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Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014

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2013-2014

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

SENATE

 

 

 

FAIR WORK (REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS) AMENDMENT BILL 2014

 

 

SUPPLEMENTARY EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

Amendments to be Moved on Behalf of the Government

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz )

 



AMENDMENTS TO THE FAIR WORK (REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS) AMENDMENT BILL 2014

OUTLINE

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 (the Bill) will amend the Fair Work (Registered Organisations ) Act 2009 (RO Act) and the Fair Work Act 2009 to ensure better governance of registered organisations .  

Recent examples of financial misconduct within registered organisations have demonstrated that the existing regulatory framework is not sufficient to provide members of registered organisations with confidence that the management of registered organisations is accountable and transparent and that their membership contributions are being used for proper purposes.

In addressing these issues, the Bill will improve the governance and financial transparency of registered organisations and provide an appropriately empowered and independent regulator that will ensure compliance with the RO Act by registered organisations, branches of registered organisations and their officers.

A previous bill in the same terms, the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2013 was passed by the House of Representatives on 12 December 2013 but was subsequently negatived in the Senate on 14 May 2014.  

These amendments to the Bill:

  • amend the commencement provisions of Schedules 1 and 2 of the Bill, in order to prevent the Bill from having retrospective commencement;
  • make amendments consequential to the passing of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ; and
  • omit transitional provisions of the Bill that are no longer required because of the proposed amendments. 



Financial Impact Statement

Nil



STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

Amendments to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014

The amendments to the Bill are compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

Overview of amendments to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014

The amendments will:

  • amend the commencement provisions of Schedules 1 and 2 of the Bill, in order to prevent the Bill from having retrospective commencement;
  • make amendments consequential to the passing of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 ; and
  • omit transitional provisions of the Bill that are no longer required because of the proposed amendments. 

Human rights implications

The amendments do not alter the human rights implications of the Bill as expressed in the Statements of Compatibility with Human Rights which accompany the explanatory memorandum for the Bill and the supplementary explanatory memorandum for the Government amendments tabled in the House of Representatives. 

Conclusion

The amendments to the Bill are compatible with human rights.

 

Minister for Employment, Senator the Hon. Eric Abetz

 





NOTES ON AMENDMENTS

 

In these notes on amendments, the following abbreviations are used:

 

Commissioner

Registered Organisations Commissioner

Corporations Act

Corporations Act 2001

FMA Act

Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997

PGPA Act

Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013

the Bill

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014

 



 

Amendment No. 1 Clause 2, page 2 (table items 2 and 3)

1.                         This amendment amends the commencement table of the Bill to provide that Schedules 1 and 2 commence on a day or days to be fixed by proclamation. However, if any of the provisions of these Schedules do not commence within the period of 12 months beginning on the day the Bill receives the Royal Assent, they commence on the day after the end of that period.

2.                         The 12 month period (as opposed to 6 months) is required to ensure that these Schedules of the Bill may be proclaimed to commence at the beginning of a financial year, irrespective of when it receives the Royal Assent.

Amendment No. 2 Schedule 1, item 88, page 13 (lines 28 and 29)

3.                         This amendment omits the note to section 329AC and substitutes a new note to replace the reference to the FMA Act with a reference to the PGPA Act.

4.                         This amendment is consequential to the repeal of the FMA Act which has been replaced by the PGPA Act.

Amendment No. 3 Schedule 1, item 88, page 15 (lines 13 to 17)

5.                         This amendment omits current section 329BG and replaces it with new section 329BG. It provides that a disclosure by the Commissioner under section 29 of the PGPA Act must be made to the Minister. Subsection 329BG(1) applies in addition to any rules made for the purposes of that section. For the purposes of the Registered Organisations Act 2009 and the PGPA Act the Commissioner is taken not to have complied with section 29 of the PGPA Act if the Commissioner does not comply with subsection 329BG(1) of this section. 

6.                         This amendment is consequential to the new PGPA Act framework.

Amendment No. 4 Schedule 1, item 88, page 16 (lines 19 and 20)

7.                         This amendment omits paragraph 329BJ(2)(d) and substitutes a new paragraph 329BJ(2)(d). Instead of referring to a requirement that the Minister terminate the appointment of the Commissioner if the Commissioner fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 329BG it now refers to the disclosure requirements in the PGPA Act. 

8.                         The amendment would mean that the Minister must terminate the appointment of the Commissioner if the Commissioner fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 29 of the PGPA Act or with rules made for the purposes of that section.   

Amendment No. 5, Schedule 1, item 88, page 18 (lines 8 and 9)

9.                         This amendment removes the reference to “Special Account for the purposes of the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997” in subsection 329CA(2) and substitutes “special account for the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.”

10.                     This amendment is consequential to the repeal of the FMA Act which has been replaced by the PGPA Act.

 

Amendment No. 6 Schedule 1, item 88, page 18 (lines 22 and 23)

11.                     This amendment omits “Special Account if any of the purposes of the Account” from the note to section 329EB and substitutes “special account if any of the purposes of the special account”. 

12.                     This is to align with PGPA Act drafting style.

Amendment No. 7 Schedule 1, item 88, page 19 (lines 2 and 3)

13.                     This amendment substitutes a new note to section 329EC to replace the reference to section 21 of the FMA Act with a reference to section 80 of the PGPA Act.

14.                     This amendment is consequential to the repeal of the FMA Act which has been replaced by the PGPA Act.

Amendment No. 8 Schedule 1, item 88, page 19 (line 21) to page 20 (line 20)

15.                     This amendment omits section 329FC which relates to the Registered Organisations Commissioner’s annual report and substitutes a new section 329FC. The new section provides that the annual report prepared by the Fair Work Ombudsman and given to the Minister under section 46 of the PGPA Act must include the content as specified in paragraphs 329FC(2)(a) to (e). 

16.                     This change in approach is consequential to the new PGPA Act framework.

Amendment No. 9 Schedule 1, item 136, page 28 (lines 21 to 26)

17.                     This amendment opposes item 136 of the Bill. Item 136 is a transitional provision that is no longer required because of the amendments to the annual reporting requirements of the Registered Organisations Commission.

Amendment No.10 Schedule 2, item 243, page 89 (lines 8 to 12)

18.                     This amendment opposes item 243 of the Bill. Item 243 is a transitional provision that is no longer required because of the amendment to the commencement table in Amendment No. 1.