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Parliamentary Service Bill 1999

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1998-99

 

 

 

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

 

House of Representatives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Service Bill 1999

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supplementary Explanatory Memorandum

 

(Circulated by authority of Mr Speaker)

 



Following negotiations between the Government and the Opposition, agreement was reached on amendments to be moved by the Government to the Public Service Bill 1999. Similar amendments are proposed to be moved on behalf of the Presiding Officers to the Parliamentary Service Bill 1999.

 

The Parliamentary Service Bill 1999 follows, as far as possible, the philosophy, content and structure of the Public Service Bill, to ensure comparability of practices and values between the Parliamentary Service and the Public Service and to maintain the professional attraction of the Parliamentary Service as a career choice.

 

The amendments make the following principal changes to the bill:

 

·          the introduction of four new Parliamentary Service Values to emphasise equity in employment, access to employment and the career-service nature of the Parliamentary Service and to introduce a framework for review of employment-related decisions

 

·          revised wording for the Parliamentary Service Values to highlight the diversity of the Australian community, to stress that accountability must be open to recognise the contributions of Parliamentary Service employees

 

·          a requirement that departmental and Commissioners’ Annual Reports conform with guidelines issued by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit

 

·          the creation of an advisory role for the Remuneration Tribunal in relation to salaries for statutory office holders and departmental heads

 

·          requirements that a range of Presiding Officers directions, principally remuneration related, will have to be tabled and published in the Gazette

 

·          the creation of three categories of Parliamentary Service employment: ongoing, fixed term and intermittent.

 

Amendments to the Public Service Bill 1999 which have not been adapted for the Parliamentary Service Bill relate to:

 

·          Executive Agencies, which the Parliamentary Service will not have

 

·          the application of the Privacy Act and Freedom of Information Act, neither of which will apply to the Parliament

 

·          a Public Service Value for which there is no parallel Parliamentary Service Value

 

Tables 1 and 2 show the correspondences between the Government’s amendments to the Public Service Bill and the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill, and the Presiding Officers’ amendments to the Parliamentary Service Bill. For specific explanations of the amendments, the reader is referred to the Supplementary Explanatory Memoranda in relation to the Government’s amendments.

 

Table 1: Correspondence between Government amendments to the Public Service Bill 1999 and Presiding Officers’ amendments to the Parliamentary Service Bill 1999

 

Government Amendment (sheet VW213)

Corresponding Presiding Officers’ amendment (sheet 1553)

1

1

2

2

-

3 +

3

-

4

5

5

4

6

-

7

6

8

7

9

8

10

9

11

10

12

11

13

12

14

13

15

14

16

15

17

16

18

17

19

18

20

19

21

20

22

21

23

22

24

23

25

-

26

-

27

-

28

24

29

-

30

25

31

26

32

27

33

-

34

28

35

28

36

29

37

-

38

31

39

30, 32

40

33

41

34

42

-

43

-

44

-

45

-

46

-

47

-

48

-

49

35

50

-

51

-

52

36

-

43*

 

+       This amendment is a consequential amendment to amendments which remove the exemption for the termination of secretaries and SES employees from Division 3 of Part VIA of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 . There is no equivalent amendment to the Public Service Bill 1999 because the original clauses differed slightly in their drafting.

 

*     This amendment is a technical correction to the Parliamentary Service (Consequential Amendments) Act 1997 which has not yet come into effect. That Act inserts into the Archives Act 1983 a definition of Parliamentary Departments . As the Archives Act 1983 already contains such a definition, it is necessary to repeal the existing definition before inserting a new one.

 

 

Table 2: Correspondence between Government amendments to the Public Employment (Consequential and Transitional) Amendment Bill 1999 and Presiding Officers’ amendments to the Parliamentary Service Bill 1999

 

Government amendments (sheet VW214)

Presiding Officers’ amendments (sheet 1553 [cont])

1

-

2

-

3

37

4

-

5

38

6

39

7

40

8

41

9

42

10

-**

 

**   There is a Presiding Officers’ amendment to Government amendment (10) to insert a further amendment into the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 to provide for the Tribunal to give advice in relation to the terms and conditions of the Parliamentary Service Commissioner, the Parliamentary Service Merit Protection Commissioner and the Secretaries of the Parliamentary Departments. This amendment is consequential on Presiding Officers’ amendments (24), (27) and (32).

 

The Presiding Officers’ amendments differ in only minor ways from the Government’s amendments to the Public Service Bill 1999. The differences reflect the environmental differences between the Public Service and the Parliamentary Service. For example, where a Government amendment requires a determination to be published in the Gazette (amendments (13), (30), (35), (40) and (44)), the corresponding amendment to the Parliamentary Service Bill requires that the determination also be tabled in the appropriate House ((12), (25), (28) and (33) respectively—there is no corresponding amendment to Government (44)).