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Social Security Commission Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Security Commission Bill 2018

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Cathy McGowan AO MP



Social Security Commission Bill 2018

 

 

OUTLINE

 

We pride ourselves on providing support for those in need. As a nation we must ensure that the social safety net is sufficient in times of need.

 

The current system of setting payment rates has fallen behind community expectations. Payments should be responsive to the broader changes in community living standards, maintain purchasing power in line with wage and cost of living increases and ultimately provide a stable domestic environment.

 

Regular reviews of social security payment adequacy would ensure recipients have a standard of living that allows them to live with frugal dignity, as they look for work, or study, and/or support children. 

 

The objective of this bill is to implement an evidence based approach that is independent of Government to identify the appropriate rate of social security payments. 

 

This bill will establish a Social Security Commission to provide the Parliament with independent advice on the minimum levels for social security payments, such that all recipients can meet an accepted contemporary minimum standard of living.

 

The primary function of the Commission is to conduct social security payment reviews. As part of a review the Commission must determine, for each social security payment reviewed:

(a)       the acceptable standard of living for recipients of the payment; and

(b)       whether the current level of the payment provides adequate support to meet that standard; and

(c)        if the Commission determines that the current level, or rate of indexation, of the payment does not provide adequate support to meet that standard—a recommended increase to the level of the payment, or recommended change to the rate of indexation of the payment, that the Commonwealth Government should adopt.

 

The Commission will consider all social security payments made under the Social Security Act 1991 . The Commission must ensure that each social security payment is the subject of at least one social security payment review every 4 years.

 

In determining the acceptable standard of living for recipients of a social security payment,

the Commission must take into account broader changes in community living standards, wage increases, and contemporary accepted budget standards to meet minimum standards of living.

 

An acceptable standard of living (including housing costs), must not result in recipients falling below the poverty line using international accepted definitions of “poverty line”.

 

The Commission will also have a role in conducting reviews at the request of the Minister or the Parliament , the terms of these review will be set out in written instruments or by resolution of either house of the Parliament, respectively. 

 

The Commission will be required to undertake reviews in a transparent manner, and publish submissions and final reports. The Commission must ensure a reasonable opportunity for interested parties to make comments for consideration in a review, on the material published.

 

The Minister will be required to table the reviews in both houses of the Parliament and provide a detailed response to the Commission’s recommendations.

FINANCIAL IMPACT

The bill will have no financial impact.

NOTES ON CLAUSES

Section 1: Short title

Section 1 is a formal provision specifying the short title of the Act.

Section 2: Commencement

Sections 1 and 2 in this Act commence on the day the Act receives the Royal Assent.

Sections 3 to 46 commence on the day the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated under an Act to the Department in which this Act is administered for payment to the Commissioner.

Section 3: Principle Object

Outlines that the principle objects of the Bill is to ensure living standards of people relying on social security payments reflect the broader changes in community living standards and maintain purchasing power, in line with wage and cost of living increases.

The bill establishes a Social Security Commission to provide the Parliament with independent advice on the minimum levels for social security payments, such that all recipients can meet an accepted contemporary minimum standard of living.

Section 4: Definitions

Section 4 provides definitions for terms used in the Act.

Section 5: Crown to be bound

Section 5 provides that the Crown in right of the Commonwealth will be bound by the bill.

Section 6:     Extension to external Territories

Section 6 provides that the bill extends to every external Territory.

PART 2—The Social Security Commission

Section 7:     Establishment of the Social Security Commission

Section 7 provides that the Social Security Commission is to be established, consisting of the President; and four Commissioners.

A note at the end of Section 7 explains that the Commission also has a General Manager and staff (see Part 4).

Section 8:     Functions of the Commission

Section 8 provides that the functions of the Commission are:

(a)       to research, collect, analyses, interpret and disseminate information and knowledge relating to social security payments and defining a fair and acceptable safety net;

(b)       to conduct social security payment reviews;

(c)        to conduct reviews, relating to social security payments, at the request of the Minister or the Parliament;

(d)       any other functions conferred on the Commission under this Act or any other law;

(e)       to undertake activities to promote public understanding of matters relevant to any of the above functions;

(f)        to do anything incidental or conducive to the performance of any of the above functions.

Section 9:     Powers of the Commission

Section 9 provides that the Commission has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions.

Section 10:   Directions by the President

Section 10 (1) provides that President of the commission may give directions as to the manner in which the Commission is to perform its functions, exercise its powers or deal with matters.

Subsection 10 (2) provides that President may give a direction that is of a general nature, or that relates to a particular matter, to either or both a Commissioner or the General Manager.

Section 10 (3) provides that the direction must not relate to the recommendations to be set out in a report of a review under this Act.

Section 10 (4) provides that person to whom a direction is given must comply with the direction.

A note at the end of Section 10 (4) explains that for directions to the General Manager, see Section 32.

Section 10 (4) provides that if a direction is in writi ng, the direction is not a legislative instrument .

Section 11:   Social security payment reviews

Section 11 (1) provides that the Commission will conduct social security payment reviews

Section 11 (2) defines a social security payment review as a review of the sufficiency of one or more social security payments. As part of a review the Commission must determine, for each social security payment reviewed:

(a)       the acceptable standard of living for recipients of the payment; and

(b)       whether the current level of the payment provides adequate support to meet that standard; and

(c)        if the Commission determines that the current level, or rate of indexation, of the payment does not provide adequate support to meet that standard—a recommended increase to the level of the payment, or recommended change to the rate of indexation of the payment, that the Commonwealth Government should adopt.

Section 11 (3) provides that for the purpose of making a determination about a social security payment, the Commission must take into account, to the extent that it considers appropriate, the terms upon which the payment is provided (including means-testing for the receipt of or withdrawal of payments) and any other sources of income that may be available to the recipients.

Section 11 (4) outlines that in determining the acceptable standard of living for recipients of a social security payment:

(a)       the Commission must take into account broader changes in community living standards, wage increases, and contemporary accepted budget standards to meet minimum standards of living; and

(b)       an acceptable standard of living (including housing costs) must not result in recipients falling below the poverty line, using internationally accepted definitions of “poverty line”.

Section 11 (5) provides that any increase to the level of a payment, or change to a rate of indexation, recommended in accordance with paragraph (2)(c) must be such as to, in the Commission’s opinion, provide adequate support to meet the standard referred to in paragraph (2)(a).

Section 11 (6) provides that subject to subsections (7) and (8), the Commission may conduct a social security payment review on its own initiative or at the request of an organisation that represents persons in receipt of one or more social security payments.

Section 11 (7) provides that the Commission must conduct a social security payment review in relation to a social security payment, if

(a)       the Minister, by written instrument given to the President, requests the Commission to conduct a social security payment review relating to that payment; or

(b)       either House of the Parliament, by resolution, requests the Commission to conduct a social security payment review relating to that payment.

Section 11 (8) provides that the Commission must ensure that each social security payment is the subject of at least one social security payment review every 4 years.

Section 12:   Reviews at the request of the Minister or the Parliament   

Section 12 (1) (a) outlines that a social security payment review can be requested by the Minister, by written instrument given to the President, requests the Commission to conduct a review under this section of such matters relating to social security payments as are specified in the instrument.

Section 12 (1) (b)  outlines that a social security payment review can be requested by either Houses of the Parliament, by resolution, request the Commission to conduct a review under this section of such matters relating to social security payments as are specified in the resolution.

Section 12 (2) provides that the Commission is to conduct a review of matters provided in Section 12 (1)(a) or (b).

Section 12 (3) provides that an instrument given under paragraph (1)(a) is not considered a legislative instrument .

Section 13:   Procedures etc.

Section 13 (1) provides that subject to this bill, the Commission may determine the procedures it will use in performing its functions.

Section 13 (2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Commission may determine the following:

            (a)       the timing and frequency of social security payment reviews;

            (b)       the scope of particular social security payment reviews;

(c)        the manner in which social security payment reviews, or reviews under section 12, are to be conducted.

Section 13 (3) The Commission must use its best endeavours to give a report of a social security payment review to the Minister at a time when it can be taken into account in the preparation of an annual Commonwealth budget.

Section 13 (4) For the purposes of performing its functions, the Commission may inform itself in any way it thinks appropriate, including by:

            (a)       undertaking or commissioning research; or

            (b)       consulting with any other person, body or organisation.

Section 14:   Constitution of the Commission

Section 14 (1) Subject to subsection (2), a function or power of the Commission must be performed or exercised by the President and the 4 Commissioners.

Section 14 (2) If the President considers it necessary in circumstances where one or more Commissioners are unavailable, the President may determine that, for the purposes of performing or exercising its functions or powers in those circumstances, the Commission is to be constituted by the President and no fewer than 2 Commissioners.

Section 15:   Reviews to be open and transparent

Section 15 (1) a review under this Act must be conducted in a manner that is open and transparent.

Section 15 (2) Without limiting subsection (1), the Commission must, in relation to each review, ensure that all persons and bodies have a reasonable opportunity to make written submissions to the Commission for consideration in the review.

Section 15 (3) provides that the Commission must publish all submissions made to the Commission for consideration in the review.

Section 15 (4) However, if a submission made by a person or body includes information that is claimed by the person or body to be confidential or commercially sensitive, and the Commission is satisfied that the information is confidential or commercially sensitive, the Commission:

            (a)       may decide not to publish the information; and

            (b)       may instead publish:

(i)         a summary of the information which contains sufficient detail to allow a reasonable understanding of the substance of the information (without disclosing anything that is confidential or commercially sensitive); or

(ii)        if the Commission considers that it is not practicable to prepare a summary that would comply with subparagraph (i)—a statement that confidential or commercially sensitive information in the submission has not been published.

Section 15 (5) The Commission must ensure that all persons and bodies have a reasonable opportunity to make comments to the Commission, for consideration in the review, on the material published under subsections (3) and (4).

Section 15 (6) The publishing of material under subsections (3) and (4) may be done in any way the Commission thinks appropriate.

Section 16:   Reports of reviews

Section 16 provides that the Commission must prepare and give to the Minister a report of:

(a)       a social security payment review; or

(b)       a review under section 12 (reviews at the request of the Minister or the Parliament).

Section 17:   Reports of reviews—contents

Section 17 (1) provides that a report of a social security payment review must set out the following for each social security payment reviewed:

            (a)       information and research in regard to the sufficiency of the payment;

(b)       the acceptable standard of living for recipients of the payment (see paragraph 11(2)(a));

(c)        whether the current level of the payment provides adequate support to meet that standard (see paragraph 11(2)(b));

(d)       any recommended increase to the level of the payment or change to the rate of indexation of the payment (see paragraph 11(2)(c)).

(2)       A report of a social security payment review may set out any other recommendations to the Commonwealth Government.

(3)       The members must use their best endeavours to come to a unanimous decision in making a recommendation to the Commonwealth Government in a report of a social security payment review. If a recommendation is not unanimous, the report must be written in such a way that the matters of agreement and difference are disclosed.

Section 17 (4) provides guidance on providing recommendations for reviews other than a social security payment review.

(4)       A report of a review under this Act, other than a social security payment review, may set out recommendations to the Commonwealth Government.

Sections (5) and (6) relate to considerations of the Commission when formulating recommendations.

(5)       In formulating a recommendation that the Commonwealth Government should take particular action (including a recommendation of a kind referred to in paragraph (1)(d)), the Commission must analyse the costs and benefits of that action.

(6)       Subsection (5) does not prevent the Commission from taking other matters into account in formulating a recommendation.

Section (7) provides that the Commission must provide the reasons for the recommendations:

(7)       If a report of a review under this Act sets out one or more recommendations to the Commonwealth Government, the report must set out the Commission’s reasons for those recommendations.

Section 18:   Government required to respond to recommendations

Section 18 provides details on what the Government must provide in response to the Commissions reports:

(1)       If a report of a social security payment review, or of a review under section 12 at the request of the Parliament, sets out one or more recommendations to the Commonwealth Government, the Minister must, as soon as practicable after receiving the report, cause to be prepared a statement setting out the Commonwealth Government’s response to each of the recommendations.

 (2)      Without limiting subsection (1), if a report of a social security payment review sets out a recommendation of the kind referred to in paragraph 17(1)(d), the statement must:

(a)       set out whether the Commonwealth Government accepts the recommendation; and

(b)       if the Commonwealth Government accepts the recommendation—the actions the Commonwealth Government proposes to take to implement the recommendation; and

(c)        if the Commonwealth Government does not accept the recommendation—the reasons for not accepting the recommendation.

 (3)      The Minister must cause a statement prepared in accordance with subsection (1) to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 6 months after receiving the report to which the statement relates.

Section 19: Reports of reviews—tabling and publication  

Section 19 deals with the tabling of the Commissions reports of reviews in parliament.

Section 19 (1) provides that the Minister mu st cause copies of a report of a review under this Act to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 5 sittings days of that House after receiving the report.

Section 19 (2) provides the Commission must publish a report of a review under this bill.

(a) for a report of a social security payment review or of a review under section 12 at the request of the Parliament—as soon as practicable after giving it to the Minister; and

(b) for a report of a review under section 12 at the request of the Minister—as soon as practicable after the report is tabled in each House of the Parliament.

Section 19 (3) provides that a report may be published in any way the Commission thinks appropriate.

Section 20: Publication of other information

Section 20 provides for the Commission, as it thinks appropriate and in any way it thinks appropriate, publish any information about the functions conferred on it by this bill or any other Act.

Section 21: Annual report

Section 21 provides that the Commission is to prepare an annual report. The annual report prepared by the General Manager and given to the Minister under section 46 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 for a period must include a report from the President on the operations of the Commission during that period.

PART 3—Members of the Social Security Commission

Section 22:   Appointment of members

Section 22 (1) outlines the process of appointment of members of the Commission. A member is to be appointed by the Minister by written instrument.

Section 22 (2) outlines that before appointing a member, the Minister must consult with:

            (a)       representative bodies; and

            (b)       the States; and

            (c)        the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives.

Section 22 (3) outlines that a person must not be appointed as a member unless the person has a high level of skills and experience relevant to providing advice on social security payments, including skills and experience in::

            (a)       academic research; or

            (b)       business or economics; or

            (c)        social and community organisations.

Section 22 (4) requires that the instrument of appointment of a member must specify whether the member is appointed as:

            (a)       the President; or

            (b)       a Commissioner.

Section 22 (5) provides that a member may be appointed on a full time or part time basis, as specified in the instrument of appointment, and holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years.

A note after this section explains that a member may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

Section 23:   Remuneration

Section 23 (1) outlines that a member is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the member is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulation s.

Section 23 (2) outlines that a member is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

Section 23 (3) outlines that this section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

Section 24:   Leave of absence

Section 24 (1) outlines that if a member is appointed on a full-time basis:

(a)   the member has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal; and

(b)   the Minister may grant the member leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Minister determines.

Section 24 (2) outlines that if the member is appointed on a part-time basis, the Minister may grant leave of absence to the member on the terms and conditions that the Minister determines.

Section 25:   Oath or affirmation of office

Section 25 outlines that a member must, before proceeding to discharge the duties of the office to which he or she has been appointed, take before the Governor-General, a Justice of the High Court, a Judge of the Federal Court or a Judge of the Supreme Court of a State or Territory an oath or affirmation .

Section 26:   Other paid work and disclosure of interests

Section 26 (1) outlines that a member who is appointed on a full-time basis must not engage in paid work outside the duties of his or her office without the Minister’s approval.

Section 26 (2) outlines that a member who is appointed on a part-time basis must not engage in any paid work that conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of his or her duties.

Section 26 (3) outlines that a member must give written notice to the Minister of all interests (pecuniary or otherwise) that the member has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of his or her functions.

Section 26 (4) outlines that subsection (3) applies in addition to any rules made for the purposes of section 29 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Section 27:   Resignation

Section 27 (1) outlines that a member may resign his or her appointment by giving the Governor-General a written resignation.

Section 27 (2) provides that the resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the governor-General or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

Section 28:   Termination of appointment

Section 28(1) provides that the Governor-General may terminate the appointment of a member:

(a)       for misbehaviour; or

(b)       if the member is unable to perform the duties of his or her office because of physical or mental incapacity.

Section 28(2) provides that the Governor-General may terminate the appointment of a member if:

(a)       the member:

(i) becomes bankrupt; or

(ii)        applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

    (iii)       compounds with his or her creditors; or

(iv)       makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

(b)       the member is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

(c)        the member engages, except with the Minister’s approval, in paid work outside the duties of his or her office (see section 25); or

(d)       the member fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection 25(3) (disclosure of interests); or

(e)       the member fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 29 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (which deals with the duty to disclose interests) or rules made for the purposes of that section.

Section 29:   Other terms and conditions

Section 29 provides that a member holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Act that are determined by the Minister.

Section 30:   Acting members

Section 30(1) provides that the Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person who meets the requirements set out in subsection 21(3) to act as President:

(a)       during a vacancy in the office of the President (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

(b)       during any period, or during all periods, when the President is absent from duty or from Australia, or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

Section 30 (2) provides that the Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person who meets the requirement set out in subsection 21(3) to act as a Commissioner:

(a)       during a vacancy in the office of a Commissioner (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

(b)       during any period, or during all periods, when a Commissioner is acting as President, is absent from duty or from Australia, or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

PART 4—General Manager, staff and consultants etc

Section 31:   Establishment

Section 31 provides that there is to be a General Manager of the Commission.

Section 32:   Functions and powers of the General Manager

Section 32 (1) provides that the General Manager is to assist the President in ensuring that the Commission performs its functions and exercises its powers.

Section 32 (2) provides that the General Manager has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for the purpose of performing his or her functions.

Section 33:   Directions from the President

Section 33 (1) Despite the President’s power of direction under section 10, the General Manager is not required to comply with a direction by the President to the extent that:

(a)       compliance with the direction would be inconsistent with the General Manager’s performance of functions or exercise of powers under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 in relation to the Commission; or

(b)       the direction relates to the General Manager’s performance of functions or exercise of powers under the Public Service Act 1999 in relation to the Commission.

Section 34:   Appointment of the General Manager

Section 34 (1) provides that the General Manager is to be appointed by the Minister by written instrument on the nomination of the President.

Section 34 (2) provides that the General Manager holds office on a full-time basis for the period specified in his or her instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years.

A note at the bottom of this section explains that the General Manager may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

Section 35:   Remuneration

Section 35 (1) provides that the General Manager is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the General Manager is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

Section 35 (2) provides that the General Manager is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

Section 35 (3) provides that this section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .

Section 36:   Leave of absence

Section 36 (1) provides that the General Manager has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Section 36 (2) provides that the Minister may grant the General Manager leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Minister determines.

Section 37:   Other paid work and disclosure of interests

Section 37 (1) provides that the General Manager must not engage in paid work outside the duties of his or her office without the Minister’s approval.

Section 37 (2) provides that the General Manager must give written notice to the Minister of all interests (pecuniary or otherwise) that the General Manager has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of his or her duties.

Section 37 (3) provides that Subsection (2) applies in addition to any rules made for the purposes of section 29 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 .

Section 38:   Resignation

Section 38 (1) provides that the General Manager may resign his or her appointment by giving the Minister a written resignation.

Section 38 (2) provides that the resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Minister or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

Section 39:   Termination of appointment

Section 39 (1) provides that Minister may terminate the appointment of the General Manager:

(a)       for misbehaviour ; or

(b)       if the General Manager is unable to perform the duties of his or her office because of physical or mental incapacity.

Section 39 (2) provides that the Minister may terminate the appointment of the General Manager if:

(a)       the General Manager:

(i)         becomes bankrupt; or

(ii)        applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

            (iii)       compounds with his or her creditors; or

(iv)       makes an assignment of his or her remuneration for the benefit of his or her creditors; or

(b)       the General Manager is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months; or

(c)        the General Manager engages, except with the Minister’s approval, in paid work outside the duties of his or her office (see section 36); or

(d)       the General Manager fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with subsection 36(2) (disclosure of interests); or

(e)       the General Manager fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 29 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (which deals with the duty to disclose interests) or rules made for the purposes of that section.

Section 40:   Other terms and conditions

Section 40 (1) provides that the General Manager holds office on the terms and conditions (if any) in relation to matters not covered by this Act that are determined by the Minister.

Section 41:   Acting General Manager

Section 41 (1) provides that the the Minister may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the General Manager:

(a)       during a vacancy in the office of the General Manager (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

(b)       during any period, or during all periods, when the General Manager is absent from duty or from Australia, or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

Section 42:   Staff

Section 41 (1) provides that the staff of the Commission must be persons engaged under the Public Service Act 1999.

Section 41 (2) provides that the purposes of the Public Service Act 1999:

(a)       the General Manager and the staff of the Commission together constitute a Statutory Agency; and

(b)       the General Manager is the Head of that Statutory Agency.

Section 43:   Delegation by General Manager to staff

Section 43 (1) provides that the General Manager may, in writing, delegate all or any of his or her functions or powers to:

(a)       a member of the staff of the Commission who is an SES employee or acting SES employee; or

(b)       a member of the staff of the Commission who is in a class of employees prescribed by the regulations.

Section 43 (2) provides that in performing functions or exercising powers under a delegation, the delegate must comply with any directions of the General Manager.

A note at the end of Section 43 makes reference to sections 34AA and 34AB of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 .

Section 44:   Persons assisting the Commission

Section 44 provides the Commission may also be assisted:

(a)       by employees of Agencies (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1999); or

(b)       by officers and employees of a State or Territory; or

(c)        by officers and employees of authorities of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory;

whose services are made available to the Commissions in connection with the performance of any of its functions.

Section 45:   Consultants

The General Manager may engage persons having suitable qualifications and experience as consultants to the Commission.

Section 46:   Application of the finance law

For the purposes of the finance law (within the meaning of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013):

(a)       the Commission is a listed entity; and

(b)       the General Manager is the accountable authority of the Commission; and

(c)        the following persons are officials of the Commission:

                 (i) the President;

                 (ii) the Commissioners;

                 (iii) the General Manager;

                 (iv) the staff of the Commission referred to in section 41;

(v) persons whose services are made available to the Commission under section 43;

                 (vi)consultants engaged under section 44; and

(d)       the purposes of the Commission include:

                 (i) the functions of the Commission referred to in section 8; and

                 (ii) the functions of the General Manager referred to in section 31.

PART 5—Miscellaneous

Section 47:   Regulations

Section 47 provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters:

(a)       required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed by the regulations; or

(b)       necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

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

 

Social Security Commission Bill 2018

 

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 .

 

Overview of the bill

 

This bill will establish a Social Security Commission provide the Parliament with independent advice on the minimum levels for social security payments, such that all recipients can meet an accepted contemporary minimum standard of living.

 

Human rights implications

 

The bill promotes human rights ensuring the social security system provides a minimum essential level of benefits to all individuals and families that will enable them to acquire essential health care, shelter and housing, water and sanitation, foodstuffs, and access to education.

 

The bill promotes the rights defined under Article 9 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), article 5(e)(iv) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD), articles 11(1)(e) and 14(2)(c) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, article 26 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of people with disability (CRPD).

 

Conclusion

 

This bill is compatible with human rights because it advances the protection of Human Rights, in particular it promotes the right to social security.

 

 

 

 

Cathy McGowan AO MP