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Wednesday, 21 June 2000
Page: 15413


Senator O'Brien asked the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, upon notice, on 10 April 2000:

(1) How many agencies within the Minister's portfolio are administered by a board.

(2) Are all members of the above boards appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Executive Council; if not, who is responsible for making board appointments.

(3) In each case, does the Remuneration Tribunal have a role in the setting of fees, allowances and other benefits for members of the boards; if not: (a) under which section of the relevant legislation are such fees, allowances and benefits authorised; and (b) how is the value of these fees, allowances and other benefits determined.

(4) In each case, what is the nature and value of fees paid to board members.

(5) What other benefits, such as mobile phones, home computers and home phone/facsimile machines, are provided to board members by virtue of their membership of a government board.

(6) What class of air travel, what standard of accommodation and what car allowances are paid to board members and, in each case, what is the value of these benefits and who determines that value.

(7) Are board members entitled to, or do they receive, any spouse benefits; if so, what is the nature and value of these benefits.

(8) (a) On how many occasions since January 1998 have the above fees, allowances and other benefits been varied, (b) what was the reason for each variation; and (c) what was the quantum of each variation.

(9) If variations to fees, allowances and other payments to board members were not determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, who determined the quantum and timing of each increase.

(10) Do board members qualify for, and are they paid, superannuation benefits; if so, are such payments additional to, and separate from, other allowances they receive.

(11) Do board members receive any additional allowances if they are appointed to board sub-committees; if so, are such additional benefits provided for in the relevant legislation.


Senator Ellison (Special Minister of State) —The Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Five

- The Australian Research Council (ARC);

- The Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC);

- The Anglo-Australian Telescope Board (AATB);

- The Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) and

- The Australian Student Traineeship Foundation (ASTF)

(a) The Australian Research Council (ARC)

(2) The Chair of the ARC is appointed by the Governor-General; other members are appointed by the Minister.

(3) Yes.

(4) The ARC Chair is full time and paid an annual salary; all other Council members are part-time and receive sitting fees. Deputy Chair $400.00 per diem; Members $350.00 per diem. ARC Committee and Panel members receive a salary. Committee and Discipline Panel chairs receive $18,000pa and Committee and Discipline Panel members receive $12,600pa.

(5) No other benefits - except members can get a Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA) Corporate rate when joining QANTAS Club.

(6) Members are entitled to business class air travel but are asked to travel economy class for short trips - members are paid travelling allowance and paid a mileage allowance (government rates) if they travel on Council business in their own cars - travel allowance is set by Remuneration Tribunal.

(7) No spouse benefits.

(8) Variations only on changes by Remuneration Tribunal - last change was 1 March 1999.

(9) Not applicable. However, the Employment, Education and Training Act 1988 does state:

`Section 35B(1) the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson (if one is appointed) and

the other members of the Council are to be paid the remuneration determined by the Remuneration Tribunal, but, if no determination by the Tribunal of a member's remuneration is in effect, the member is to be paid such remuneration as is prescribed; (2) A member is to be paid such allowances as are prescribed.'

(10) Yes, superannuation payments are made by the ARC for those members who are paid directly by the ARC. However, if the ARC pays sitting fees to the member's employer, no superannuation is paid by the ARC.

(11) Those members of the Council who are also Committee Chairs receive their Committee annual salary as well as their Council sitting fees when operating as members of Council. Both are set by the Remuneration Tribunal.

(b) The Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC)

(2) The Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs makes appointments to the AUTC.

(3) A member of the AUTC is entitled to:

(a) if the member is not the holder of an office or appointment referred to in subsection 7(11) of the Remuneration Tribunals Act 1973 or the holder of an equivalent office or appointment in the service of a State - fees at the level determined by the Remuneration Tribunal to be payable to the part-time holder of a public office, Category 2, as set out in paragraphs 2.5 and 2.6 of Determination No. 3 of 1999, subject to any other determination from time to time by the Tribunal in respect of office-holders of that kind; and

(b) travelling allowance at the rates specified by the Remuneration Tribunal from time to time as payable to the part-time holder of a public office, presently specified in paragraph 2.7 of Part 2 of Determination No. 3 of 1999 as payable to the part-time holder of a public office, subject to any other determination from time to time by the Tribunal in respect of office-holders of that kind; and

(c) business class air travel within Australia or to and from the Australian territories on official business and, for other modes of travel, the standards and conditions of travel that apply to Senior Executive officers of the Australian Public Service on official business and

(d) other terms and conditions determined by the Minister from time to time.

(4) Current Sitting Fee rates as at February 2000.

Chairperson $325 per day

Member $250 per day

(5) No other benefits.

(6) See 3.

(7) No spouse benefits

(8) The fees were set for the first time in January 2000 when AUTC was first established.

(9) See 3 and 4.

(10) No superannuation benefits paid.

(11) No other benefits paid to members.

(c) Anglo-Australian Telescope Board (AATB)

(2) No. Under the Anglo-Australian Telescope Agreement Act 1970, Australia appoints three of the six members of the Board. The Australian members of the Board are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Executive Council. The British Government appoints the remaining three members.

(3) (a) and (b) No. Subsection 7(3) of the Anglo-Australian Telescope Agreement Act 1970 empowers the Governor-General to determine the remuneration to be paid to Board members and the other terms and conditions under which they hold office. The Governor-General's determinations provide:

· in the case of two Australian Board members, that members be paid travelling allowance and the allowance payable for the performance of duty outside Australian and the External Territories, both at the rates and conditions applicable to officers of the Australian Public Service Senior Executive Services; and

· in the case of the third Australian Board member, that the member be remunerated at the rate determined by the Remuneration Tribunal for the Chairperson of the Australian Research Council pro-rata for each day the Board meets, and otherwise holds office on the terms and conditions that apply to a person appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the Australian Public Service under a fixed term appointment. The person is precluded from receiving any remuneration as a member of the Board for any period that they receive remuneration as a member of the Australian Research Council.

(4) See 3(a) and (b) above.

(5) None.

(6) See 3(a) and (b) above.

(7) No.

(8) See 3(a) and (b) above.

(9) N/a.

(10) No.

(11) N/a

(d) The Australian National Training Authority (ANTA)

(2) In accordance with the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) Act 1992, Part 6 Administrative Provisions relating to the Authority, members of the ANTA Board are appointed by the Governor- General on the nomination of the ANTA Ministerial Council.

(3) The Remuneration Tribunal has a role in the setting of fees and allowances for ANTA Board members who fall within the category of part-time holders of public offices. The value of these fees and allowances are determined following an annual review and survey of costs by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The Chair of the ANTA Ministerial Council, under the ANTA Act, Part 6 section 29.(1) determines the level of other benefits (eg highest level of airline travel and use of cab charge credit facilities or Commonwealth car) for members of the ANTA Board.

The value of other benefits are determined as necessary or desirable to assist a member in, or place a member in a position that may facilitate, the performance of his or her duties (refer ANTA Act 1992 Part 6 section 29.(3)).

(4) The daily fees paid to part-time holders of public offices (ANTA Board) are as follows:

Sitting Fees

Travel Allowance

Pier diem

Per overnight stay (for accommodation and incidentals)

Chair

$550

$350(Sydney)

$290 - Other Capital City

$200 - Other than a Capital City

Deputy Chair

$475

As above

Member

$400

As above

(5) No other benefits are paid to ANTA Board members.

(6) In accordance with Part 6 section 29.(1) of the ANTA Act 1992, members of the ANTA Board are entitled to the following additional benefits as determined by the Chair of the ANTA Ministerial Council with the approval of the Ministerial Council:

- The highest class of airline travel;

- Use of cab charge credit facilities or a Commonwealth Car

- the ANTA Board uses the services of the Authority's corporate hire car,

Ansett Cars, in lieu of issuing cab charge credit facilities.

- Accommodation standard is in line with the level of travel allowance determined by the Remuneration Tribunal (refer question 4 above).

(7) The ANTA Board members are not entitled to and do not receive any spouse benefits.

(8) (a) Since January 1998, the Remuneration Tribunal has undertaken one annual review of sitting fees and travel allowance paid to part-time public officers holders (ANTA Board) - this review came into effect on 1 March 1999.

There has been no review of other benefits since January 1998. ANTA Board members have continued to travel business/first class with ANTA's corporate airline, Ansett Australia, and used the services of its corporate hire car company, Ansett Cars, since January 1998.

(b) In assessing the annual review following a survey of costs the Remuneration Tribunal paid particular attention to the following factors:

- the ability of the Commonwealth to retain and recruit appointees with the necessary skills, expertise and qualities to perform duties of the office;

- economic indicators and increases in wages;

- fees paid to part-time office holders in State and Territory Authorities and in the private sector;

- the need for restraint in Government expenditure and public service involved in holding a public office; and

- opportunity also taken to simplify the fee structure where possible.

(c)

Up to 1 March 1999

From 1 March 1999

Sitting Fees

Chair

$502

$550

Deputy Chair

$445

$475

Members

$380

$400

Travel Allowance

Chair, Deputy

$320 (Capital City)

$350 (Sydney)

Chair and Members

$165 (Other than CC)

$290 (Other Capital City)

$200 (Other than CC)

(9) Variations to other payments to the ANTA Board, including the level and timing of each increase, are determined by the Chair of the ANTA Ministerial Council in accordance with the ANTA Act 1992 Part 6 section 29.(1).

(10) ANTA Board members are not paid superannuation benefits.

(11) ANTA Board members who are appointed to Chair Board sub-committees etc. are paid the equivalent sitting fees, travel allowances and other benefits as if attending normal Board meetings. This is provided for under the determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal and the ANTA Act 1992.

(e) The Australian Student Traineeship Foundation (ASTF)

(2) All members of the ASTF Board are appointed by the Minister.

(3) The Remuneration Tribunal sets the fees for the board.

(4) The Chairperson receives $502 for a day's work and members are paid $380.

(5) The ASTF board does not receive any additional benefits.

(6) All board members fly economy class except when flying East Coast to Perth where business class is permitted. Accommodation is 3-4 star rating on average $150 per night. Vehicle allowances is not paid, reimbursement of petrol costs are provided.

(7) Board members receive no benefits for spouses.

(8) The fees for ASTF board members have not changed since October 1997.

(9) N/A

(10) No

(11) No