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Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by authority of the Minister for Finance and the Public Service,

Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann)

 



Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018

 

OUTLINE

 

The Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018 amends the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act) to change the deadline for publishing the post-election report of election commitments (post-election report). The report is prepared and published by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).

 

The Act requires the preparation and publication of a post-election report setting out the financial impact of the election commitments of political parties with five or more parliamentarians.

 

An independent review into the PBO, published in March 2017, recommended allowing more time to prepare the report, noting that other recommendations of the review were to increase the scope of the report by including the medium-term financial impacts of election commitments and including the policies of parties with less than five members where those parties elect to be included. The Parliamentary Budget Office is already working to implement these changes to the scope of the report, which does not require legislative change.

 

Only the proposal to change the timing of the post-election report requires change to legislation. The Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit and the Presiding Officers have agreed to the change in timing for the publication of the report. The delayed publication is not only intended to accommodate the changed scope of these reports by the Parliamentary Budget Office, but is also expected to enhance the visibility of the post-election report by moving the timing closer to the resumption of parliamentary sittings.

 

Financial impact statement 

The Bill has no financial impact as it only changes the timing of the publication of the report. There are no changes to the requirement for, or content of the report in this Bill.



Statement of Co mpatibility with Human Rights

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

 

Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018

 

This Bill is 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 the Bill

The Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018 amends the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act) to change the deadline for publishing the post-election report of election commitments (post-election report).

 

The Act requires the preparation and publication of a post-election report s etting out the financial impact of the election commitments of political parties with five or more parliamentarians. The report is prepared and published by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO).

 

Subsection 64MC(1) of the Act currently requires a post-election report of election commitments to be published no later than 30 days after the end of the caretaker period following a general election. This Bill will amend the Act to permit more time for preparation of the post-election report until closer to the resumption of parliamentary sittings. This change implements a recommendation from the 2016-17 independent review into the PBO, which proposed changing the parameters for timing of the post-election report.



The amendment will help accommodate additional work being undertaken by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) to increase the scope of the post-election report to include medium term impacts of election commitments and to include the impact of policies of parties with less than five members where that party elects to be included . The delayed publication is also expected to enhance the visibility of the post-election report and increase its relevance in public policy debate.

 

This Bill only changes the timing for publication of the post-election report. The Bill does not alter the requirement to prepare the report, or what is to be included in the report. Changes to the scope of the report are being implemented within the PBO’s existing authority and legislative framework.

 

Human rights implications

This Bill/Disallowable Legislative Instrument does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.

 

Conclusion

This Bill/Disallowable Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.



 

Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Bill 2018

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1: Short title

This clause provides that the Bill, when passed, may be cited as the Parliamentary Service Amendment (Post-election Report) Act 2018.

Clause 2: Commencement

This clause provides that the Bill will commence on the day that the Act receives royal assent.

Clause 3: Schedules

This clause provides that any Act specified in a schedule to the Bill is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule. In addition, any other item in a Schedule to the Bill has effect according to its terms.

 

 

 



Schedule 1 - Amendment to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999

 

Summary

 

Item 1 repeals the deadline by which the Parliamentary Budget Officer must prepare the post-election report under subsection 64MA(1) of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act). The new deadline for preparation of the post-election report is specified in Item 2.

 

Item 2 specifies the new deadline by which the Parliamentary Budget Officer must prepare the post-election report. The delayed publication of the post-election report will help accommodate additional work being undertaken by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) to increase the scope of the post-election report (noting that changes to the scope of the report are being implemented within the PBO’s existing authority and do not require legislative change). The new deadline for preparation of the post-election report is identical to the new deadline for the public release of the post-election report, which is explained in Item 4 below.

 

Item 3 allows the Parliamentary Budget Officer to request information from Commonwealth bodies, to assist with the preparation of the post-election, until such time as the report is publicly released.     

 

Item 4 specifies the new deadline by which the Parliamentary Budget Officer must publicly release the post-election report. Delaying the publication of the post-election report until closer to the resumption of Parliament following a general election is intended to allow time for inclusion of additional information in the report and increase the relevance and usefulness of the report in public policy debate by permitting release of the report to be closer to the resumption of parliamentary sittings.

 

Based on timeframes of previous elections, it is likely that the post-election report would generally be required to be published by seven days before the resumption of Parliament following a general election. This is because this date generally falls later than 30 days after the end of the caretaker period. In the event that 30 days after the end of the caretaker period falls later than seven days before the resumption of Parliament, the Parliamentary Budget Officer would still be required to release the report as soon as practicable, and as close to the resumption of Parliament as possible, but no later than 30 days after the end of the caretaker period.