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Parliamentary Counsel Act - Office of Parliamentary Counsel - Report - 1994-95


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Office of Parliamentary Counsel

Annual Report 1994-95

Australian Government Publishing Service Canberra

© Commonwealth of Australia 1995

ISSN 1034-3202

This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Australian Government Publishing Service. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction

and rights should be addressed to the Manager, Commonwealth Information Services, Australian Government Publishing Service, GPO Box 84, Canberra ACT 2601.

Produced by the Australian Government Publishing Service

COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

Telephone (06) 270 1400 Fax (06) 270 1403

OFFICE OF PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL MTA HOUSE

Locked Bag 30 Queen Victoria Terrace A.C.T. 2600

39 BRISBANE AVENUE BARTON A.C.T. 2600

10 October 1995

The Hon Michael Lavarch MP Attorney-General Parliament House CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Attorney-General

I have pleasure in submitting the Annual Report and Financial Statements of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel for the year 1 July 1994 to 30 June

The report has been prepared under section 16A of the Parliamentary Counsel Act 1970.

Yours sincerely,

1995.

Hilary Penfold First Parliamentary Counsel

Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Establishment and functions 1.2 Corporate objectives 1.3 Structure of the report

2. Corporate overview

2.1 Structure and senior management 2.2 Senior staffing changes 2.3 Working arrangements 2.4 Recruitment and resources 2.5 Staff development 2.6 Workplace bargaining 2.7 Program structure 2.8 Social justice and equity within the Office 2.9 Implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity Program 2.10 Social justice and equity in the work of the Office 2.11 Internal scrutiny 2.12 External scrutiny 2.13 Client satisfaction

3. Industrial democracy

3.1 Principles and aims 3.2 The Industrial Democracy Plan 3.3 Staff meetings 3.4 Office committees 3.5 Other matters

4. Occupational health and safety

4.1 General 4.2 Occupational Stress Review 4.3 Other activities 4.4 Accidents and dangerous occurrences

5. Freedom of information

6. Advertising and market research

7. Program performance reporting

7 .1 Financial Statements 7.2 Financial and staffing resources summary

7.3 Summary table of resources 7.4 The legislation program 7.5 Simplification task forces 7.6 Drafting style 7.7 Other activities

8. Contact officer for additional information

Appendix A to Annual Report: Occupational Health and Safety Policy Statement Appendix B to Annual Report: Functional Statement — Freedom of Information Act Appendix C to Annual Report: Staffing overview Appendix D to Annual Report: Financial Statements 1994-95

Alphabetical index

Compliance index

1. Introduction This report has been prepared under section 16A of the Parliamentary Counsel Act 1970. It covers the activities of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel during the year 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995.

1.1 Establishment and functions

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel was established under the

Parliamentary Counsel Act 1970.

The functions of the Office, set out in section 3 of the Act, are:

(a) drafting proposed laws for introduction into either House of the Parliament;

(b) drafting amendments of proposed laws that are being considered by either House of the Parliament;

(c) functions incidental to those functions.

1.2 Corporate objectives The Office has a corporate plan which sets out the following objectives:

• to provide a timely and high quality service in the performance of its functions;

• to make legislation as clear as possible, consistently with maintaining precision;

• to promote the development of new approaches to legislative drafting to reflect changes in legal policy and in the expectations of the

community;

• to pursue staff development so that the best use is made of the human resources available to the Office and career advancement opportunities for all staff are enhanced;

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to promote the efficient and effective management of all the resources of the Office.

1.3 Structure of the report The main body of this report is divided into Parts. The larger Parts are divided into numbered items.

The following is an outline of the main features of this report:

• Part 2 sets out a corporate overview for the Office and includes

information about the following matters:

— structure and senior management;

— significant developments in the management of the Office;

— program structure;

— social justice and equity (including equal employment

opportunity);

— external scrutiny (including by parliamentary committees).

• Part 3 reports on the Office’s industrial democracy activities.

• Part 4 reports on the Office’s occupational health and safety

activities.

• Part 5 reports on the Office’s freedom of information activities.

• Part 6 reports on the Office’s advertising and market research activities.

• Part 7 reports on the Office’s program performance.

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• Part 8 sets out the Office’s contact officer for additional

information.

• A staffing overview for the Office is set out in Appendix C.

• The Office’s financial statements are set out in Appendix D.

3

2. Corporate overview 2.1 Structure and senior management

The senior management structure of OPC is set out on the following page.

The Second Parliamentary Counsel, and all substantive SES officers, work directly to First Parliamentary Counsel.

2.2 Senior staffing changes

The statutory offices were filled as follows throughout the year:

First Parliamentary Counsel: Hilary Penfold

Second Parliamentary Counsel: Eric Wright

Second Parliamentary Counsel: Thomas Reid.

Information about staffing changes in the Office is set out in items 2.4 and 7.5 and Appendix C.

2.3 Working arrangements

The modified ‘pairs’ system introduced in 1993 continued in operation during the year. This system involves the creation of drafting teams. Some of these teams involve a single SES drafter and non-SES drafter, but others

involve 3 or even 4 drafters working together in a variety of arrangements.

2.4 Recruitment and resources

The intensive recruitment process begun in 1993 has continued. During the year, the Office has advertised drafting positions at all levels below Second Parliamentary Counsel.

• An SES Band 2 position and an SES Band 1 position were filled from within the Office.

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ERIC WRIGHT

2ND PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

TOM REID

2ND PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

HILARY PENFOLD FIRST PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

(ON SECONDMENT TO TAX LA WSIMPRO VEMENT PROJECT)

KEITH BYLES FARC

VINCE ROBINSON FAPC

KERRYJONES FAPC

STEVE REYNOLDS FAPC

ADRIAN VAN WIERST FAPC

PIERRE LEGUEN FAPC

PAUL LANSPEARY (ACTING) FAPC

(POSITION FUNDED BY CORPORATIONS TASKFORCE)

VACANT SAPC

VACANT (WEBSTER) SAPC

PETER QUIGGIN SAPC

VACANT SAPC

VACANT (PAUL LANSPEARY) SAPC

IAIN MCMILLAN SAPC

FAPC = FIRST ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL (SES BAND 2)

(OCCUPANT ON EXTENDED LEAVE OVERSEAS)

SAPC = SENIOR ASSISTANT PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL (SES BAND 1)

• Other vacant SES Band 1 positions were not able to be filled from within or outside the Office.

• Five Legal 2 positions were filled from within the Office.

• Five Legal 1 positions were filled from outside the Office.

Two SES Band 1 positions in the Office have been vacant throughout the year. There have been actual vacancies in another 2 SES Band 1 positions for parts of the year. As well, no-one has been acting in Mr Reid’s Second Parliamentary Counsel position during his secondment to the Tax Law Improvement Project. In other words, 5 out of 14 senior drafting positions in the Office were not filled for some or all of the year.

The SES Band 2 position filled during the year was created in January 1995 to head the Regulatory Review Unit (created in the ‘Working Nation’ White Paper). No new proposals for rewriting regulatory legislation have yet been finalised and the occupant of the position has been fully occupied drafting Bills on the normal legislation program.

Another SES Band 2 position will be created in 1996 to head the Law Revision Unit (created in the Justice Statement released in May 1995).

2.5 Staff development One SES Band 1 officer participated in the PSC-sponsored Australian Government Executive Program.

One newly promoted SES Band 2 officer participated in the PSC-sponsored Senior Executive Leadership Program.

Full-day programs of training in communication and team-working skills were presented by a private sector management consultant to:

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SES supervisors;

non-SES drafters;

non-drafting staff.

Seminars on drafting techniques have been presented by drafters seconded to simplification task forces (see item 7.6.2), and by drafters working within the Office.

Document-testing sessions emphasising the importance of drafting for readability have been conducted with 3 drafting teams in the Office. These sessions will be conducted with all teams in due course (see items 7.6.3 and 7.6.4).

Seven female Administrative Service Officers participated in the Springboard program run by the ACT Small Agencies Human Resource Development Forum.

A total of 47 officers participated in some form of staff development activity during the year.

2.6 Workplace bargaining

A draft workplace bargaining agreement was settled between management and Community and Public Sector Union representatives. In October 1994, the agreement was voted on by CPSU members. Senior Officers voted not to participate in workplace bargaining but to retain performance pay.

Administrative Service Officers Classes 1 to 6 voted to reject the draft agreement.

2.7 Program structure

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel is sub-program 1.3 within the Attorney-General’s portfolio. The objective of the sub-program is:

To enable the Government to carry out its legislative program, and (subject to Government priorities), to assist private members with their legislative requirements, by drafting Bills and amendments of Bills and supplying them to the Parliament.

2.8 Social justice and equity within the Office

A copy of the Office’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program can be supplied on request.

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Two Administrative Service Officers Class 1 were recruited from the Aboriginal Order of Merit that is maintained by Recruitment Services Australia.

Seven female Administrative Service Officers participated in the Springboard program (see item 2.5).

The Office’s Sexual Harassment Officer attended a training course in workplace harassment. It outlined helping skills, problem solving techniques and the complaints process. The objective of the course was to provide officers with the necessary information and skills to handle workplace harassment issues and grievances effectively and confidently.

A female Legal 2 with young children participates in the APS Work and Family Contact Officers Network.

2.9 Implementation of Equal Employment Opportunity Program

The Office continued during the year to observe equal employment opportunity (EEO) principles in all employment matters. It has acted in accordance with the current EEO Program.

The following table contains the current EEO data for the Office. In respect of all EEO target groups other than women, the data is derived from the Continuous Record of Personnel. The response rate from staff to surveys to update the Continuous Record of Personnel is 75%. The data in respect of women is derived from general personnel records.

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Total

Staff

Women ATSI NESBl NESB2 PWD

Administrative Service

Officers

($21,917— $43,573)

26 21 2 1 2 1

Senior Officers (and

equivalent classifications)

($29,108— $60,915)

18 9 1

Senior Executive Service

Officers

($63,305-$87,755)

10 1* 1

Statutory Office Holders

($104,418-$ 126,760)

3 1 - - - -

TO TA L 57 32 2 2 2 2

ATSI NESB1

NESB2

PWD

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander

Non-English Speaking Background, first generation

Non-English Speaking Background, second generation

Person with a disability.

* Female SES officer currently on extended leave overseas.

There were no EEO-related grievances or harassment complaints during the year.

2.10 Social justice and equity in the work of the Office The Office has no involvement in Government decisions to legislate, nor in the formulation of Government policy in broad terms. For these reasons, the

Office has little scope in the administration of its program to implement

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recommendations of the 1992 Evaluation of the Commonwealth Access and Equity Strategy.

However, in drafting Bills, the Office has some opportunity to further social justice and equity.

• The Office has a role in ensuring that Bills raising various legal issues are referred for consideration by the Attorney-General’s Department. Relevant legal issues include intrusions on privacy, other threats to human rights, the need for administrative or judicial review and the availability of legal aid.

• The Office advises instructing agencies about proposed legislative provisions that may attract adverse comment from the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills (see Senate Standing Order 24 for the Committee’s terms of reference). Often the drafter’s warning is enough to persuade the instructing agency to drop its proposal.

• The Office continues to work on improving the accessibility of

legislation through improved drafting approaches (see item 7.6). It should be noted that efforts are entirely focused on improving the drafting of laws in English. Any plan to make Commonwealth laws

available in other languages would have massive resource implications and the benefits would be questionable.

• The Office drafted several Bills which could be seen as having

significant social justice and equity implications, in particular the Employment Services Bill 1994, the Supported Accommodation Assistance Bill 1994, the Human Rights (Sexual Conduct) Bill 1994, the Racial Hatred Bill 1994, the Human Rights Legislation

Amendment Bill 1995 and the Sex Discrimination Amendment Bill 1995. As usual, the Office drafted a substantial volume of legislation concerned with income protection, education, health and related matters.

Occasionally the Office has an opportunity to further social justice and equity by providing training in legislative drafting to lawyers from developing countries.

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During the year, the Office participated in a training program arranged for Mr D Pursem, Senior State Counsel, Mauritius. Mr Pursem spent several months in the Office working with a senior drafter. At the end of his

placement with the Office, Mr Pursem was very complimentary about the training that had been provided to him.

2.11 Internal scrutiny

An Office committee examined the Office’s ‘paste-up’ system (‘paste-ups’ are unofficial consolidations of Commonwealth Acts prepared in the Office using ‘cut-and-paste’ techniques). Recommendations for limiting the use of such consolidations in favour of commercially-available consolidations were

made and implemented.

2.12 External scrutiny

Few external bodies reported on matters directly concerning the Office during the year.

2.12.1 Senate Standing Committee fo r the Scrutiny o f Bills

The Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills examines all Bills introduced into the Parliament for breaches of principles set out in the Committee’s terms of reference. These principles relate to the operation rather than the drafting of Bills.

2.12.2 Parliamentary Committees

Many Bills are referred to other committees of the Parliament. Except in unusual cases, these committees do not concern themselves with the drafting of Bills. The Office is not aware of any reports by such committees this year that relate specifically to the drafting of the Bills concerned.

2.12.3 Audit Reports The following Audit Reports published during the year mentioned the Office: •

• Audit Report No. 12, 1994-95 (Audit Reports on 1993-94 Financial Statements of Commonwealth Entities).

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Audit Report No. 22, 1994-95 (Results of 1993-94 Financial Statement Audits of Commonwealth Entities).

2.12.4 Scrutiny o f Annual Reports (Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee, No. 2 of 1994, December 1994). This report included comments on the Office’s 1992-93 Annual Report. The comments are not relevant to annual reports prepared under the revised Guidelines that applied from 1994.

2.13 Client satisfaction

The Office does not conduct formal surveys of client satisfaction. However, First Parliamentary Counsel regularly receives written expressions of satisfaction and appreciation from clients. Among satisfied clients during the year were:

Department of Housing and Regional Development

Department of Employment, Education and Training

Australian Customs Service

Department of Finance

Insurance and Superannuation Commission

Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Australian Nature Conservation Agency

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Department of Human Services and Health

Department of Transport

Australian Taxation Office

Department of the Treasury

Environment Protection Agency

Department of Industry, Science and Technology

Department of Primary Industries and Energy

Expressions of client dissatisfaction with the work done by the Office are rare. No case of a dissatisfied client has been recorded during the year.

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However, many of the Office’s clients are dissatisfied, from time to time, by the unavailability of drafting resources for their particular projects. For a discussion of this issue see item 7.4.1.

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3. Industrial democracy 3.1 Principles and aims The Office of Parliamentary Counsel is committed to:

• the fullest possible participation by staff members in Office decisions; and • the fullest possible control by staff members over their work, work practices and working environment.

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel believes that a highly participative approach to management will:

• improve the quality of decision-making;

• improve staff morale and performance;

• enrich the working lives of staff members.

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel encourages each staff member to make an active contribution to the development of industrial democracy practices within the Office.

3.2 The Industrial Democracy Plan The current Plan, which sets out these principles and aims, was promulgated on 1 January 1994, after consultation with the then Public Sector Union.

The main consultative mechanism provided for by the Plan is a regular staff meeting. The Plan requires a staff meeting to be held at least once a year. During the year 6 staff meetings were held.

The Plan also provides for:

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2 staff-elected industrial democracy officers (currently one is a member of the legal staff and the other is a member of the non-legal staff); and

• a staff-elected grievance officer (currently a member of the non-legal staff).

All these officers are based in MTA House rather than outposted to other workplaces.

The main function of the industrial democracy officers is to call and chair staff meetings. They also help to disseminate general information on industrial democracy issues to staff in the Office.

The grievance officer is a first point of reference for a staff member with a grievance. The grievance officer collects information about the grievance and arranges to have the grievance taken up with the appropriate people. During the year, one grievance (a complaint of workplace harassment) was

raised and resolved informally.

3.3 Staff meetings General meetings of staff are held approximately once a month. These meetings have a core agenda that includes:

• a report from the First Parliamentary Counsel on work flow and other general Office issues;

• reports from representatives of the various operational groups in the Office;

e reports from the Office committees;

• a report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer.

Each of these reports is followed by an opportunity for staff to raise issues or ask questions about the area concerned. At the end of the meeting, staff are invited to raise any other matters of concern or interest.

During the year, representations were made on behalf of Community and Public Sector Union members to the effect that, while the staff meetings may be an appropriate way of disseminating information, they do not necessarily provide a suitable forum for raising matters of concern to staff. CPSU

members are doing further work on a proposal for other Office forums for such matters.

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3.4 Office committees The Office has 3 standing committees:

• the Staff Development Committee;

• the Occupational Health and Safety Committee;

• the Information Technology Committee.

These committees make it possible for interested staff to become involved in the real decision-making in the areas within the jurisdiction of the

committees.

The Staff Development Committee manages the Office’s staff development budget, oversees studies assistance, designs in-house seminar programs and approves proposals for attendance at seminars and courses.

The Information Technology Committee is responsible for minor policy and purchasing decisions. It also provides advice to First Parliamentary Counsel on major policy decisions and on alterations to the Information Technology Plan.

For further information about the Occupational Health and Safety

Committee, see Part 4.

During the year, a committee was convened to investigate and report on the Office’s paste-up system for providing up-to-date consolidations of Commonwealth Acts for internal Office use. Several changes to the paste­ ups arrangements have been made as a result of the recommendations of that committee (see item 2.11).

3.5 Other matters

CPSU members in the Office voted against a draft workplace bargain negotiated between management and CPSU negotiators (see item 2.6).

The Industrial Democracy Plan requires the industrial democracy officers to undertake an annual survey of the views of staff members on:

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• whether the Plan is working effectively; and

• whether any improvements can be made to the Plan.

The survey was carried out in April and May 1994. Twenty staff members (35%) responded. The responses indicated a high degree of satisfaction with the way the Plan is working (90% of respondents were satisfied with this). The only suggestion for alterations was that the Plan should deal specifically

with an aspect of the Office’s operations (the outposting of officers) that had developed since the Plan was first drafted.

In August 1994 the Employee Assistance Service of the ACT (EASACT) reported the results of an Occupational Stress Review conducted in the Office earlier in 1994 (see Part 4).

Two CPSU workplace delegates attended a course on industrial democracy conducted in the Attorney-General’s Department.

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4. Occupational health and safety 4.1 General

The Office is committed to a policy of ensuring at all times the health and safety of its staff. The Office’s health and safety policy is set out at

Appendix A.

The Office also has an agreement in place with the Community and Public Sector Union for the purposes of subsection 16(3) of the Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991 (the Act). The agreement spells out the responsibilities of both management and staff regarding health and safety in the workplace.

A new health and safety representative and a new deputy were elected during the year. The Office also has an Occupational Health and Safety Committee.

4.2 Occupational Stress Review

The report of the Occupational Stress Review conducted in the Office in early 1994 was given to First Parliamentary Counsel by the Employee Assistance Service of the ACT (EASACT) in August 1994.

In general, the Review revealed that staff in the Office are not experiencing regular, significant stress symptoms to a greater degree than would be expected in an average occupational population. However, the Review

identified several cases in which particular work groups within the Office were suffering slightly higher levels of particular kinds of strain than would normally be expected, and suggested ways of dealing with these cases.

In April 1995 the Office’s Occupational Health and Safety Committee gave First Parliamentary Counsel its comments and recommendations on the report. The report, and the Committee’s response, are being considered and further action will be taken in response to the report in 1995-96.

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4.3 Other activities

EASACT continues to provide a counselling service on a confidential basis to members of staff.

The induction program for new members of staff includes a course

specifically aimed at enhancing their awareness of the importance of health and safety issues in the workplace and emphasising the responsibilities of both staff and management in that regard.

A physiotherapist visited the Office on a regular basis to check whether furniture and plant were ergonomically sound and to discuss with members of staff any problems that they may have.

Eye tests have been encouraged for all new members of staff who use computers, and this will be followed up next year, when all staff will be tested.

The Office has paid the fees for all officers who were interested in taking a St John Ambulance First Aid course or were required to take such a course to maintain their accreditation.

The Office has continued to acquire videos, books and other publications for the occupational health and safety section in the library.

4.4 Accidents and dangerous occurrences

There were no accidents or dangerous occurrences during the year that required notification under section 68 of the Act. The Office has not been the subject of any investigation by the Commission for the Safety,

Rehabilitation and Compensation of Commonwealth Employees.

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5. Freedom of information A functional statement in relation to the Office, as required by section 8 of the Freedom o f Information Act 1982, is set out in Appendix B to this report.

Section 9 of the Freedom of Information Act requires copies of certain documents to be made available for inspection and purchase by members of the public. This Office does not have any documents to which that section applies.

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6. Advertising and market research During the year several vacant positions within the Office were advertised in the print media. The advertisements were placed, on our behalf, by the media advertising organisation Neville Jeffress which was paid an amount of

$6,006.84 for these services. The positions were also advertised in the Commonwealth Gazette at a cost of $1,158.86 which was paid to the Australian Government Publishing Service.

No other advertising or market research was undertaken by the Office.

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7. Program performance reporting 7.1 Financial Statements Full financial statements relating to the operation of the Office during the year are published with this report (Appendix D). For the purposes of these statements the Office administered, within Program No. 1 of the Attorney- General’s portfolio (‘Legal Services to the Commonwealth’), a sub-program entitled ‘Sub-Program No. 1.3. Office of Parliamentary Counsel’. The objectives of the sub-program and a description of its features are set out below.

• Objectives — To enable the Government to carry out its legislative program, and (subject to Government priorities) to assist private members with their legislative requirements, by drafting Bills and amendments of Bills and supplying them to the Parliament.

• Description — Before each Parliamentary sittings, the Government formulates the program of Bills that it requires to be drafted for the sittings. Since it may not be possible for all Bills on the program to be drafted, a drafting priority is given to each Bill.

• On the basis of this program, Departments or other agencies instruct drafters in the Office on the policy to be effected by the proposed Bills. The drafters consider the constitutional and legal background against which the legislation is to be framed, analyse the policy and determine the structure of the legislation. Then they draft the

legislation in terms intended to give effect, as precisely as possible, to the policy in as clear a manner as is possible.

• When a Bill is finally drafted, copies are obtained from the

Government Printer in sufficient numbers for consideration by the Parliament.

e If the Government decides to amend Bills during their passage through the Parliament, drafters in the Office prepare the necessary

amendments and provide sufficient copies to the Parliament.

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7.2 Financial and staffing resources summary

$(’000) and actual staff years

BUDGETARY (CASH) BASIS

Components of appropriations

Running costs

Program costs

(excl. running costs)

Total

Less adjustments

Total Outlays

Total Revenue

STAFFING

Staff years (actual)

Actual Budget (a) Actual

(1993-94) (1994-95) (1994-95)

4039 4592 4542

506 836 372

4545 5428 4914

50 354 354

4495 5074 4560

0 0 0

46.3 - 49.38

(a) Budget figures amended to include Additional Estimates.

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7.3 Summary table of resources RECONCILIATION OF PROGRAMS AND APPROPRIATION ELEMENTS FOR 1994-95

$ (’000)

A + B + C + D = E - F = G

Program

Number

Approp

Bills Nos

1 and 3

Approp

Bills Nos

2 and 4

Special

Approps

Annot Approps* Program Approps

Adjusts

(1)

Program Outlays

1.3 5,428 0 0 341 5,769 354 5,415

This table details the actual appropriations received by the Office during the year.

* Annotated Appropriations are a form of special appropriation to allow a Department or agency access to the money it earns or receives by way of reimbursement.

(1) Adjustments to derive outlays include receipt items classified as outlays.

7.4 The legislation program

7.4.1 The programming approach

The programming approach currently used by the Parliamentary Business Committee of the Cabinet (PBC) involves dividing the legislation planned for a parliamentary sittings into 4 categories.

• Category T ( ‘time critical’). These Bills are intended to be introduced and passed in a single Sittings.

• Category A . Most important after Category T. Generally intended for introduction but not passage.

• Category B. Next most important. Generally intended for

introduction but not passage.

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• Category C. Least important, or least likely to be ready for

introduction (eg because final policy is dependent on the findings of a review that will not be completed until late in the Sittings).

Some Bills in Categories A, B and C may not be intended for introduction in the Sittings concerned. These are Bills that are very large, or are required for consultation purposes well before introduction. Drafting of such Bills needs to be started well before the Sittings proposed for introduction.

First Parliamentary Counsel, in managing the drafting resources of the Office, applies this categorisation strictly. Subject to the possibility of achieving extra efficiencies through, for instance, deferring the drafting of a particular Bill until a drafter who is an expert in the relevant field is

available to work on it, Bills are drafted in order of priority. That is,

Category T Bills are drafted in preference to Category A Bills, which are drafted in preference to Category B Bills, and so on.

Drafters usually have several Bills of different categories allotted to them at the same time, so that some work may be done on lower category Bills during lulls in their higher category work (for instance while clients are considering a first draft of the higher category Bill).

This appears to be the most efficient way of ensuring that the maximum amount of the Government’s legislation program is drafted and, more importantly, that the Bills that do get drafted are those that the Government (as represented by PBC) regards as most important. Inevitably, however, work may not start on Category B or C Bills (or even some A Bills) for

some weeks or even months into the Sittings. This can be a source of dissatisfaction to departmental officers who have been required to lodge their drafting instructions before the end of the preceding Sittings.

To some extent this problem could be overcome by increasing the drafting resources of the Office. Currently, the Office has financial resources that cannot be used because of a shortage of trained drafters. Training

approaches intended to increase the pool of trained drafters seem to be working well, but will take some further time to eliminate the shortage. The Office’s drafting capacity will be significantly increased when all vacant senior drafting positions are filled (see item 2.4).

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The volume of legislation dealt with by Parliament has declined recently. Since 1993, the average time for passage of a Bill has been increasing steadily with each Sittings. This is partly an inherent result of the

Government’s decision not to seek passage of its Bills (except urgent ones) in the Sittings in which they are introduced. However, part of the reason for the steady increase in the time for passage of Bills is that at the end of each Sittings there is a backlog (larger each Sittings) of Bills which have been in the Parliament for 2 Sittings and have still not been passed. In these

circumstances, it is questionable whether a substantial increase in the volume of Bills drafted for introduction into the Parliament would be a genuine benefit to anyone.

7.4.2 Bills

During the year the Office drafted 188 Bills (totalling more than 4,500 pages) which were introduced in the Parliament. Several other Bills were drafted and exposed for public or industry comment.

A number of other Bills were largely drafted and then deferred or abandoned due to changes in policy or other events.

Following is a breakdown of work on the legislation program for each Parliamentary Sittings during 1994-95.

For each Sittings, a table shows, for each category of Bills on the program:

• the number of Bills introduced;

• the number of Bills for which no instructions were received;

• the number of Bills which were not able to be worked on even though instructions had been received.

Apart from the numbers of Bills introduced, totalling the numbers shown for the year may be misleading as there is some overlap in these numbers from Sittings to Sittings (eg the same Bill may be included under the heading ‘Bills for which no instructions were received’ for 2 or even all 3 Sittings during the year).

Following the table for each Sittings is a narrative account of the fate of the introduced Bills, and other Bills on the program not shown in the table.

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SPRING SITTINGS 1994

(August-December 1994)

Category Bills introduced Bills for which

no instructions were received

Bills which were not able to be worked on even though

instructions were received

T 43 0 0

A 28 3 0

B 14 5 5

C 1 24 17

Totals 86 32 22

Category T Bills (‘time critical’) • 36 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Spring Sittings.

• One of the Bills introduced was passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• One of the Bills introduced was negatived by the Senate.

• 5 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• 2 Bills originally included on the program were drafted as amendments of Bills already in the Parliament.

• The contents of one proposed Bill were included in one of the Bills that was introduced.

Category A Bills

• 3 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Spring Sittings.

• 5 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Autumn Sittings 1995.

• 3 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• 17 of the Bills were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• Substantial progress was made on 3 large Bills.

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• The contents of 3 proposed Bills originally on the program were

included in other Bills that were introduced.

• An exposure draft of one Bill was tabled in the Parliament.

Category B Bills

• 10 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Autumn Sittings 1995.

• 2 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• 2 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• Some progress was made on 3 Bills.

• Sponsoring agencies failed to provide comments or further instructions on preliminary drafts of 5 Bills.

Category C Bills

• The introduced Bill was still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• One Bill was drafted but introduction was deferred.

• The sponsoring agencies or other relevant agencies failed to provide comments or further instructions on preliminary drafts of 4 Bills.

AUTUMN SITTINGS 1995

(January-March 1995)

Category Bills introduced Bills for which

no instructions were received

Bills which were not able to be worked on even though

instructions were received

T 4 0 0

A 19 6 0

B 24 10 1

C 3 30 11

Totals 50 46 12

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Category T Bills (‘time critical’) • 3 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Autumn Sittings.

• One of the Bills introduced was still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

Category A Bills

• 13 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• 6 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• Sponsoring agencies failed to provide comments or further instructions on preliminary drafts of 10 Bills.

• One Bill was drafted but introduction was deferred.

Category B Bills • 16 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• 8 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• Sponsoring agencies failed to provide comments or further instructions on preliminary drafts of 3 Bills.

• 2 Bills were drafted but introduction was deferred.

• The contents of 3 proposed Bills were included in other Bills that were introduced.

Category C Bills • One of the Bills introduced was passed during the Winter Sittings 1995.

• 2 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• One Bill was drafted but introduction was deferred.

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WINTER SITTINGS 1995

(May-June 1995)

Category Bills introduced Bills for which

no instructions were received

Bills which were not able to be worked on even though

instructions were received

T 23 0 0

A 26 3 2

B 3 8 9

C 0 21 11

Totals 52 32 22

Category T B ills ( ‘time critical’)

• 17 of the Bills introduced were passed during the Winter Sittings.

• 6 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• One Bill was partly drafted but could not be finalised because policy issues were not resolved.

Category A Bills

• One of the Bills introduced was passed during the Winter Sittings.

• 25 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

• Substantial progress was made on 3 large Bills.

• Drafts of 2 Bills were prepared for consultations scheduled for after the end of the Winter Sittings.

• The contents of 5 proposed Bills were included in other Bills that were introduced.

Category B Bills

• All 3 of the Bills introduced were still awaiting passage at the end of June 1995.

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• 3 Bills were drafted but introduction was deferred.

• Substantial progress was made on 3 Bills.

Category C Bills • One Bill (intended to provide a model for State and Territory

legislation) was drafted and circulated to the State and Territory Parliamentary Counsel for comments.

• Sponsoring agencies failed to provide comments, or further

instructions, on preliminary drafts of 5 Bills.

7.4.3 Parliamentary amendments The Office keeps records of the numbers of parliamentary amendments drafted and the proportion of those amendments required to correct drafting errors in the Bills concerned. These figures are set out below. They relate to the numbers of amendments drafted in the Office, not all of which are

moved in the Parliament.

PARLIAMENTARY AMENDMENTS

Type of amendment Number drafted in OPC 1994-95 % of

total

Number drafted in OPC 1993-94

Government — policy change

856 77.1 976

Government — new policy

113 10.2 15

Government — correction of drafting errors

58 5.2 66

Private members — policy change/new policy

83 7.5 26

Private members — correction of drafting errors

0 0 0

Total 1110 100.0 1083

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These statistics provide a very simplistic performance indicator for the Office’s drafting standards. On the one hand, they do not take account of the fact that drafters are often required to release Bills for introduction before they are completely satisfied with them. On the other hand, of course, the statistics do not include errors in Bills which are not discovered until after the Bills are passed.

However, even a very rough comparison of the numbers of errors in Bills that are corrected in the Parliament with the number of pages of legislation introduced in the Parliament suggests that errors in Bills are not a major concern.

A comparison of the number of parliamentary amendments drafted to correct errors and the number of amendments drafted to effect policy changes or to add new policy after Bills are introduced supports the Office’s view that ongoing changes in policy (even after introduction) are a major difficulty in the process of drafting coherent Bills.

7.5 Simplification task forces

7.5.1 The Corporations Task Force

In October 1993, the Attorney-General established a Corporations Task Force to rewrite the Corporations Law in plainer language. The Task Force consists of:

• Ms Claire Grose, a solicitor in private practice;

• Dr Robert Eagleson, a plain English consultant;

• Mr Ian Govey, a Principal Adviser in the Attorney-General’s

Department;

• Mr Vince Robinson, a First Assistant Parliamentary Counsel in the Office.

It is assisted by a Consultative Group representing various private sector interests.

In December 1994, the First Corporate Law Simplification Bill 1994 was introduced into the Parliament. This Bill was passed in September 1995.

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During the year, the Task Force released the following publications:

August 1994

August 1994

October 1994

November 1994

November 1994

December 1994

December 1994

April 1995

June 1995

June 1995

June 1995

Plan o f action — Stage 2

Defunct companies — Deregistration and reinstatement (proposal for simplification)

Accounts and audit (proposal for simplification)

Share capital rules (proposal for simplification)

Company names (proposal for simplification)

Forming a company (proposal for simplification)

Company meetings (proposal for simplification)

Plan o f action — Stage 3

Organising the Law (drafting issues)

Designing the Law (drafting issues)

Second Corporate Law Simplification Bill (exposure draft and commentary)

Ms Anne Treleaven, a Legal 2 in the Office, has been working with the Task Force throughout the year. Ms Marjorie Todd, a Legal 2 in the

Office, has been working with the Task Force since January 1995.

7.5.2 The Tax Law Improvement Project In December 1993, the Treasurer established the Tax Law Improvement Project to rewrite the Income Tax Assessment Act.

The project team is headed by Mr Brian Nolan of the Australian Taxation Office, and includes Mr Thomas Reid, Second Parliamentary Counsel in this Office. Mr Jonathan Woodger, then a Legal 1 in the Office, worked with the project team until February 1995. Ms Zoe Copley, a Legal 1 in the

Office, has worked with the project team throughout the year, and Ms Louise Finucane, a Legal 2 in the Office, joined the project team in

February 1995.

In December 1994, the Tax Law Improvement (Substantiation) Bill 1994 was introduced into the Parliament. This Bill was passed in April 1995.

33

During the year, the project team released the following publications:

August 1994

August 1994

April 1995

April 1995

April 1995

April 1995

The Broad Framework (information paper)

Substantiation (exposure draft)

Building The New Tax Law (information paper)

Income Tax Assessment Bill 1995 — the New Act (exposure draft)

The General Mining, Quarrying and Petroleum Mining Industries (exposure draft)

Deductions fo r Losses (exposure draft)

7.5.3 Effect on O ffice’s resources

Both the Corporations Task Force and the Tax Law Improvement Project are provided with funds to cover the secondments of drafters.

The Attorney-General’s Department funds a special SES Band 2 position for Mr Robinson, whose substantive SES Band 2 position in the Office has been filled on a temporary basis during the year by Mr Pierre Le Guen until he

was promoted to a permanent SES Band 2 position, and then by

Mr Paul Lanspeary. However, neither M r Le Guen’s nor M r Lanspeary’s substantive SES Band 1 positions have been able to be filled. Since January 1995, the Department has also funded the position of one of the Legal 2s assigned to the Corporations project.

The Australian Taxation Office funds an SES Band 2 position, a Legal 2 position, a Legal 1 position and an ASO 3 position. Since it has not been possible to ‘replace’ M r Reid at any SES level (see item 2.4), the Office has engaged drafting consultants to draft Bills assigned by First Parliamentary Counsel from the Government’s legislation program. Throughout the year, Mr G K Kolts of Freehill, Hollingdale and Page, has been working for the Office. In March this year, a former member of the Office who recently retired from the Australian Public Service, M r J McKenzie, was engaged as a drafting consultant. He works in the Office for 3 days each week. These consultancies are funded by a transfer of some of the salary funds provided by the two project groups.

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7.6 Drafting style

7.6.1 Office policy

The Office has a policy of drafting laws as simply as possible without losing precision, accompanied by a commitment to continuous improvement of drafting styles and approaches.

It is becoming increasingly clear, however, that a goal of simplicity in drafting is not enough. Legislation is, among other things, a tool for communicating more or less complex concepts to a varied audience, and to improve legislation it is appropriate to consider a range of techniques for

using the written word as a means of communication. Simplicity (in particular the use of plain language) is often not sufficient to ensure effective communication. Furthermore, it is not easy to find genuine agreement on the elements of simplicity:

• simplicity may be equated with the use of plain language;

• brevity may be used as a synonym for, or as evidence of, simplicity;

• simplicity may be seen as requiring the deconstruction of complex concepts into a multiplicity of relatively simple concepts whose expression is anything but brief.

Some of these different approaches are apparent in a comparison of the Bills produced by the 2 simplification task forces (see item 7.5).

In the Office, drafters are focusing on developing a more sophisticated set of drafting techniques than are provided by the rules for plain language writing. Plain language rules which are text-based are supplemented by reader-based approaches which focus not on the form of the text but on how readers

approach text. For instance: •

• Readers comprehend information significantly better if they know why they are being given the information; this suggests the desirability of using various kinds of purpose and outline provisions.

35

• Readers comprehend a text significantly better if they have trust in the text; thus, where the actual effect of a text and the reader’s expectation of its effect are congruent, comprehension will be easier than where the effect of the text and the reader’s expectations diverge. This suggests that material identifying and articulating the divergence may aid comprehension in appropriate cases (eg This section requires [state effect of section] even i f [state case in which reader might expect the section not to apply].).

Some work has already been done in the Office on the use of various forms of graphics (tables, flow charts, structural overview diagrams etc) in Bills, either as operative provisions or as explanatory material. Further

development of this approach is to be a major focus of our work on

improving drafting styles and techniques in the next year.

7.6.2 Simplification taskforces

Drafters from the Office continued to work with the task forces set up to rewrite the Corporations Law and the Income Tax Assessment Act (see item 7.5).

To ensure that the skills developed through these projects are disseminated within the Office, the seconded drafters present regular seminars to staff of the Office at which they describe the work methods of the task forces and discuss particular approaches and techniques that are being developed in the

interests of simplified laws. The task forces are testing new drafting approaches with user-groups, and both the processes and the outcomes of such testing are of interest within the Office.

7.6.3 Document testing — general

As well as the work done by the simplification task forces, some document testing has been arranged by the Office.

There are a variety of different document-testing approaches, including the following:

36

Quality assurance audits, such as the Flesch test or the Fog Index, which apply mathematical formulae to components of the text (eg numbers of syllables, or words, in sentences) and give results

expressed in terms of, for instance, the number of years of formal education required for a reader to be able to understand the text.

• Comprehension tests, in which readers are asked to read a text and then to respond to questions about its operation. Results are judged both on ease and speed of use (how quickly readers get to answers) and on accuracy (how often readers get the right answers).

• Focus-group discussions, in which readers are asked to read a text and then discuss their reactions to it with a facilitator.

• ‘Think-aloud’ testing, in which readers read the text aloud, also voicing their mental processes as they read. The reading aloud process is recorded (using video or audio tape) and analysed to identify aspects of the text that caused problems for readers.

Quality assurance audits are very mechanistic, and can produce ridiculous results — a completely meaningless sentence {The red song sat in the trees.) would receive a good score on such tests because it is a short sentence with single-syllable words. In recent years these tests have been largely discredited as a worthwhile means of testing the readability of written

material.

The three other forms of testing mentioned have varying applications. All can be useful in appropriate contexts. All can be used to test versions of a particular document with a view to improving that document. Comprehension testing and think-aloud testing are also useful for identifying drafting

techniques which impede communication, and those which improve the readability of drafts.

OPC drafters have been involved in all three kinds of document testing during the year.

7.6.4 Document testing — ‘think-aloud’ testing

The Office has engaged Mr Tony Golsby-Smith, a communications consultant who has been advising the Tax Law Improvement Project, to run ‘think-aloud’ document-testing sessions within the Office. So far, he has conducted sessions with 3 drafting teams (see item 2.5).

37

The sessions are not aimed at improving particular drafts by testing. Rather, they are aimed at giving the drafters a greater appreciation of how readers approach legislation, with a view to enabling the drafters to improve the

readability of future drafts. However, one of the drafts tested was at an early stage of development and the session produced some useful insights for the further development of that draft.

Unlike plain language rules, which are often applied to text in a fairly unsophisticated way and with varying results, the readability testing provided by Mr Golsby-Smith tends to focus on the structure and ordering of a document. It is harder to express readability approaches as rules, and

readability ‘rules’ tend to require a substantial exercise of judgment.

From the legislative drafter’s viewpoint, one of the interesting and

challenging aspects of the readability approaches provided by Mr Golsby- Smith is the suggestion that improved readability may require the use of material which is not technically or legally necessary. For instance, it may be intuitively obvious that readers comprehend information better if they know why they are being given the information. However, the idea of including explanatory material that is not ‘legally necessary’ in Bills was for a long time regarded as unacceptable, and moves in the last 15 or so years to use such material have been tentative and limited in scope. As well, such approaches tend to conflict with approaches which suggest that brevity is a major aspect of simplification.

7.6.5 Document testing —focus-group discussions/comprehension testing

Two document-testing sessions were arranged for the Small Superannuation Accounts Bill 1995. These involved officers from the Australian Taxation Office, and representatives of industry associations. The sessions involved a mixture of focus-group discussions and comprehension testing. Much of the discussion related to policy issues, but a significant number of drafting changes were made to the Bill as a result of these sessions.

Three document-testing sessions were arranged to test possible structures for proposed Corporations Law amendments relating to collective investments. These sessions involved focus-group discussions with a variety of people involved in the collective investments industry including representatives of

funds management businesses, investors, trustee companies, the Australian

38

Securities Commission and the Companies and Securities Advisory Committee, and lawyers practising in the area.

The value of these sessions was limited in 2 respects. First, the structure that emerged from the sessions was very close to the structure originally devised by the drafters, and so the direct benefit of the sessions may be viewed as insubstantial. On the other hand, the reasons advanced by

participants in the sessions for preferring one structure over another may be of continuing relevance for the drafters.

Secondly, some of the details of policies relating to collective investments were changed after the testing sessions and required some change to the structure that had been ‘tested’.

The lessons from the collective investments testing sessions appear to be that:

• testing sessions, especially relating to structure, may be most cost- effective when there are genuinely difficult issues to be resolved in relation to the drafting approach concerned; and

• testing is more likely to produce improvements in the drafting of provisions if it takes place only after the policy of the provisions is largely settled.

7.6.6 Bill design and layout

The Justice Statement, published in May 1995, foreshadowed the

introduction of an improved design and layout for Commonwealth Bills and Acts.

The first Bill produced by each simplification task force was introduced into the Parliament in December 1994 (see item 7.5). The Bills used new layouts developed by the task forces.

Since then, work has been done within the Office to develop a final version of a new Bills layout. The layout is intended to combine the best features of the task force Bills (which did not have identical layouts) with several features agreed on by the Parliamentary Counsel’s Committee (heads of

59

drafting offices in Australia) with a view to achieving more standardisation of Australian legislation.

The proposed format needs to be feasible for use for a high volume of legislation produced to tight deadlines. This is particularly important since the Office expects to adopt Word 6 for Windows as its word processing package during 1996, enabling it to produce electronic camera-ready copy for AGPS. This will further reduce the Office’s reliance on AGPS for the production of Bills.

In the process of developing the new format, there has been consultation with both the simplification task forces, with the Clerks of both Houses of Parliament, within the Office and elsewhere.

7.6. 7 Drafting materials

A Plain English Manual and a Plain English Update prepared within the Office are currently in use. A further updating document is being prepared. This document is intended to go beyond the formal ‘plain English’ rules and to focus more on methods of improving readability.

7.6.8 Examples o f modern drafting approaches

Examples of some modern approaches can be found in the following provisions:

• The Small Superannuation Accounts Act 1995 makes extensive use of boxed outlines providing overviews of the operation of Parts and Divisions of the Act.

• An appendix to the Trade Marks Act 1994 contains a ‘flow chart’ showing the basic processes for obtaining registration of a trade mark. •

• The Taxation Laws Amendment (Drought R elief Measures) Act 1995 inserted a new Part XII into the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936. The new Part is carefully structured, with operative provisions first, followed by explanations of key concepts, provisions that are only applicable in special cases, and definitions.

40

• Parts 1.4 and 1.5 of the Corporations Law (inserted by the First

Corporate Law Simplification Act 1995) set out a Small Business Guide to the main Corporations Law rules that apply to proprietary companies limited by shares.

• Division 1 of Schedule 2A to the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (inserted by the Tax Law Improvement (Substantiation) Act 1995) gives an overview of the main points covered in the Schedule, beginning with a ‘map’ of the conceptual structure of the Schedule.

• The Crimes Amendment (Forensic Procedures) Bill 1995 inserts into the Crimes Act 1914 a new Part dealing with carrying out certain forensic procedures on people suspected of offences. The new Part includes a simplified outline of its operation, and tables setting out the

rules relating to how forensic procedures may be authorised, how long suspects may be kept in custody for forensic procedures to be carried out, and the people who may perform the different kinds of forensic procedures.

• Schedule 3 to the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (No. 3) 1995 uses graphics in examples of the operation of complex provisions to be inserted in the Superannuation Guarantee (Administration) Act 1992.

• The Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 1995 inserts several tables into the Bankruptcy Act 1966 setting out aspects of the operation of the legislation in relation to different cases dealt with by the

legislation.

7.7 Other activities

7. 7.1 Client advising arrangements

Client advising arrangements instituted in 1993 continued in operation. Each senior drafter in the Officer is nominated as the contact officer for several departments and agencies. This contact officer is available to provide quick (generally off-the-cuff) advice on matters arising early in the development of

legislative policy. For instance, advice about the drafting implications of particular policy approaches, about options for commencement provisions or about ways of restructuring an existing Act, may save instructing officers a

41

lot of unnecessary work and may contribute to a better legislative proposal, resulting in a more efficient drafting process and a better Bill.

During the year, 35 requests for advice were recorded.

• 6 % of the requests (2 requests) should have been directed to another agency in the first instance.

• 3% of the requests (1 request) should have been dealt with by the

agency’s own Legislation Liaison Officer.

• 91% of the requests (32 requests) sought advice which was properly provided by the Office. Of these, 26 requests (74%) related to

proposed legislation. The Office’s early involvement seems likely to have saved time for the client or for the Office, or to have improved the quality of the drafting instructions to be provided to the Office. In many cases, this will have a positive effect on the final Bill.

Although the Office received fewer requests during the year than last year (on a pro-rata basis), there was a substantial increase in the number of requests for the kind of advice that might improve drafting instructions and Bills; during 1993-94, only 9 requests (31% of the total) fell into this category, while this year 26 requests (74%) were classified this way.

Several arrangements were made during the year for the provision of more substantial early advice in relation to particular Bills.

• A drafter was available for consultation during early policy

development for the Bills providing for the lease of Commonwealth- owned airports. Instructing officers believe that this ensured that the drafting was completed more quickly than would otherwise have been the case. However, the drafter’s early involvement did not prevent important policy details being changed late in the drafting process. •

• A drafter was available for consultation during preliminary policy work on the Air Services Bill 1995. The instructing officers have indicated that this forced them to focus on matters of detailed policy earlier than might otherwise have been the case, with the result that

42

policy details were settled earlier (in some cases before drafting commenced) and the Bill was completed to a tight deadline.

• A drafter has been made available for ongoing consultations on

proposals to rewrite complicated grants legislation. The proposals are being developed over an extended period, and no judgments can yet be made about the value of this arrangement.

7. 7.2 Legislation process courses

Since February 1994 the Office has been presenting Legislation Process courses. The need for this kind of training was identified by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in Clearer Commonwealth Law. The course is aimed at officers of other departments and agencies who may be involved in the legislation process in

areas such as policy development or instructing on the drafting of a Bill. The course covers the following areas:

• developing legislative policy;

• preparation of drafting instructions;

• working with the Office on the preparation of a draft Bill;

• the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 and other Commonwealth Acts of general application;

• activities of the Senate Standing Committee for the Scrutiny of Bills;

• the development of the Government’s legislation program for a parliamentary Sittings;

• parliamentary programming of legislation.

The session relating to parliamentary and programming matters is presented by officers from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The standard courses run for V/2 days and are presented by 2 or 3 drafters. They are fairly resource-intensive, even though standard course materials are used by each team of presenters, and can generally only be presented during the breaks between parliamentary sittings. Courses provided for particular

departments run for one day and do not deal with parliamentary and programming matters. Departments are expected to make other

arrangements with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for presentation of this part of the course.

43

Up to 18 participants can be accommodated in each course. Eleven courses were conducted during the year, including courses for:

• the Department of Primary Industries and Energy

• the Department of Environment, Sport and Territories

• the Department of Human Services and Health

• the Australian Taxation Office.

The response from participants has been enthusiastic.

7. 7.3 Overseas visitors During the year, the Office was visited by senior officials from various countries.

• Ms Mary Dawson, Associate Deputy Minister, Public Law,

Department of Justice, Canada

• Professor Ying Songnian, Deputy Director, Administrative Legislation Research Group of the National People’s Congress, and Ms Liu Xin, Lecturer at the Legal System Institute of China University of Political Science and Law, China

e Mr Joe Riklon, Special Assistant to the Legislative Counsel, Nitijela (Parliament) of the Marshall Islands

• United Kingdom Pathfinder Project Team (responsible for tax

simplification) (five members).

In addition, First Parliamentary Counsel addressed members of a

Parliamentary Legal Committee from Zimbabwe who were visiting the Australian Parliament.

In general, these visitors were interested in working arrangements within the Office, legislation programming and monitoring approaches used in Australia, and the Office’s moves towards an improved drafting style.

44

8. Contact officer for additional information

Further information about the matters set out below (in relation to the operations of the Office) is available to Members of Parliament and members of the public on request.

Requests should be made to the Executive Officer, who can be contacted by telephone on (06) 270 1452 or fax on (06) 270 1403.

Performance pay

Training

Interchange program

Financial matters:

• Claims and losses • Purchasing

• Information technology purchasing arrangements

• Payment of accounts

• Consultancy services

Internal and external scrutiny:

• Fraud control

• Reports by the Auditor-General

• Inquiries by Parliamentary Committees

• Comments by the Ombudsman

• Decisions of courts and tribunals

Privacy

Environmental matters

Property usage.

45

Occupational Health and Safety Policy Statement

The Office of Parliamentary Counsel commits itself to taking at all times reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health and safety of its staff.

In ensuring the health and safety of its staff, the Office will:

• provide and maintain a healthy and safe work environment; and

• consult and co-operate with its staff and the Community and Public Sector Union to achieve a healthy and safe workplace, and in

particular enter into an agreement with the union (the agreement) providing for the matters referred to in subsection 16(3) of the

Occupational Health and Safety (Commonwealth Employment) Act 1991; and

• comply with the Act as a minimum standard, and implement in full the requirements of the Acts and its Regulations; and

• ensure that appropriate organisational arrangements are in place to facilitate the implementation of the Act; and

e provide appropriate resources to ensure that necessary health and safety programs and activities are established and maintained; and

• ensure that occupational health and safety representatives are

appropriately trained and have proper facilities for the discharge of their responsibilities; and •

• inform all staff about relevant occupational health and safety matters and provide that information in languages other than English where this might be necessary; and

• include compliance with this policy in the Office’s Corporate Plan.

It is the responsibility of the Office and the Community and Public Sector Union to co-operate in implementing this policy in accordance with the agreement.

Appendix A to Annual Report

46

Functional Statement — Freedom of Information Act

Functional statement in relation to the Office of Parliamentary Counsel in accordance with section 8 of the Freedom o f Information Act.

Establishment and organisation

The establishment and organisation of the Office are dealt with in item 1.1 and Part 2 of this report.

Functions

A Statement of the principal functions of the Office is set out in item 1.1 of this report. In the performance of its functions the Office receives

instructions for the preparation of Bills or amendments of Bills from Commonwealth Government departments and agencies following the determination of policy measures by the Government. Members of the Office then draft the legislation necessary to give effect to that policy in

consultation with those departments or agencies.

Drafting of subordinate legislation and instruments is performed by the Office of Legislative Drafting, Attorney-General’s Department.

Categories of documents

The following categories of documents are kept by the Office:

• copies of Cabinet documents and draft Cabinet documents;

• correspondence between the Office and government departments or agencies about the preparation of Bills or amendments of Bills; •

• files consisting of successive drafts of Bills (or amendments of Bills) drafted for the Government or for private Members of Parliament;

Appendix B to Annual Report

47

• correspondence between the Office and private Members of Parliament relating to Bills or amendments of Bills by the Office for those

members;

• manuals and other instructions relating to the drafting of legislation;

• records and instructions kept for administrative purposes;

• ministerial and general correspondence;

• copies of documents prepared in connection with obtaining messages by the Governor-General or Administrator under section 56 of the Constitution;

• copies of documents prepared in connection with obtaining Royal Assent to Bills;

• updated copies of Acts of Parliament (‘paste-ups’);

• correspondence between the Office and officers of the States, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory about co­ operative legislative action by the Commonwealth, the States, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory and similar matters;

• internal administrative papers and records.

Facilities for access

Facilities for examining documents (other than Commonwealth Acts) and obtaining copies of such documents are available at the premises occupied by the Office, that is, at MTA House, 39 Brisbane Avenue, Barton A.C.T. 2600. The Office can be contacted by telephone on (06) 270 1400.

Commonwealth Acts may be bought from AGPS.

FOI procedures and initial contact points

Inquiries about access to documents or other matters relating to freedom of information should be directed to the First Parliamentary Counsel. Apart from the Attorney-General and the First Parliamentary Counsel, the only officers authorised to deny access under the Freedom of Information Act to

48

documents of the Office are the Second Parliamentary Counsel and the First Assistant Parliamentary Counsel.

Inquiries as to the progress of Bills that have been introduced into Parliament may be directed to the Legislation Officer on (06) 270 1462.

Inquiries about enacted legislation may be directed to the Deputy Legislation Officer on (06) 270 1465.

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Staffing overview

C .l Staffing overview

All staff employed by the Office are located in the Australian Capital Territory. The overall structure of the Office at 30 June 1995 was as

follows:

Appendix C to Annual Report

Category Full­

time

Part­ time

Total Male Female

Statutory Office Holders 3 - 3 2 1

First Assistant Parliamentary Counsel (SES Band 2)

6 6 6

Senior Assistant Parliamentary Counsel

(SES Band 1)

4 4 3 1*

Assistant Parliamentary Counsel

(Non-SES legal staff)

17 - 17 9 8

Staff engaged principally in clerical and administrative work

(Administrative Service Officers)

11 12** 7 4 **

Staff engaged principally in 12 2 14 - 14

keyboard work as Legal Assistants

(Administrative Service Officers)

Librarian

(Professional Officer Class 2)

- 1 1 - 1

Information Technology Officer (Class 2) 1 - 1 1 -

50

* Officer currently on extended leave

** Includes 1 temporary officer

C. 2 Senior staff changes during the year

There were two changes to the senior staffing profile during the year. Pierre Le Guen was promoted to an SES Band 2 (Specialist) position and Peter Quiggin was promoted to an SES Band 1 (Specialist) position.

C.3 Performance Based Pay

Officers in the Senior Executive Service and Senior Officer (or equivalent) classifications were eligible to receive performance based pay during the year.

12 Senior Executive Service officers received payments totalling $64,375 for their performance during the period 1 July 1993 to 30 June 1994. 9 officers received a rating of 4 or 5 and total payments of $59,413 while 2 received a rating of 3 and total payments of $4,962. One officer is on long term leave without pay and was not appraised.

11 Senior Officers and staff at equivalent levels (Legal Is and Legal 2s) received payments totalling $26,703 for their performance during the period 15 February 1994 to 14 February 1995. 9 officers received a rating of 4 and total payments of $23,149 while 2 officers received a rating of 3 and total payments of $3,554.

C.4 Expenditure on Staff Development

The net amount of eligible training expenditure by the Office during the year (salaries and travel excluded) was $40,980. The total number of staff days spent on participation by staff in eligible training programs during the year was 172. The total salary cost for participation in eligible training programs was $25,723. The total number of staff who participated in eligible training

activities during the year is 47, of whom 21 are women and 3 are from non-English speaking backgrounds.

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C.5 Consultants During the year the Office incurred expenses of $329,833 on 11 consultants. Major items of expense are detailed below.

• $11,063 for the engagement of Golsby-Smith and Associates to conduct think-aloud document testing with drafting teams in the Office.

• $7,500 for the engagement of Price Waterhouse Urwick to conduct training sessions in communications and team-working skills for both drafters and other staff of the Office.

• $286,125 for the engagement of Freehill Hollingdale & Page (Mr G K Kolts) to draft legislation for the Office.

• $14,790 for the engagement of Capital Scrivener (Mr J McKenzie) to draft legislation for the Office.

As well, other Commonwealth agencies spent a total of $66,156 on

consultancies arranged through the Office for the drafting of legislation. Around $39,000 of this related to a consultancy to supplement the Office’s drafting resources arranged in early 1994 by the Australian Taxation Office in connection with the Tax Laws Improvement Project. The other

expenditure related to Bills with relatively low priority on the legislation program which sponsoring agencies were keen to have drafted.

52

Financial Statements 1994-95

Appendix D to Annual Report

Office of Parliamentary Counsel

Contents

A uditor-G eneral’s Report on Financial Statements

Certification o f the Financial Statements

Operating Statement

Statement o f Assets and Liabilities

Statement of Cash Flows

Statement of Transactions by Fund

Notes to the Financial Statements

54

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE

Address all mail to:

GPO Box 707 CANBERRA ACT 2601

Ref:

OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL INDEPENDENT AUDIT REPORT

Scope

I have audited the financial statements of the Office o f the Parliamentary Counsel for the year ended 30 June 1995.

The statements comprise:

. Statement by the Parliamentary Counsel and Executive Officer

• Operating Statement

. Statement of Assets and Liabilities

• Statement of Cash Flows

• Statement of Transactions by Fund, and

• Notes to and forming part o f the Financial Statements.

The Parliamentary Counsel and Executive Officer are responsible for the preparation and presentation of the financial statements and the information contained therein. I have conducted an independent audit of the financial statements in order to express an opinion on them.

The audit has been conducted in accordance with the Australian National Audit Office Auditing Standards, which incorporate the Australian Auditing Standards, to provide reasonable assurance as to whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. Audit procedures included examination, on a test basis, of evidence supporting the amounts and other disclosures in the financial report, and the evaluation of accounting policies and significant accounting estimates. These procedures have been undertaken to form an opinion whether, in all material respects, the financial

statements are presented fairly in accordance with Australian Accounting Concepts and Standards, other mandatory professional reporting requirements and statutory requirements so as to present a view of the Office which is consistent with my understanding of its financial position, its operations and its cash flows.

The audit opinion expressed in this report has been formed on the above basis.

L

Audit Opinion

In accordance with sub-section 51(1) o f the Audit Act 1901, I now report that in my opinion, the financial statements:

. are in agreement with the accounts and records kept in accordance with section 40 o f the Act;

• are in accordance with the Guidelines for Financial Statements o f Departments, and

. present fairly in accordance with Statements o f Accounting Concepts, applicable Accounting Standards and other mandatory professional reporting requirements the information required by the Guidelines including the Office’s departmental and administered operations and its cash flows for the year ended 30 June 1995 and departmental and administered assets and liabilities as at that date.

Australian National Audit Office

Lynne O’Brien Executive Director

For the Auditor-General

Canberra 19 September 1995

STATEMENT BY FIRST PARLIAMENTARY

COUNSEL AND EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Certification

We certify that the financial statements of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel are in agreement with the Office’s accounts and records, and, in our opinion, the financial statements present fairly the information required by the Financial Statements Guidelines for Departmental Secretaries including the Office’s departmental and administered financial transactions for the year ended 30 June 1995 and departmental and administered assets and liabilities as at 30 June 1995.

H R. Penfold

First Parliamentary Counsel

A.D.B. Perkins

Executive Officer

OPERATING STATEMENT

fo r the year ended 30 June 1995

Notes 1994-95

Net Cost Of Services

Expenses

Employee expenses 3,273,916

Other administrative expenses 2,350,778

Total expenses 2 5,624,694

Revenues from independent sources

Other revenues from independent sources 387,561

Total revenues from independent sources 3 387,561

Net cost of services 5,237,133

Revenues From Government

Appropriations used for:

Ordinary annual services (net appropriations) 4,572,431

Liabilities assumed by other departments 406,665

Resources received free of charge from other departments 146,284

Total revenues from government 3 5,125,380

Excess of net cost of services over revenues from government 111,753

Accumulated revenues less expenses at beginning of reporting period 651,939

Accumulated revenues less expenses at end of reporting period 540,186

Administered Expenses And Revenues

Administrative Expenses Nil

Administered Revenues

Miscellaneous Receipts 12,376

58

STATEMENT OF ASSETS AND LIABILITIES as at 30 June 1995

Notes 1994-95 1993-94

Current Assets

Cash 4 2,369 1,592

Receivables 5 118,076 71,671

Other 6 101,434 93,366

Total current assets 221,879 166,629

Non-Current Assets

Property plant and equipment 7 1,522,683 1,588,247

Total non-current assets 1,522,683 1,588,247

Total assets 1,744,562 1,754,876

Current Liabilities

Creditors 8 84,277 118,818

Leases 10 15,886 13,531

Provisions 9 227,896 322,671

Other 92,644 Nil

Total current liabilities 420,703 455,020

Non-Current Liabilities

Leases 10 4,386 20,272

Provisions 9 779,287 627,645

Total non-current liabilities 783,673 647,917

Total liabilities 1,204,376 1,102,937

Net Assets (Or Liabilities)

Administered Assets And Liabilities

540,186 651,939

Administered assets Nil Nil

Administered Liabilities Nil Nil

59

STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

fo r the year ended 30 June 1995

Notes 1994-95 1993-94

Cash Flows From Operating Activities

Inflows:

User Charges 330,366 39,564

Appropriations from Government

Outflows:

4,572,431 4,503,570

Wages and Salaries (2,729,077) (2,700,337)

Payments to Suppliers (1,970,746) (1,690,719)

Net cash provided or (used) by operating activities 20 202,974 152,078

Cash Flows From Investing Activities

Inflows:

Proceeds from the sale of Assets 10,790 2,343

Outflows:

Payments towards the acquisition of Assets (194,727) (136,109)

Net cash provided or (used) in investing activities (183,937) (133,766)

Cash Flows From Financing Activities

Inflows: Nil Nil

Outflows:

Lease repayments (18,260) (18,260)

Net cash provided or (used) by financing activities (18,260) (18,260)

Net increase or (decrease) in cash 777 52

Cash at beginning of reporting period 1,592 1,540

Cash at end of reporting period 2,369 1,592

Cash Flows From Administered Transactions Inflows 12,376 7,650

Outflows Nil Nil

Net Cash inflows (outflows) from adm inistered transactions 12,376 7,650

60

STATEMENT OF TRANSACTION BY FUND

fo r the year ended 30 June 1995

Consolidated Revenue Fund

Receipts

Section 35 of the Audit Act 1901

Miscellaneous

Notes

1994-95

Budget

273,000

9,000

1994-95

Actual

341,156

12,376

1993-94

Actual

41,907

7,650

Total receipts 282,000 353,532 49,557

Expenditure

Appropriations Act No. 1 and 3 23 5,151,000 4,913,587 4,545,477

Section 35 of the Audit Act 1901 273,000

Total expenditure 5,424,000 4,913,587 4,545,477

Loan Fund

Receipts Nil Nil Nil

Expenditure Nil Nil Nil

Trust Fund 21

Receipts 10,000 20,474 2,887

Expenditure 10,000 25,661 Nil

Notes To And Forming Part Of The Financial Statements For The Year Ended 30 June 1995

Note 1. Statement O f Significant Accounting Policies

1.1 Basis of accounting

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the "Financial Statements Guidelines for Departmental Secretaries" issued by the Minister for Finance, which requires compliance with Statements of Accounting concepts and applicable Accounting Standards.

(i) In 1994-95 the financial statements have been prepared on an accrual basis for the first time.

(ii) The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the historical cost convention except where stated, and do not take account of changing money values.

(iii) The continued existence of the Office is dependant on Government policy and on continuing appropriations by Parliament for the Office’s administration and activity.

(iv) The Office operates as a sub-program of the Attorney General’s Portfolio. There is no requirement for a Program Statement to be included in these statements.

1.2 Rounding

Amounts shown in these statements have been rounded to the nearest $1.

1.3 Property, Plant and Equipment

Asset valuation is at historical cost except:

(i) Plant and Equipment under lease which is determined on the basis of net present value of lease payments.

(ii) The primary legislation collection which has been determined as having an indefinite useful life and a present replacement value calculated by the A VO.

Non Current assets are depreciated on a straight line basis.

1.4 Capitalisation

The Office owns no land or buildings. Minor assets having a unit value less than $2,000 have not been accounted for in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities but rather, are expensed in the year of acquisition. Computer units are defined as including the cost of hardware and software attributable to that particular unit.

1.5 Provisions

Salaries, wages and related benefits (with the exception of superannuation) payable to officers and employees of the Office have been accounted for in the balance of liabilities in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities.

For long service leave, the entitlement is based on a period of 10 years eligible service, the accmal begins from the commencement of the 4th year of service and is discounted by a factor of 5% in accordance with advice provided by the Australian Government Actuary. The provision for recreation leave is based on the value of actual entitlements at balance date and includes a leave loading component.

The provisions comprise current and non-current portions, the current portion being an estimation based on average usage over the last 4 years and the average salary level applying to the 1994/95 financial year.

1.6 Foreign Currency

Foreign currency transactions occurring during the year have been converted at the rate of exchange prevailing at the date of each transaction.

1.7 Superannuation

The superannuation expense for the year comprises the notional value of contributions payable for the year for staff employed by OPC based on percentage contribution rates for the CSS, PSS and AGEST. No liability is shown in the Statement of Assets and Liabilities for superannuation payable in respect of these staff as the liability is

fully assumed by the Commonwealth and included as 'Liabilities assumed by government’ (revenue) in the Operating Statement.

1.8 Taxation

The Department’s activities are exempt from all forms of taxation except Fringe Benefits Tax.

1.9 Insurance

In accordance with government policy, assets are not insured and losses are expensed as they are incurred.

1.10 Library Capitalisation

OPC follows the practice of valuing its Library collection every three years and adding current year’s purchases to that valuation to calculate the current value of the collection. Due to this valuation methodology, depreciation is not charged against the value of the collection.

The Library collection was valued for the 1993-94 statements and is due to be revalued for the preparation of the 1996-97 statements.

1.11 Leases

A distinction is made between finance leases which effectively transfer from the lessor to the lessee substantially all the risks and benefits incidental to ownership of leased non-current assets (finance leases), and operating leases under which the lessor effectively retains substantially all risks and benefits.

Where a non-current asset is acquired by means of a finance lease, the asset is established at its fair value at the inception of the lease. The liability is established at the same amount. Lease payments are allocated between the principle component and the interest expense.

Operating lease payments are representative of the pattern of benefits derived from the leased assets and accordingly are charged to the Operating Statement in the periods in which they are incurred.

1.12 Resources received free of charge

Resources received free of charge are recognised in the Operating Statement as revenue where the amounts can be reliably measured. Use of those resources is recognised as part of the Net Cost of Services.

1.13 Comparative figure

Where necessary, comparative figures have been adjusted to conform with changes in presentation in the financial statements and notes or have been omitted altogether as some comparative information is not available due to 1994/95 financial statements being prepared on an accrual basis for the first time.

Note 2. Items Charged As Expenses

Depreciation

Amortisation

Employee provisions

Staff costs

Administrative costs

1994-95

$

246,760

13,531

56,867

3,217,049

2,090,487

64

N o te 3. Item s C red ited As R evenue

1994-95

$

Resources received free of charge

AN AO - Audit of Accounts

Attorney General’s - General Ledger Service

30,100

Senate - Accommodation 43,731

Attorney General’s - Legal resources 3,840

DoF - Banking services 66,463

2,150 146,284

Gain on sale of non-current assets 6,061

Appropriations 4,572,431

Section 35 revenue 387,561

During the 1994-95 financial year, a number of Commonwealth Departments and agencies provided services to the Office without charge. Expenditure for the services was met from those Departments’ appropriations. Information was not available from all agencies on the actual cost of providing the services. Resources received free of charge but not

recognised as estimates of these costs were not able to be provided by the service provider are:

Australian Government Publishing Service

Commonwealth Acts, Reprints, Statutory Rules and Bills

Parliamentary Information Systems Office

Training services

Australian Archives

Storage and disposal facilities

Reserve Bank of Australia

Account Fees

Note 4. Cash

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Cash on hand 2,227 1,592

Cash at bank 142 Nil

2,369 1,592

65

N o te 5. R ece iv ab les

Other Debtors

Amounts owing to the Office as at 30 June 1995 were due from the following categories of other debtors (trade debtors - Nil). All are expected to be recovered in full and none of the amounts were overdue as at 30 June 1995:

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Other Departments 117,589 71,182

Other Commonwealth Controlled Entities Nil Nil

Other Debtors 487 489

Total Receivables 118,076 71,671

Note 6. Other Assets

Other assets consist of prepayments for goods or services only, details are provided below.

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Office Accommodation 47,743 46,425

Software Maintenance/Licence Fees 46,776 14,962

Library Subscriptions 1,463 5,904

Telephone Rental Nil 1,450

Travel Expenses Nil 16,611

Other 5,452 8,014

101,434 93,366

N o te 7. P ro p e rty , P la n t & E q u ip m en t

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Computer and Office Equipment 673,511 611,404

Less accumulated depreciation 322,687 296,707

Net Value 350,824 314,697

Leased Equipment 55,000 55,000

Less accumulated amortisation 34,727 21,197

Net Value 20,273 33,803

Lurniture & Littings 85,336 85,336

Less accumulated depreciation 38,325 29,477

Net Value 47,012 55,859

Primary Legislation Collection 452,055 441,367

Less accumulated depreciation N/A N/A

Net Value 452,055 441,367

Leasehold Improvements 900,026 900,026

Less accumulated amortisation 247,507 157,505

Net Value 652,519 742,521

1,522,683 1,588,247

Note 8. Creditors

Trade Creditors

Amounts owed by the Office to trade creditors were due to the following categories of creditor:

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Other Departments 20,954 66,482

Other Commonwealth Controlled Entities 42,307 18,361

Other Creditors 21,016 22,658

Total Trade Creditors 84,277 107,481

67

N ote 9. P ro v isio n s fo r E m ployee E n title m e n ts

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Provisions — Current

- Annual leave (including leave bonus) 214,151 313,484

- Long service leave 13,745 9,187

227,896 322,671

Provisions — Non-current

- Annual leave 139,667 N/A

- Long service leave 639,620 627,645

779,287 627,645

Note 10. Lease liability

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Current 18,260 18,260

Non-current

- Later than one year but not later than two 4,566 18,260

- Later than two years but not later than five Nil 4,566

- Later than five years Nil Nil

Total lease commitments 22,826 41,086

Less: Future interest payments 2,553 7,283

Total lease commitments less future interest payments 20,272 33,803

Current lease liability 15,886 13,531

Non-current lease liability 4,386 20,272

Total lease liability 20,272 33,803

Note 11. Commitments

68

No material commitments existed as at 30 June 1995.

Note 12. Act o f grace payments

No directions were given during the financial year 1994-95 under section 34A(i) of the Audit Act 1901.

Note 13. W aiver of rights to payment of moneys

No payments were waived during the financial year 1994-95 under subsection 70C(2) of the Audit Act 1901.

Note 14. Amounts written off

No amounts were written off under section 70C(1) of the Audit Act 1901 during 1994/95.

Note 15. Unacquitted advances

No unacquitted advances were overdue as at 30 June 1995.

Note 16. Contracted expenditure

OPC has no capital contracted expenditure, other contracted expenditure consists of rental of office space as detailed below:

1994-95 1993-94

$ $

Not later than one year 627,296 557,100

Later than one year but not later than two 627,296 557,100

Later than two years but not later than five 1,798,965 1,671,300

Later than five years 1,341,450 1,810,575

Total 4,395,007 4,596,075

69

N o te 17. G u aran te es and undertakings

No guarantees and undertakings are in existence as at 30 June 1995.

Note 18. Losses and deficiencies etc. in public moneys and other property

No case of loss or deficiency in public moneys or other property was recorded during the financial year 1994-95 for the purposes of Part XIIA of the Audit Act 1901.

Note 19. Executive Remuneration

The amounts of fixed remuneration and performance pay received, or due and receivable, by executive officers of the Office of Parliamentary Counsel:

Fixed remuneration

1994-95

$120,000 to $130,000 6

$140,000 to $150,000 2

$170,000 to $180,000 1

Total fixed remuneration $1,229,976

Aggregate performance pay $ 40,689

Note 20. Cash Flow Reconciliation

Reconciliation of net cash provided by Operating Activities to Net Cost of Services before extraordinary items.

1994-95

$

70

Net Cost of Services 5,237,133

Revenues from Government (5,125,380)

Depreciation/ Amortisation (260,291)

Gain on sale of assets 6,061

Receivables 46,405

Other 8,068

Creditors 34,541

Provisions (56,867)

Other (92,644)

Cash flow from Operating 202,974

71

N o te 2 1 . T ru st F u n d s

Office of Parliamentary Counsel - Services for Other Governments and Non- Departmental Bodies

Legal Authority — Section 60 of the Audit Act 1901

Purpose — Payment of costs in connection with services performed on behalf of other government and non-departmental bodies.

Receipts and Expenditure

1994-95

Budget

$

1994-95

Actual

$

1993-94

Actual

$

Cash Balance at 1 July Nil 5,187 2,300

Plus Receipts 10,000 20,474 2,887

Less Expenditure 10,000 25,661 Nil

Cash Balance at 30 June Nil Nil 5,187

Note 22. Other Liabilities

Amounts owed by the Office in respect of other liabilities were due to the following categories:

1994-95

$

Accrued salary and allowances 22,552

Performance based pay 70,092

92,664

72

N o te 23. A nn u al A p p ro p riatio n s

1994-95 1994-95 1993-94 1995-96

Appropriation Expenditure Expenditure Appropriation

$ $ $ $

Appropriation Acts Nos 1 and 3

Division 132 - Office of Parliamentary Counsel

1. Running costs (net appropriation) 4,865,000 4,541,652 4,039,178 5,996,000

2. Other services (printing of Bills and related material) 836,000 371,935 506,299 Nil

Total Division 132 5,701,000 4,913,587 4,545,477 5,996,000

73

Alphabetical index Advertising and market research Part 6

Client satisfaction item 2.13

Contact officer for additional information Part 8

Corporate objectives item 1.2

Corporate overview Part 2

Drafting style item 7.6

Equal Employment Opportunity item 2.8

item 2.9

Financial and staffing resources summary item 7.2

Financial statements Appendix D

Freedom of information Part 5

Appendix B

Industrial democracy Part 3

Fegislation program item 7.4

Occupational health and safety Part 4

Appendix A

Program performance reporting Part 7

Program structure item 2.7

Recruitment and resources item 2.4

Social justice and equity item 2.8

item 2.10

74

item 2.11 Scrutiny, internal

Scrutiny, external

Senior staffing changes

Simplification task forces

Staff development

Staffing overview

Structure and senior management

Summary table of resources

Working arrangements

Workplace bargaining

item 2.12

item 2.2

item 7.5

item 2.5

Appendix C

item 2.1

item 7.3

item 2.3

item 2.6

75

Compliance index

Advertising and market research Part 6

Contact officer for additional information Part 8

Corporate overview Part 2

Financial statements Appendix D

Freedom of information Part 5

Appendix B

Industrial democracy Part 3

Occupational health and safety Part 4

Appendix A

Program performance reporting Part 7

Social justice and equity item 2.8

item 2.10

Scrutiny, internal item 2.11

Scrutiny, external item 2.12

Staffing overview Appendix C

76

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