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Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements Bill 2000

Part 5 Miscellaneous

   

37   Auditor not to be sued

                   Neither the Auditor, nor a person acting under his or her direction or authority is liable to an action, suit or proceeding for or in relation to an act done or omitted to be done in good faith in exercise or purported exercise of any power or authority conferred by this Act.

38   Protection from civil actions

                   Civil proceedings do not lie against a person in respect of loss, damage or injury of any kind suffered by another person by reason of any of the following acts done in good faith:

                     (a)  the making of a complaint to the Auditor under Division 1 of Part 4;

                     (b)  the provision of information or a document to the Auditor or an authorised person for the purposes of this Act, whether or not the information or document was provided pursuant to a direction under section 20.

39   Disclosure of information by Auditor

             (1)  Nothing in this Act is taken to preclude the Auditor from disclosing information, or making a statement, to any person or to the public or a section of the public with respect to the performance of the functions of, or an investigation by, the Auditor under this Act if, in the opinion of the Auditor, it is in the interests of any person, or is otherwise in the public interest, so to disclose that information or to make that statement.

             (2)  The Auditor must not disclose information or make a statement under subsection (1) with respect to a particular investigation where the disclosure of that information, or the making of that statement, is likely to interfere with the carrying out of that or any other investigation or the making of a report under this Act.

             (3)  The Auditor must not, in disclosing information or making a statement under subsection (1) with respect to a particular investigation:

                     (a)  set out opinions that are, either expressly or impliedly, critical of a person unless the Auditor has complied with subsection 29(5) in relation to the investigation; or

                     (b)  disclose the name of a complainant or any other matter that would enable a complainant to be identified unless it is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances to do so.

             (4)  This section has effect despite subsection 29(2) and section 40.

40   Officers to observe secrecy

             (1)  In this section:

officer means:

                     (a)  the Auditor; or

                     (b)  a member of staff referred to in section 15; or

                     (c)  an authorised person.

             (2)  Subject to this section, an officer must not, either directly or indirectly, and either while he or she is, or after he or she ceases to be, an officer, make a record of, or divulge or communicate to any person, any information acquired by him or her by reason of his or her being an officer, being information that was disclosed or obtained under the provisions of this Act.

Maximum penalty:    5 penalty units.

Note:          Section 4AA of the Crimes Act 1914 sets the current value of a penalty unit.

             (3)  Subsection (2) does not prevent an officer :

                     (a)  from making a record of, or divulging or communicating to any person, information acquired by him or her in the performance of his or her duties as an officer for purposes connected with the exercise of the powers and the performance of the functions of the Auditor under this Act; or

                     (b)  from divulging or communicating information to a person with the consent of the person who furnished the information.

             (4)  Subsection (2) does not prevent the Auditor from disclosing, in a report made under this Act, such matters as, in his or her opinion, ought to be disclosed in the course of setting out the grounds for the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report.

41   Delegation by Auditor

             (1)  The Auditor may, by written instrument, delegate any of the Auditor’s powers or functions under this Act to a person who is a member of staff referred to in section 15.

             (2)  In exercising powers or functions under the delegation, the staff member must comply with any directions of the Auditor.

42   Appropriation

                   The costs of the administration of this Act are to be paid out of money appropriated by the Parliament for the purpose.

43   Regulations

                   The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that are:

                     (a)  required or permitted; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient;

to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

44   Schedule(s)

                   Each Act that is specified in a Schedule to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this Act has effect according to its terms.



 

Schedule 1 Consequential amendments

   

Auditor-General Act 1997

1  After subsection 53(1)

Insert:

          (1A)  The draft estimates must include draft estimates for the operations of the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements.

Public Accounts and Audit Committee Act 1951

2  Section 4

Insert:

Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements means the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements referred to in section 6 of the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements Act 2000 .

3  Paragraph 8(1)(c)

After “(including reports of the results of performance audits)”, insert “or the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements”.

4  Subparagraph 8(1)(g)(ii)

Omit “and information technology”, substitute “, information technology and resources allocated to the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements”.

5  Paragraph 8(1)(h)

Omit “Auditor-General’s functions and powers”, substitute “powers and functions of the Auditor-General or the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements”.

6  Subsection 8(1A)

After “Auditor-General”, insert “, the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements”.

7  After section 8A

Insert:

8AA   Committee may approve or reject recommendation for appointment of Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements

             (1)  If the Minister refers a proposed recommendation for an appointment of the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements to the Committee for approval, the Committee must:

                     (a)  approve or reject the proposal within 14 days after receiving it; or

                     (b)  notify the Minister as provided for in subsection (2).

Note:          Section 9 of the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements Act 2000 requires proposed recommendations to be referred to the Committee for approval.

             (2)  The Committee may notify the Minister within 14 days after receiving a proposal that it needs more time to consider the proposal. If the Committee does so, the Committee must approve or reject the proposal within 44 days after receiving it.

             (3)  The decision to approve or reject a proposal is to be by majority of the members of the Committee for the time being holding office.

             (4)  If the Committee does not make a decision on a proposal by the required time, the Committee is taken, at that time, to have approved the proposal.

             (5)  The Committee must notify the Minister of its decision on a proposal as soon as practicable after making the decision.

             (6)  A notification under this section must be in writing.

             (7)  The Committee must report to both Houses of the Parliament on its decision on a proposal.

             (8)  In this section:

Minister means the Minister administering the Auditor of Parliamentary Allowances and Entitlements Act 2000 .