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Parliamentary Service Bill 1997 [No. 2]

Part 7 Departments and Secretaries

   

53   Departments

             (1)  The following Departments of the Parliament are established by this subsection:

                     (a)  the Department of the Senate;

                     (b)  the Department of the House of Representatives.

             (2)  Such other Departments of the Parliament as are required may be established by resolutions passed by each House of the Parliament.

             (3)  For the purposes of this Act, a Department consists of the Secretary of the Department, together with the Parliamentary Service employees assisting the Secretary.

             (4)  A Department of the Parliament established under subsection (2) may be abolished by resolutions passed by each House of the Parliament.

54   Offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives

                   On the commencement of this Act, offices of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives are established by this section.

55   Office of Secretary of a Department

             (1)  This section applies to a Department other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives.

             (2)  On the establishment of a Department, an office of Secretary of that Department is established by this subsection.

             (3)  On the abolition of a Department, the office of Secretary of that Department is abolished by this subsection.

             (4)  The name of the office of Secretary of a Department is “Secretary of the [ name of Department ]”.

56   Responsibility for managing Department

                   The Secretary of a Department, under the Presiding Officers, is responsible for managing the Department.

57   Appointment of Clerk of the Senate and Clerk of the House of Representatives

             (1)  The Clerk of the Senate is to be appointed by the President of the Senate after the President has consulted members of the Senate about the proposed appointment.

             (2)  The Clerk of the House of Representatives is to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives after the Speaker has consulted members of that House about the proposed appointment.

             (3)  An appointment of a person as the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives is to be for a period of 10 years. The person is not eligible for reappointment.

             (4)  A person is not to be appointed as the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives unless the Presiding Officer making the appointment is satisfied that the person has extensive knowledge of, and experience in, relevant Parliamentary law, procedure and practice.

             (5)  If the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives has reached the minimum retiring age, he or she is entitled to retire at any time by notice in writing to the Presiding Officer.

             (6)  An appointment is not affected by any defect or irregularity in or in connection with the appointment.

58   Appointment of Secretary of a Department

             (1)  The Secretary of a Department established under subsection 53(2) is to be appointed by the Presiding Officers for a period of 5 years.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers cannot make an appointment unless they have received a report about the vacancy from the Commissioner.

             (3)  An appointment is not affected by any defect or irregularity in or in connection with the appointment.

59   Termination of appointment of Clerk of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives

             (1)  The Senate may, by resolution passed pursuant to a motion of which notice was given at least 6 sitting days before the day on which the resolution is passed, terminate the appointment of the Clerk of the Senate.

             (2)  The House of Representatives may, by resolution passed pursuant to a motion of which notice was given at least 6 sitting days before the day on which the resolution is passed, terminate the appointment of the Clerk of that House.

             (3)  A resolution terminating the appointment of the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives must state the ground on which the appointment is terminated, which must be one of the following:

                     (a)  the Clerk has been guilty of misbehaviour;

                     (b)  the Clerk is incapable, because of physical or mental incapacity, of performing his or her duties;

                     (c)  the Clerk has become an insolvent under administration.

             (4)  Division 3 of Part VIA of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 does not apply to the termination of an appointment under this section.

60   Termination of appointment of Secretary of a Department

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may, by notice in writing, terminate an appointment of a Secretary of a Department (other than an appointment of the Clerk of the Senate or the Clerk of the House of Representatives) at any time.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers cannot terminate an appointment unless they have received a report about the proposed termination from the Commissioner.

             (3)  Division 3 of Part VIA of the Workplace Relations Act 1996 does not apply to the termination of an appointment under this section.

61   Suspension of Clerk of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives

             (1)  If it appears to the Presiding Officer of a House of the Parliament that a ground exists on which the House could terminate the appointment of the Clerk of the House, the Presiding Officer may, by notice in writing, suspend the Clerk from office.

             (2)  If the Presiding Officer of a House of the Parliament suspends the Clerk of the House from office, the Presiding Officer must cause a statement of the suspension setting out the ground of the suspension to be laid before the House not later than the first sitting day of the House after the day on which the suspension occurs.

             (3)  The suspension of the Clerk ends on the first occurrence of any one of the following:

                     (a)  the appointment of the Clerk is terminated under section 59;

                     (b)  the House passes a resolution removing the suspension;

                     (c)  the prescribed period has elapsed after the day on which a statement of the suspension is laid before the House under subsection (2).

             (4)  For the purposes of paragraph (3)(c), the prescribed period in relation to a particular suspension is:

                     (a)  5 sitting days of the House concerned; or

                     (b)  if the House concerned has, before those 5 sitting days have elapsed, passed a resolution specifying a greater number of sitting days (not exceeding 10 sitting days) in relation to the suspension—that greater number of sitting days.

             (5)  The suspension of a person from office as Clerk of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives does not affect any entitlement of the person to be paid remuneration or allowances.

62   Remuneration and other conditions of appointment

             (1)  The remuneration and other conditions of employment of the Clerk of the Senate and of the Clerk of the House of Representatives are as determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  The remuneration and other conditions of employment of the Secretary of a Department (other than the Department of the Senate and the Department of the House of Representatives) are as determined by the Presiding Officers after receiving a report from the Commissioner.

63   Acting Secretary

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may appoint a person to act in the office of Secretary of a Department:

                     (a)  if there is a vacancy in the office, whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office; or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Secretary is suspended from office, is absent from duty or from Australia or is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

             (2)  Anything done by or in relation to a person purporting to act under this section is not invalid merely because:

                     (a)  the occasion for the appointment had not arisen; or

                     (b)  there was a defect or irregularity in connection with the appointment; or

                     (c)  the appointment had ceased to have effect; or

                     (d)  the occasion to act had not arisen or had ceased.

64   Annual report

                   After the end of each financial year:

                     (a)  the Clerk of the Senate must give a report to the President of the Senate, for presentation to the Senate, on the activities of the Department of the Senate during the year; and

                     (b)  the Clerk of the House of Representatives must give a report to the Speaker of that House, for presentation to that House, on the activities of the Department of the House of Representatives during the year; and

                     (c)  the Secretary of each other Department must give a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, for presentation to each House of the Parliament, on the activities of that Department during the year.