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Employee Protection (Employee Entitlements Guarantee) Bill 2001

Part 6—Administration

30  Commissioner responsible for general administration of Act

                   Subject to any directions of the Treasurer, the Commissioner has the general administration of this Act.

31  Powers of the Commissioner

                   For the purpose of undertaking the general administration of this Act, the Commissioner has power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done in connection with the administration of the Act and, without limiting the generality of that power, has power:

                     (a)  to promote the development of facilities for handling inquiries in relation to employee entitlements protection insurance; and

                     (b)  to monitor complaints in relation to employee entitlements protection insurance; and

                     (c)  to liaise generally with other persons or bodies having a responsibility to deal with inquiries, complaints and disputes concerning the protection of employees; and

                     (d)  to review information and returns given by insurers under this Act; and

                     (e)  to monitor legal judgments, industry trends and the development of community expectations that are, or are likely to be, of relevance to the efficient operation of this Act; and

                      (f)  to promote the education of employers, employees and the insurance industry as to the objectives and requirements of this Act.

32   Supervisory powers—Commissioner may obtain information and material

             ( 1 )  The Commissioner may, for a purpose connected with the administration or enforcement of this Act, by notice in writing, require an employer or insurer, within 30 days of receipt of the notice, or such longer period as is specified in the notice:

                     (a)  to give the Commissioner written answers to questions stated in the notice; or

                     (b)  to give the Commissioner copies of documents specified in the notice.

             ( 2 )  The answers to questions must, if the notice so requires, be verified by statutory declaration.

             ( 3 )  A person to whom a notice is given under subsection (1) must not fail, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the requirements of the notice.

Penalty:  150 penalty units.

             ( 4 ) It is a reasonable excuse for a person to refuse or fail to comply with the requirements of a notice under subsection (1) if to do so would tend to incriminate the person.

33   Secrecy

             ( 1 )  The object of this section is to create duties of non-disclosure for the purposes of section 70 of the Crimes Act 1914 .

             ( 2 )  Subject to subsections (3), (4) and (6), a person who is or has been:

                     (a)  the Commissioner; or

                     (b)  a member of the staff assisting the Commissioner;

                            must not, either directly or indirectly, communicate to any person any information concerning the affairs of any other person if the information has been acquired by him or her:

                     (c) in the exercise or purported exercise of powers under or for the purposes of this Act; or

                     (d)  in the performance or purported performance of duties under or for the purposes of this Act.

             ( 3 )  Subsection (2) does not apply to a person who communicates the information in the performance of a duty in connection with this Act.

             ( 4 )  Subsection (2) does not prevent the communication of information or the production of a document by the Commissioner or by a member of the staff assisting the Commissioner authorised by the Commissioner:

                     (a)  to the Minister; or

                     (b)  to a court for the purposes of this Act; or

                     (c)  to a person to whom, in the Minister's opinion, it is in the public interest that the information be communicated or the document produced.

             ( 5 )  A person who is or has been:

                     (a)  the Commissioner; or

                     (b)  a member of the staff assisting the Commissioner;

                   is not required:

                     (c)  to communicate to a court any information; or

                     (d)  to produce in court any document;

acquired by him or her, in the exercise or the purported exercise of powers, or the performance or purported performance of duties, for the purposes of this Act, except when it is necessary to do so for the purposes of this Act.

             ( 6 )  Subsection (2) does not prevent the communication of information or the production of a document by the Commissioner, or by a member of the staff assisting the Commissioner authorised by the Commissioner to:

                     (a)  an Agency Head (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1997 ); or

                     (b)  an APS employee in the Agency who is approved, in writing, by the Agency Head;

                            for the purpose of advising the Minister administering that Agency in connection with a submission:

                     (c)  made, or to be made, by the Minister administering that Agency to the Minister administering this Act; and

                     (d)  relating to the administration of this Act.

             ( 7 )  If information is communicated under subsection (6) to an Agency Head (within the meaning of the Public Service Act 1997 ) or an APS employee, the APS Head or the APS employee must not, either directly or indirectly, except for the purpose mentioned in subsection (6), divulge or communicate that information to any person.

34   Delegation

                   The Commissioner may by writing signed by the Commissioner delegate to a person:

                     (a)  who is a member of the staff appointed to assist the Commissioner in the performance of the Commissioner's functions; and

                     (b)  who is an SES employee or acting SES employee;

                   any of the Commissioner's powers under this Act or the regulations.

35   Annual report

             ( 1 )  The Commissioner must, within 3 months after the end of each financial year, give to the Treasurer a report on the working of this Act during that year for presentation to the Parliament.

             ( 2 )  The report must include copies of audited accounts relating to—

                     (a)  the Commissioner's income and expenditure as nominal defendant for the relevant year; and

                     (b)  contributions received from, and payments made to, approved insurers under the bad risk cross subsidisation scheme for the relevant year.