the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority (hereinafter “the Commission”, “the Performance Authority” and “the Pricing Authority”) to include provisions regarding the appointment of the Administrator and the Administrator’s powers and functions, as well as the establishment and function of the Funding Body.

 

Under the Agreement the Administrator is to be an individual appointed under the laws of the Commonwealth and all states.  The provisions in this Bill setting out:

·          how the Administrator is to be appointed;

·          how the Administrator may be suspended from office or have his or her appointment terminated; and

·          the Administrator’s powers and functions,

appear in corresponding legislation that is being introduced or will shortly be introduced in the states.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

The Government will allocate funding for the Administrator and the Funding Body in the 2012-13 Budget.

STATEMENT OF COMPATABILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

This Bill is 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 .

 

In particular, article 12(1) of the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Cultural and Social Rights recognises “the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health”.  The Agreement, with its focus on improving access to and the efficiency and sustainability of public hospital services, is an important step towards ensuring this right can be enjoyed by all Australians.

 

The Administrator and the Funding Body to be established under the Bill are integral to the new hospital funding arrangements in the Agreement.

COMMENCEMENT

Clause 2 provides that the Bill once enacted commences on the day the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

SCHEDULE 1 - AMENDMENTS

 

The Schedule amends the National Health Reform Act 2011 (the Reform Act) to provide for consequential and other amendments in view of the inclusion of provisions relating to the Administrator and the National Health Funding Body.

 

Sections 3 and 4 (“Object” and “Simplified Outline”, respectively) of the Reform Act are amended to include a reference to the Administrator and the Funding Body ( items 1-2 ).

 

Insertions of new definitions in relation to the Administrator, the Funding Body and other related matters are made to section 5 by items 3 to 20 .

 

A minor technical amendment is made to subsections 54A(3), 113(3) and 213(3) by items 21, 23 and 25 respectively to provide that the limitation on officials of the Commission, the Performance Authority and the Pricing Authority being required to disclose information to a court or tribunal extends to persons who have previously been officials.

 

Consequential amendments are made by items 22, 24 and 26 to subsections 54H(1) , 120(1) , and 220(1) to allow the Commission, the Performance Authority and the Pricing Authority to disclose protected information to the Administrator or the Funding Body.

ADDITION OF NEW CHAPTER 5 - ADMINISTRATOR OF THE FUNDING POOL

Outline of Chapter

New Chapter 5 (inserted by item 27 ) establishes the Administrator and provides for his or her appointment, functions, powers, and obligations. It also establishes the Funding Body to assist the Administrator.

 

The Administrator is an important element of the National Health Reform Agreement, which provides for Commonwealth payments to the states for public hospital services, together with some state payments, to be paid through a National Health Funding Pool operated by the Administrator.  Other state payments are to flow through State Managed Funds. The Administrator is to report on the operation of the National Health Funding Pool and State Managed Funds.

 

The Administrator is also required to calculate the amount of the Commonwealth payments and advise the Treasurer to allow Commonwealth payments to be made into the Pool.

 

Detailed Explanation

Part 5.1 ­ Introduction

This Part provides a simplified outline of the Chapter [section 228] .  It also provides that Part 5.2 is to be interpreted in accordance with Schedule 7 to the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law [section 229] .  This is because Part 5.2 establishing the office of the Administrator and setting out its functions and obligations will appear in the same way in the laws of all jurisdictions, and it is important that it be interpreted in the same way in each case.

 

The Standing Council on Health will play an important role in appointing the Administrator, and where necessary suspending or terminating the appointment.  Section 230 defines the Council, provides that for the purposes of Part 5.2 it is made up of one member from the Commonwealth and each state and territory, and specifies the need for requests and decisions to be made in writing.

 



Part 5.2 ­ Administrator of the Funding Pool

This Part establishes the position of the Administrator and sets out the Administrator’s powers, functions and responsibilities.

 

The intention in the Agreement is that the Administrator will be appointed under a law of the Commonwealth and each state, and that the functions and powers of the Administrator will also be set out in laws of the Commonwealth and each state.  Each state will be seeking passage of legislation that mirrors the provisions in this Part relating to the appointment, suspension from office, termination of appointment, and powers and functions of the Administrator.

 

It is Parliament’s intention that the provisions of this Act and corresponding state legislation will result in a single person being appointed as the Administrator in all jurisdictions, and that the Administrator may exercise the functions of the Administrator in relation to one, two, more or all jurisdictions. A reference in the Act to a function conferred on the Administrator under the Act includes a reference to a function under a corresponding law of a state [ section 231 ].

 

The Minister is to appoint by instrument in writing a person as Administrator after the Standing Council on Health (the Council) has agreed on the person to be appointed, and the date, period and terms and conditions of appointment.  Before the Council decides on an appointment, the Chair of the Council must give members an opportunity to nominate an individual for appointment.  The Administrator may be appointed for up to five years, but is eligible for reappointment [ section 232 ].  He or she is to be paid the remuneration determined by the Remuneration Tribunal [ section 233 ].

 

The Chair of the Council is required to suspend the Administrator from office in all jurisdictions by instrument in writing notified to all Council members if requested to do so by the Minister, or by three state Ministers.  A Minister may only request the Chair to suspend the Administrator if the Minister is satisfied that:

·          the Administrator is unable to perform his or her functions satisfactorily for any reason; or

·          has failed to comply with his or her obligations or duties; or

·          has been accused or convicted of an offence that carries a penalty of imprisonment; or

·          has or may become bankrupt [ subsections 234(1) to 234(3) ].

 

The suspension is lifted after 60 days unless within that period the Administrator:

·          is removed or resigns under section 235 ; or

·          a majority of the Council agree to terminate the suspension; or

·          a majority of the Council agree to extend the suspension for a specified period [ subsection 234(4) ].

 

The Chair is only to suspend the Administrator from office within 90 days of the end of an earlier period of suspension at the request of a majority of the Council [ subsection 234(5) ].

 

If a majority of the Council agree to remove the Administrator from office, the Minister must remove the Administrator from office by instrument in writing taking effect on a date agreed to by the Council [ subsections 235(1) and (2) ].

 

The Administrator may resign by notice in writing given to the Chair of the Council, with effect from the date notified by the Chair to Council members [ subsections 235(3) and (4) ].

 

The Chair of the Council may appoint a person to act as the Administrator if the office is vacant or the Administrator is suspended or absent from duty.  The appointment must be from a panel of persons agreed by the Council, and in accordance with any procedure agreed by the Council [ section 236 ].

 

The staff and facilities to assist the Administrator in performing his or her functions are to be provided by the National Health Funding Body established under Part 5.3 .   However, the Administrator is not entitled to delegate any function conferred under the Act [ section 237 ].  This does not mean that the Administrator must personally physically make payments from a State Pool Account, for example - rather that he or she must personally authorise payments to be made.  A staff member may assist the Administrator in transmitting payment directions to the Reserve Bank.  Similarly, the Administrator does not have to calculate personally the amount of Commonwealth funding payable to a state.  It is sufficient if the Administrator signs off as accurate and meeting the requirements of the Act a calculation made by somebody else. 

 

The functions of the Administrator are set out in section 238 , which also provides that the Administrator and the officials of the Funding Body are not subject to the control or direction of any Commonwealth Minister in exercising or performing the functions.  However, in exercising or performing the functions the Administrator must comply with any directions given by COAG [ subsection 238(3) ], given in accordance with a written resolution of COAG passed in accordance with procedures that it has determined. These directions must be notified in writing to and made publicly available by the Administrator [ subsection 238(4) ].  These directions are not legislative instruments because their effect is “to approve a manner of doing an act”, and as such they are exempt from the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 because of regulations made under section 7 of that Act. 

 

One of the functions of the Administrator is to make payments from each State Pool Account in accordance with the direction of the relevant state Minister [ paragraph 238(1)(c) ]. However, under the Agreement (clauses B28f and B56) a state Minister in directing the Administrator must ensure that payments result in the distribution of Commonwealth funding in accordance with the advice provided by the Administrator to the Commonwealth Treasurer under paragraph 238(1)(a) .

 

Division 2 in this Part deals with financial management and reporting by the Administrator.

 

The Administrator is to develop and apply appropriate financial management policies and procedures, keep proper records, and prepare financial statements [ section 239 ].

 

The Administrator is to provide to all jurisdictions and to publish monthly reports on payments into and out of State Pool Accounts and State Managed Funds, and on related activity levels [ section 240 ].   

 

Within four months of the end of the financial year the Administrator is to provide to all jurisdictions and to publish an annual report, including information on payments into and out of State Pool Accounts and State Managed Funds, and on related activity levels. The report is to include a financial statement combining the audited financial statements of each State Pool Account, and must be tabled by the responsible Minister in each jurisdiction [ section 241 ]. 

 

After each financial year the Administrator is to prepare a financial statement for each State Pool Account and a combined financial statement [ section 242 ].  The statements for State Pool Accounts are to be audited by the Auditor-General of the relevant state [ section 243 ].

 

The Auditor-General may carry out a performance audit of the exercise of performance of the functions of the Administrator.  If the Auditor-General plans an audit he or she must notify all other Auditors-General to allow other Auditors-General wishing to conduct an audit at the same time to co-ordinate the conduct of the audits [ section 244 ]. To avoid doubt, subsection 244(4) provides that the Auditor-General is to conduct the audit in accordance with the Auditor-General Act 1997 .

 

As the Administrator is required to report on State Managed Funds which he or she will not operate, state National Health Reform laws will require Ministers to provide information to the Administrator about payments into and out of the Funds and the services and functions they funded. 

 

The Administrator must provide to the Minister any information requested by the Minister in the time set by the Minister, and must also provide to the Minister a copy of advice provided to the Treasurer under paragraph 238(1)(a) on amounts required to be paid into State Pool Accounts by the Commonwealth.  The Administrator may provide information relating to a jurisdiction to the Minister for the jurisdiction.  Information relating to a jurisdiction that is made available by the Administrator to another jurisdiction may only be released by the second jurisdiction in accordance with arrangements approved by the Minister for the first jurisdiction [ section 245 ].

 

Reports, financial statements and information statements under sections 240, 241, 242 and 245 are to be prepared in accordance with any directions given by COAG under subsection 238(3) [ section 246 ].

 

Division 3 in this Part [ sections 247 to 250 ] sets out the Constitutional limits for the Administrator’s functions [ section 247 ] and provides for the conferral of functions and powers on the Administrator under state law. 

 

Section 248 provides that a state National Health Reform law (a law of a state giving effect to the Agreement - see item 11 ) may confer powers or functions or impose duties on the Administrator or another Commonwealth officer, except to the extent to which the conferral or imposition would contravene constitutional doctrines or exceed the legislative power of the Commonwealth. It also provides that the Act is not intended to limit the operation of a state law conferring functions or powers or imposing duties to the extent to which that law can operate concurrently with the Act, nor to limit the conferral of functions or powers or the imposition of duties on the Administrator or officer as a person appointed under a state law.

 

Section 249 provides that if a state National Health Reform law purports to impose a duty on the Administrator or another Commonwealth officer, the duty is taken not to be imposed by the Act or any other Commonwealth law to the extent to which imposition of the duty is within the powers of the state and the imposition under the state law is consistent with the constitutional doctrines restricting the duties that may be imposed on the Administrator or officer. However, if it is necessary to ensure the validity of the purported imposition that it is imposed by a law of the Commonwealth, it is taken to be imposed by the Act, and Parliament intends to rely on all powers under the Constitution to support the imposition. The duty is taken to be imposed by the Act only to the extent to which it is within the legislative powers of the Commonwealth and is consistent with the constitutional doctrines restricting the duties that may be imposed on the Administrator or officer.

 

Section 250 sets out that a state law imposes a duty if it confers a power or function on the Administrator or officer and the circumstances in which the power or function is conferred oblige the Administrator or officer to exercise the power or perform the function. 

 

The references in sections 248 to 250 to an officer other than the Administrator are intended to cover officers who may have powers or functions under the Archives Act 1983 , the Australian Information Commissioner Act 2010 , the Freedom of Information Act 1982 , the Ombudsman Act 1976 , or the Privacy Act 1988 , which will be applied as state legislation under the state National Health Reform Laws.

 

Part 5.3 - National Health Funding Body

The Funding Body is established under section 251 , with the function of assisting the Administrator in the performance of the Administrator’s functions [ section 252 ].

 

There is to be a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the Funding Body (referred to as the Funding Body CEO) responsible for the day to day administration of the Funding Body [ sections 253 and 254 ].

 

The Funding Body CEO is appointed by the Minister by written instrument after consultation with the Administrator. The Funding Body CEO holds office on a full-time basis and for the period specified in the instrument of appointment which must not exceed five years, but can be reappointed [ section 255 ].

 

The Minister is authorised to appoint an acting Funding Body CEO in specified circumstances (eg a vacancy in the office) after consultation with the Administrator [ section 256 ]. The Funding Body CEO must not engage in other paid employment without the approval of the Minister [ section 257 ]

 

The Funding Body CEO is to be paid remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal and is to be paid allowances that are prescribed in the regulations. If no determination of that remuneration by the Remuneration Tribunal is in operation, the Funding Body CEO is to be paid that remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations [ section 258 ].

 

The Remuneration Tribunal is to determine the recreation leave entitlements of the Funding Body CEO, and the Minister may grant the Funding Body CEO other leave of absence [ section 259 ].

 

The Funding Body CEO must disclose to the Minister and the Administrator, in writing, all pecuniary or other interests that the CEO has or acquires that conflict or may conflict with the performance of his or her duties [ section 260 ].

 

The Funding Body CEO may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a written resignation, taking effect on the day of receipt by the Minister or on a later day specified in the resignation [ section 261 ].

 

The Minister may terminate the Funding Body CEO's appointment, after consultation with the Administrator, for misbehaviour, physical or mental incapacity, or if the Minister is satisfied that the CEO's performance has been unsatisfactory [ subsections 262(1) to (3) ].  The Minister must terminate the Funding Body CEO's appointment in the event of bankruptcy, frequent absence without leave, concealing a conflict of interest or engaging in unapproved employment [ subsection 262(4) ].

 

The Minister may determine other terms and conditions of appointment for the Funding Body CEO in relation to matters not specified in the Act after consultation with the Administrator [ section 263 ].

 

Division 3 in this Part sets out arrangements for staff, officers assisting the Funding Body, and consultants, as well as for the Funding Body’s annual report.

 

Funding Body staff are to be engaged under the Public Service Act 1999 , and for the purposes of that Act, the Funding Body CEO and staff together constitute a Statutory Agency, and the Funding Body CEO is the head of that Statutory Agency [ section 264 ].

 

The Funding Body may also use other Commonwealth and or state public servants and employees in connection with the performance of the functions of the Administrator [ section 265 ]. Similarly, consultants having suitable qualifications and experience may also be engaged on terms and conditions determined by the Funding Body CEO [ section 266 ].

 

The Funding Body CEO must prepare an annual report after the end of each financial year on the operations of the Funding Body and provide it to the Minister for presentation to Parliament.

The Funding Body CEO must also give a copy to responsible Ministers for the states and territories [ section 267 ].

 

Part 5.4 - Secrecy 

A person commits an offence if that person is or has been the Administrator, has obtained information in the course of their work relating to another person ("protected information") and discloses or use the information [ subsection 268(1) ].

 

The penalty for the offence (two years imprisonment or 120 penalty units or both) is consistent with penalties for similar offences under other parts of the Reform Act and other health legislation such as the National Health Act 1953 , Health Insurance Act 1973 and Private Health Insurance Act 2007 and reflects the potential seriousness of improper use or disclosure of protected information.

 

Under subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code a defendant being prosecuted for this offence and wishing to rely on an exception is required to demonstrate that disclosure was covered by one of the exceptions to the offence. It would be difficult for the prosecution to bear the burden of demonstrating that the disclosure was not covered by one of the exceptions, whereas a person disclosing information should reasonably be aware of the basis for their disclosure.

 

A person who is or has been the Administrator is not to be required to produce or disclose protected information to a court or tribunal except where it is necessary for giving effect to the Act [ subsection 268(3) ].

 

A number of exceptions from the prohibition of disclosure or use of protected information are set out in subsection 268(2) and include disclosure or use that is:

·          authorised by the Act or a National Health Reform law of a state or territory [ paragraph 268(2)(a) ];

·          in compliance with a law of the Commonwealth or a law of a state or territory [ paragraph 268(2)(b) ];

·          for the purposes of this Act or a National Health Reform law of a state or territory [ paragraph 268(2)(c) ] ;

·          for the purposes of the performance of the functions of the Administrator under this Act or a National Health Reform law of a state or territory [ paragraph 268(2)(d) ] ;

·          in the course of the Administrator’s employment or services as the Administrator [ paragraph 268(2)(e) ] ;

·          in accordance with a direction given by COAG under subsection 238(3) [ paragraph 268(2)(f) ] ;

·          to the Treasurer of the Commonwealth or a state or territory, or to the responsible Minister for the Commonwealth or a state or territory [ paragraph 268(2)(g) ] ;

and disclosure:

·          of information about a person if the person has consented [ paragraph 268(2)(h) ] ; and

·          of information that is already publicly available [ paragraph 268(2)(i) ] .

 

A person commits an offence if that person is or has been an official of the Funding Body, has obtained information in the course of their work relating to another person ("protected information") and discloses or uses the information, unless the disclosure or use is authorised by Division 2 of Part 5.4 or is compliant with another Commonwealth or a prescribed state law [ subsections 269(1) and (2) ].

 

The penalty for the offence (two years imprisonment or 120 penalty units or both) is consistent with penalties for similar offences under other parts of the Reform Act and other health legislation such as the National Health Act 1953 , Health Insurance Act 1973 and Private Health Insurance Act 2007 and reflects the potential seriousness of improper use or disclosure of protected information.

 

Under subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code a defendant being prosecuted for this offence and wishing to rely on an exception is required to demonstrate that disclosure was covered by one of the exceptions to the offence. It would be difficult for the prosecution to bear the burden of demonstrating that the disclosure was not covered by one of the exceptions, whereas a person disclosing information should reasonably be aware of the basis for their disclosure.

 

A person who is or has been an official of the Funding Body is not to be required to produce or disclose protected information to a court or tribunal except where it is necessary for giving

effect to the Act [ subsection 269(3) ].

 

The exceptions from the prohibition for disclosure of protected information set out in Division 2 include:

·          disclosure or use for the purposes of the Act by an official of the Funding Body, for the performance Funding Body’s functions, or in the course of the official's employment or service as an official of the Funding Body [ section 270 ];

·          disclosure by an official of the Funding Body to the Minister or the Treasurer [ section 271 ];

·          disclosure by an official of the Funding Body to a state or territory Health Minister [ section 272 ];

·          disclosure by an official of the Funding Body to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing or the head of the Health Department of a state or territory [ section 273 ];

·          disclosure by an official of the Funding Body to a Royal Commission (in which case the CEO of the Funding Body can impose conditions on the use of the information) [ section 274 ];

·          disclosure to specified bodies, agencies or persons where the Administrator or the CEO of the Funding Body is satisfied that the protected information will enable or assist those bodies or agencies or persons perform or exercise any of its functions or powers [ section 275 ];

·          disclosure to an agency, body or person where the Administrator or the CEO of the Funding Body is satisfied that the particular protected information will assist the agency, body or person to conduct research [ section 276 ] ;

·          disclosure of information about the affairs of a person if the person has consented [ section 277 ]; and

·          disclosure of information that is already publicly available [ section 278 ].

 

An instrument imposing a condition on release of information to a Royal Commission made under subsection 274(2) is not a legislative instrument because it relates only to a particular release and does not determine the law or alters the content of the law.

ADDITION OF CHAPTER 6 - MISCELLANEOUS

This Chapter includes several provisions relating to privacy and confidentiality, a statement of the relation between this Act and state laws, the non-application of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 and a regulation making power. The provisions largely exist already as Chapter 5 in the Act, which is being repealed and remade to allow for easier numbering of provisions.

 

The Commission, the Pricing Authority, the Performance Authority, the Administrator or the Funding Body must not publish or disseminate information likely to lead to the identification of a particular patient without consent [ subsections 279(1) and (2) ]. Consent may be given by:

·          the patient, if the patient is aged 18 or more; or

·          if the patient is dead, the patient's surviving partner who was his or her partner immediately before the patient died and living with him or her immediately before he or she died; or

·          a person authorised under the regulations to give consent to the publication or dissemination of the information [ subsection 279(3) ].

 

For the purposes of subsection 279(3) , a person is taken to have been living with his or her partner at a particular time if they were not living together at that time only because of a temporary absence from each other or illness or infirmity of either both of them [ subsection 279(4) ].

 

The Reform Act is intended to operate concurrently with state or territory law to the extent possible [ section 280 ].

 

The Agreement provides that the Performance Authority and the Pricing Authority are to be covered by the Financial Management Act 1997 Section 281 gives effect to this intention by providing that the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 does not apply to the bodies.

 

Regulations can be made by the Governor-General, prescribing matters required or permitted to be prescribed under the Act, or necessary or convenient to give effect to the Act [ subsection 282(1) ].

 

In particular, the regulations may modify the operation of a number of Commonwealth Acts in relation to things done by or in relation to the Administrator, the Funding Body CEO or the Funding Body.  These regulations may only be made with the agreement all members of the Standing Council on Health as it is constituted for the purposes of Part 5.2 [ subsections ^282(2) and (3) ].

 

These provisions are necessary to ensure that the Administrator is subject to only one set of administrative law and related requirements.  As an officer appointed severally by the Commonwealth and all eight states, the Administrator would potentially be required to comply with nine different sets of archives, freedom of information, ombudsman and privacy regimes.  The simple solution of the states adopting the Commonwealth legislation as it stands would not be acceptable to the states, as Commonwealth legislation would not contain appropriate references to state entities.  For example, if the Administrator was to be given a copy of state Cabinet material, this would not fall under the absolute exemption from disclosure afforded to Commonwealth Cabinet documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 .

 

It is envisaged that the regulations will modify the Commonwealth Acts so that they could apply effectively as laws of the states, conferring appropriate rights and obligations on state responsible Ministers and referring appropriately to state entities.

TRANSITIONAL AND VALIDATION PROVISIONS

Item 28 deals with circumstances in which not all jurisdictions have passed a National Health Reform law. 

 

Sub-item (1)   provides that if, on the commencement of Part 5.2 relating to the Administrator, another jurisdiction has not enacted corresponding provisions, then the responsible Minister for that jurisdiction for the purposes of those provisions is the Minister for Health.  It is necessary to identify in the legislation the Minister for Health for transitional purposes to enable that Minister to act in relation to the Administrator.  This would include, for example, participating in the appointment of an Administrator.

 

Sub-item (2) provides that any action undertaken by a Commonwealth or State Minister before the commencement of the Part relating to the Administrator that would have been valid if that Part and the corresponding provisions of the other jurisdictions had been in force at the time is taken to be valid.  This would allow for the appointment of an Administrator in all jurisdictions even where a particular jurisdiction had not enacted the legislation.