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Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

australian research council amendment BILL 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Education and Training,  Senator the Honourable Simon Birmingham)



 

australian research council amendment BILL 2018

 

 

OUTLINE

 

 

The purpose of the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2018 (the Bill) is to amend the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) to apply current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and insert new funding caps for the financial years commencing 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021.

The Bill supports the financial assistance for approved research programs administered by the Australian Research Council (ARC). These programs fund the high-quality research needed to grow knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the Australian community.

 

The Bill will amend the ARC Act to enable continued financial assistance to be provided for approved research programs administered by the ARC. The ARC supports the highest quality fundamental and applied research and research training through funding schemes under the National Competitive Grants Programs (NCGP). NCGP comprises of two programs—Discovery and Linkage. Funding awarded under the NCGP:

           

·          is allocated on the basis of a competitive peer review process involving national and international assessors; and

·          supports research across all disciplines (with the exception of health and medical research).

 

The ARC Act provides a maximum cap for financial assistance for approved research programs.

 

The amendments are essential as the ARC Act is the legislative basis that supports the financial operations of the ARC research programs through special appropriation mechanisms which must occur each financial year. Specifically the Bill will alter three existing financial years funding figures for indexation (for the financial years starting on 1 July 2017, 1 July 2018 and 1 July 2019) and extend the forward estimate period to include the financial years starting on 1 July 2020 and

1 July 2021, resulting in an additional appropriation of $1.6 billion for the period of

1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022.

 

The amendments only impact the administered special appropriation; they do not alter the substance of the ARC Act or increase departmental funds.

 

 

 



FINANCIAL IMPACT STATEMENT

 

This Bill updates the special appropriation funding cap administered by the ARC to include policy approvals, indexation adjustments and an additional forward estimate for existing schemes within the NCGP. Indexation adjustments and adding the next year of the forward estimate are part of the standard budget process and are administrative in nature.

 

The Bill will alter three existing financial years funding figures for indexation and extend the forward estimate period to include the financial years starting on 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021, resulting in an additional appropriation of $1.6 billion for the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2022.

 

 

2017-18

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

2021-22

$758,055,000

$759,925,000

$771,932,000

$771,932,000

$771,932,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights

(Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

The Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2018 (the 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 .

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) to apply current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and insert new funding caps for the financial years commencing 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021.

 

The amendments in the Bill seek to increase the general financial support available to the research programs that the Australian Research Council (ARC) administers.

 

The amendments only impact on administered special appropriations; they do not alter the substance of the ARC Act or increase departmental funds.

 

Analysis of human rights implications

This Bill engages the right to education, contained in Article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights , insofar as it relates to the provision of financial assistance for approved research programs administered by the ARC.

The ARC supports the highest quality fundamental and applied research and research training through funding schemes under the National Competitive Grants Programs (NCGP). The NCGP comprises two main programs—Discovery and Linkage and the funding awarded under the NCGP is:

 

·                 allocated on the basis of a competitive peer review process involving national and international assessors and

·                 supports research across all disciplines ( with the exception of health and medical research ).

 

These programs will continue to receive funding as a result of the measures in this Bill which fund the high-quality research Australia needs in order to address the great challenges of our time, to improve the quality of people’s lives, to support Australian businesses to become more innovative and to remain competitive in the global knowledge economy.

 

To the extent the right to education is engaged, it is promoted by the measures contained in the Bill.

 

Conclusion

The Bill is compatible with human rights.

australian research council amendment BILL 2018

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

This clause provides for the Act to be the Australian Research Council Amendment Act 2018.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

The table in subclause 2(1) sets out when the Act will commence. The table provides that the whole of this Act will commence the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Subclause 2(2) provides that information in column 3 of the table at subclause 2(1) is not part of the Act and information may be inserted into column 3 or information in it may be edited in any published version of the Act.

 

Clause 3 - Schedules

 

This clause provides that any legislation that is specified in a schedule is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the schedule and that any other item in a schedule has effect according to its terms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schedule 1   Amendments     

 

Summary

 

This Schedule amends the Australian Research Council Act 2001 (the ARC Act) to apply current indexation rates to existing appropriation amounts and insert new funding caps for the financial years commencing on 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021.

 

Detailed explanation

 

Australian Research Council Act 2001

 

Item 1 - At the end of subsection 48(2)

 

Division 1 of Part 7 of the ARC Act provides for financial assistance for approved research programs. Section 48 sets out the years to which this Division applies.

 

Item 1 inserts a new paragraphs (q) and (r) into subsection 48(2), the effect of which is to provide that Division 1 of Part 7 also applies to the financial years starting on 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021. 

 

Item 2 - Paragraphs 49(r), (s), (t) and (u)

 

Section 49 of the ARC Act specifies the annual funding caps for the purposes of Division 1 of Part 7 (financial assistance for approved research programs).

 

Item 2 repeals paragraphs 49(r), 49(s) and 49(t) and inserts new paragraphs 49(r), 49(s), 49(t), 49(u) and 49(v) so that approved annual funding caps must not exceed the following amounts:

 

·          $758,055,000 for the financial year starting on 1 July 2017;

·          $759,925,000 for the financial year starting on 1 July 2018;

·          $771,932,000 for the financial year starting on 1 July 2019;

·          $771,932,000 for the financial year starting on 1 July 2020; and

·          $771,932,000 for the financial year starting on 1 July 2021.