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National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

2016-2017-2018

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

 

No.      , 2018

 

(Ms McGowan)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to enhance the integrity of the Parliament of Australia, and for related purposes

   

   

   



Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                              5

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 5

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 6

3............ Objects of Act..................................................................................... 7

4............ Saving of powers, privileges and immunities...................................... 7

5............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 7

6............ Application of Act............................................................................... 8

7............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 8

Part 2—Parliamentary values and conduct                                                          12

Division 1—Statement of parliamentary values                                            12

8............ Parliamentary values......................................................................... 12

Division 2—Parliamentary code of conduct                                                    13

9............ Upholding democracy and respecting others regardless of background 13

10.......... Conflicts of interest........................................................................... 13

11.......... Using position for profit................................................................... 14

12.......... Outside employment and activities.................................................... 14

13.......... Accepting any gift, hospitality or other benefit.................................. 14

14.......... Use of influence................................................................................ 14

15.......... Use of public resources..................................................................... 15

16.......... Personal conduct............................................................................... 15

17.......... Managing confidential and personal information.............................. 15

18.......... Post-retirement activities................................................................... 16

19.......... Staff of parliamentarians................................................................... 16

20.......... Extending code of conduct................................................................ 16

Part 3—Registers of Interests                                                                                        17

21.......... Register of interests—House of Representatives.............................. 17

22.......... Register of interests—Senate............................................................ 17

Part 4—Parliamentary Integrity Adviser                                                               18

Division 1—Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser                18

23.......... Parliamentary Integrity Adviser........................................................ 18

24.......... Functions of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser................................... 18

Division 2—Provision of advice                                                                             20

Subdivision A—Requests for advice                                                                     20

25.......... Parliamentarian, former parliamentarian or staff may request advice. 20

26.......... Minister may request advice.............................................................. 21

27.......... Presiding officer or chair of committee may request advice.............. 22

28.......... Requirements relating to requests for advice..................................... 22

29.......... Provision of advice........................................................................... 22

30.......... Limited protection from acting on conflict of interest issue............... 23

Subdivision B—Confidentiality of information                                                24

31.......... Interpretation..................................................................................... 24

32.......... Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.................. 24

33.......... Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law.......... 25

34.......... Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates........... 25

35.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure....................................... 25

36.......... No requirement to provide information to courts etc......................... 25

37.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person................. 26

Division 3—Better practices guides and fact sheets                                    27

38.......... Better practices guides and fact sheets............................................... 27

Division 4—Annual report                                                                                        28

39.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 28

Part 5—Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                            30

Division 1—Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                                                                                                       30

40.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner............................................ 30

41.......... Functions of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner....................... 30

Division 2—Alleged or suspected contraventions of parliamentary code of conduct     32

42.......... Referral of alleged or suspected contravention.................................. 32

43.......... How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with............ 32

44.......... Assessment and preliminary enquiries.............................................. 34

45.......... Inquiries............................................................................................ 36

46.......... Report of inquiry............................................................................... 38

47.......... Opportunity to be heard.................................................................... 39

48.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Committee 40

49.......... Advice of outcome of inquiry........................................................... 41

50.......... Public advice of outcome of inquiry.................................................. 42

51.......... Report to House................................................................................ 42

52.......... Failure to comply with parliamentary code of conduct...................... 43

Division 3—Alleged or suspected contraventions of ministerial code of conduct             45

53.......... Referral of alleged or suspected contravention.................................. 45

54.......... How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with............ 45

55.......... Assessment and preliminary enquiries.............................................. 47

56.......... Inquiries............................................................................................ 49

57.......... Report of inquiry............................................................................... 50

58.......... Opportunity to be heard.................................................................... 52

59.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Prime Minister                53

60.......... Advice of outcome of inquiry........................................................... 53

61.......... Public advice of outcome of inquiry.................................................. 54

62.......... Report to House................................................................................ 55

Division 4—Confidentiality of information                                                      56

63.......... Interpretation..................................................................................... 56

64.......... Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.................. 56

65.......... Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law.......... 57

66.......... Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates........... 57

67.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure....................................... 57

68.......... No requirement to provide information to courts etc......................... 58

69.......... Offences for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person................ 58

Division 5—Annual report                                                                                        60

70.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 60

Part 6—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                                                              62

Division 1—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser             62

71.......... Appointment of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.............................. 62

72.......... General terms and conditions of appointment................................... 63

73.......... Other paid work................................................................................ 63

74.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 63

75.......... Leave of absence............................................................................... 64

76.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 64

77.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 64

78.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 65

79.......... Acting appointments......................................................................... 65

80.......... Assistance to Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.................................. 66

Division 2—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner            67

81.......... Appointment of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.................. 67

82.......... General terms and conditions of appointment................................... 68

83.......... Other paid work................................................................................ 68

84.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 68

85.......... Leave of absence............................................................................... 69

86.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 69

87.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 69

88.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 70

89.......... Acting appointments......................................................................... 71

90.......... Assistance to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner...................... 71

91.......... Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner............................ 72

Division 3—Approval or rejection of recommendations for appointments          73

92.......... Committees may approve or reject recommendation for appointment 73

Part 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                                        74

93.......... Offence of victimisation.................................................................... 74

94.......... Protection from liability..................................................................... 74

95.......... Immunities from certain State and Territory laws.............................. 75

96.......... Review relating to Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 75

97.......... Review relating to lobbying and post-separation employment.......... 76

98.......... Review relating to political finance, funding, donations and campaign regulation    77

99.......... Review of operation of Act............................................................... 78

100........ Schedules.......................................................................................... 80

101........ Regulations....................................................................................... 80

Schedule 1—House of Representatives—Register of Members’ Interests                81

Schedule 2—The Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests 85

Schedule 3—Amendments                                                                                               89

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013                                                                       89

 



A Bill for an Act to enhance the integrity of the Parliament of Australia, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:



Schedule 1 House of Representatives—Register of Members’ Interests

Note:       See section 21.

   

   

1.       Registration of Members’ interests

(1)      Within 28 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Member of the House of Representatives each Member shall provide to the Registrar of Members’ Interests, a statement of—

(a)      the Member’s registrable interests, and

(b)     the registrable interests of which the Member is aware—

(i)         of the Member’s spouse and

(ii)       of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support,

in accordance with resolutions adopted by the House and in a form determined by the Committee of Members’ Interests or by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 28 days of that alteration occurring.

 

(2)      The statement to be provided by a Member shall include:

(i)         in the case of a Member who was not a Member of the House of Representatives in the immediately preceding Parliament, interests held at the date of his or her election and any alteration of interests which has occurred between that date and the date of completion of the statement, and

(ii)       in the case of a Member who was a Member of the House of Representatives in the immediately preceding Parliament, interests held at the date of dissolution of the House of Representatives in the previous Parliament and any alteration of interests which has occurred between that date and the date of completion of the statement.

2.       Registrable interests

That the statement of a Member’s registrable interests to be provided by a Member shall include the registrable interests of which the Member is aware (l) of the Member’s spouse and (2) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(a)            shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(b)           family and business trusts and nominee companies—

i.         in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and

ii.       in which the Member, the Member’s spouse, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the Member, the Member’s spouse or dependent children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust;

(c)            real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned;

(d)           registered directorships of companies;

(e)            partnerships indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;

(f)            liabilities indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned;

(g)            the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments;

(h)           saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned;

(i)             the nature of any other assets (excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $7,500;

(j)             the nature of any other substantial sources of income;

(k)           gifts valued at more than $750 received from official sources, or at more than $300 where received from other than official sources provided that a gift received by a Member, the Member’s spouse or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the Member judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist;

(l)             any sponsored travel or hospitality received where the value of the sponsored travel or hospitality exceeds $300;

(m)         membership of any organisation where a conflict of interest with a Member’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise, and

(n)           any other interests where a conflict of interest with a Member’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise.

 

3.       Register and Registrar of Members’ Interests

(a)            at the commencement of each Parliament, and at other times as necessary, Mr Speaker shall appoint the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser as the Registrar of Members’ Interests and that officer shall also assist the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests in relation to matters concerning Members’ interests;

(b)           the Registrar of Members’ Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests, maintain a Register of Members’ Interests in a form to be determined by that committee from time to time;

(c)            as soon as possible after the commencement of each Parliament the chairman of the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests shall table in the House a copy of the completed Register of Members’ Interests and shall also table from time to time as required any notification by a Member of alteration of those interests, and

(d)           the Register of Members’ Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests from time to time.

Any Member of the House of Representatives who—

(a)      knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Members’ Interests by the due date;

(b)      knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Members’ Interests within 28 days of the change occurring, or

(c)     knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Members’ Interests,

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the House of Representatives and shall be dealt with by the House accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee and/or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for inquiry and report and may not be considered by any other committee.

Schedule 2 The Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests

Note:       See section 22.

   

   

1.       Registration of Senators’ Interests

 

(1)                 Within:

(a)                28 days after the first meeting of the Senate after 1 July first occurring after a general election; and

(b)               28 days after the first meeting of the Senate after a simultaneous dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and

(c)                28 days after making and subscribing an oath or affirmation of allegiance as a senator for a Territory or appointed or chosen to fill a vacancy in the Senate;

each senator shall provide to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests a statement of:

(a)              the senator’s registrable interests; and

(b)             the registrable interests of which the senator is aware:

(i)                    of the senator’s spouse or partner, and

(ii)                  of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support;

in accordance with this Schedule and in a form determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 35 days of that alteration occurring.

(2)                 Any senator who:

(a)              knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests by the due date;

(b)             knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests within 35 days of the change occurring; or

(c)              knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests;

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee and/or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for inquiry and report and may not be considered by any other committee.

2.       Registrable interests of spouses or partners and dependants

 

Statements of the registrable interests of a senator’s spouse or partner or of any dependent children submitted in accordance with paragraph (1) shall be maintained in a separate part of the register and shall remain confidential to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and the Committee of Senators’ Interests, except where the committee or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner considers that a conflict of interest arises, at which time the committee may table the declaration or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may include it in a relevant report.

 

3.       Registrable interests

 

The statement of a senator’s registrable interests to be provided by a senator shall include the registrable interests of which the senator is aware of the senator’s spouse or partner and of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(a)              shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(b)             family and business trusts and nominee companies:

(i)               in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust and the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and

(ii)             in which the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support, is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust;

(c)              real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned;

(d)             registered directorships of companies;

(e)              partnerships, indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;

(f)              liabilities, indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned;

(g)             the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments;

(h)             saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned;

(i)               the nature of any other assets (excluding household and personal effects) each valued at more than $7,500;

(j)               the nature of any other substantial sources of income;

(k)             gifts valued at more than $750 received from official sources (such sources being an Australian or foreign national, state, provincial or local government or a person holding an office in such a government) or at $300 or more where received from other than official sources, provided that a gift received by a senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the senator judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist;

(l)               any sponsored travel or hospitality received where the value of the sponsorship or hospitality exceeds $300;

(m)            being an office holder of or financial contributor donating $300 or more in any single calendar year to any organisation; and

(n)             any other interests where a conflict of interest with a senator’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise.

 

4.       Register and Registrar of Senators’ Interests

 

(3)                  At the commencement of each parliament, and at other times as necessary, the President shall appoint the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser as the Registrar of Senators’ Interests and that officer shall also be secretary of the Committee of Senators’ Interests.

(4)                  The Registrar of Senators’ Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests, maintain a Register of Senators’ Interests in a form to be determined by that committee from time to time.

(5)                  As soon as possible after receipt of statements of registrable interests in accordance with section 1(1), the chairman of the Committee of Senators’ Interests shall table in the Senate a copy of the completed Register of Senators’ Interests and shall also table every 6 months any notification by a senator of alteration of those interests.

(6)                  The Register of Senators’ Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Senators’ Interests from time to time.

(7)                  That part of the Register of Senators’ Interests relating to spouses or partners and dependent children shall remain confidential to the Committee of Senators’ Interests as provided for in paragraph 2.

 

5.       Interpretation

 

For the purposes of paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Schedule, ‘partner’ means a person who is living with another person in a bona fide domestic relationship.