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National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

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2016-2017-2018

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

and

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by authority of

Cathy McGowan AO



National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

OUTLINE

This bill is part of a package of bills to promote public trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament, the public sector and the system of Government. This package is about creating a culture of integrity, a pro-active and solutions focused approach to preventing corruption.

This bill will boost public confidence in the Commonwealth Parliament by equipping it to prevent, manage and resolve its own integrity issues wherever possible, while also providing clear pathways for investigation and resolution of serious corruption issues (including by the National Integrity Commission).

The National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill creates:

·          statutory codes of conduct for the members of each house of parliament, and their staff (under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 );

·          a statutory basis for parliamentarians’ registers of interests;

·          a Parliamentary Integrity Advisor to provide independent, confidential advice and guidance to Members and their staff on how to honour the applicable codes of conduct;

·          a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to assist the presiding officers, Ethics & Privileges Committees, Prime Minister, and National Integrity Commission, with assessment, investigation and resolution of alleged breaches of the applicable codes of conduct.

The bill incorporates aspects and builds on the work of others, including:

·          the Committee of Privileges and Members' Interests report of the into a Draft code of conduct for Members of Parliament , 2011, of the 43 rd Parliament;

·          the  Commonwealth   Parliamentary   Association’s   Recommended Benchmarks for Codes of Conduct applying to Members of Parliament (2015);

·          the Transparency International Australia / Griffith University led Australian Research Council Linkage Project, Strengthening Australia’s National Integrity System: Priorities for Reform, 2018.

The bill will operate alongside and establish the National Integrity Commission Bill 2018.

The intent of this package is to create a nationally coordinated integrity framework, with an emphasis on prevention, supported by strong powers of investigation to enable criminal charges or other actions in response to cases of corruption.

Rather than simply focusing on publicly naming and shaming, the objective of this package is to create a national culture of integrity, where the expectation is that “we be our best selves”.

National Integrity Reform Package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



NIC - National Integrity Commission Bill 2018

NIPS - National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill 2018

Based on Griffith University & Transparency International Australia,

A National Integrity Commission—Options for Australia (August 2018), Option 3 (p.60)

FINANCIAL IMPACT

The bill will have no financial impact.

NOTES ON SECTIONS

Part 1—Preliminary

Section 1: Short title          

This section provides that the Act may be cited as the National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Act 2018.

Section 2: Commencement

This section states that sections 1 and 2, and anything in the Act not specified in the table, will commence on the day the Act receives Royal Assent. 



Section 3 to 101 will commence the later of:

(a) day after the day on which the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated under an Act to the Department in which this Act is administered for payment for the purposes of this Act; and

(b) the day section 3 of the National Integrity Commission Act 2018 commences.

However, the provisions do not commence at all unless both events mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) occur.



Schedule 1 to 3 will commence at the same time as the provisions covered by table item 2.

Section 3: Objects of Act  

This section outlines the objectives of the Act.

Section 4: Saving of powers, privileges and immunities    

This section provides that the Bill does not affect the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of Parliament, and of the members and committees of each House, except as expressly provided otherwise in this Act.

Section 5: Act binds the Crown

This section provides that this Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.

Section 6: Application of Act       

This section provides that the bill will have jurisdiction within and outside Australia and every external Territory.

 

Section 7: Definitions

This section defines terms and expressions used frequently throughout the Bill in order to avoid doubt and clarify the intended meaning of each word for the specific purposes of the Bill.

Part 2—Parliamentary values and conduct

Division 1 Statement of parliamentary values

Section 8 Parliamentary values

This section outlines the values that parliamentarians should demonstrate as public officials who have responsibility to secure and sustain the public trust against abuse or harm.

Division 2 Parliamentary code of conduct

Section 9 Upholding democracy and respecting others regardless of background

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to upholding democracy and respecting others regardless of background.

Section 10 Conflicts of interest

This section outlines the code of conduct relating conflicts of interest.

Section 11 Using position for profit

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to using position for profit.

Section 12 Outside employment and activities

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to outside employment and activities.

Section 13 Accepting any gift, hospitality or other benefit

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to any gift, hospitality or other benefit.

Section 14 Use of influence

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to use of influence.

Section 15 Use of public resources

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to use of public resources.

Section 16 Personal conduct

This section outlines the code of conduct relating to personal conduct.

Section 17 Managing confidential and personal information

This section outlines the code of conduct relating managing confidential and personal information.

Section 18 Post-retirement activities

A former parliamentarian must not take improper advantage of any office held as a parliamentarian after they cease to be a parliamentarian.

Section 19 Staff of parliamentarians

This section outlines that the duties and obligations of this Part apply to a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 as if that person were a parliamentarian.

Section 20 Extending code of conduct

This section outlines that this Act is not intended to exclude or limit the power of a House of the Parliament to adopt a code of conduct or the operation of such a code of conduct.

A code of conduct adopted by a House of the Parliament that is inconsistent with this Division has no effect to the extent of the inconsistency, but the code of conduct is taken to be consistent with this Division to the extent that the code of conduct can operate concurrently with this Division.

Part 3 Registers of Interests

 

Section 21 Register of interests—House of Representatives

This section a member of the House of Representatives must register the member’s interests as provided for in Schedule 1. Subsection (2) provides that the House of Representatives may, by resolution carried by two thirds of Members, impose additional requirements to those in Schedule 1, so long as the additional requirements are not inconsistent with Schedule 1.

Section 22 Register of interests—Senate

This clause provides that a senator must register the senator’s interests as provided for in Schedule 2. Subsection (2) provides that the Senate may, by resolution carried by two thirds of Senators, impose additional requirements to those in Schedule 2, so long as the additional requirements are not inconsistent with Schedule 2.

Part 4 Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

Division 1 Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

Section 23 Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

This section establishes a Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is an independent officer of the Parliament.

Subsection (3) provides that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is not subject to direction by any person in the performance or exercise of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions or powers, subject to this Act and to any other laws of the Commonwealth.

Section 24 Functions of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

This section outlines the functions of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, including that they have the power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions.

Division 4 Provision of advice

Subdivision A Requests for advice

Section 25 Parliamentarian, former parliamentarian or staff may request advice

This section outlines that a parliamentarian, a former parliamentarian, or a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 , may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, including the nature of the advice that can be requested and limitations on who the advice can be about.

A parliamentarian may only request advice about a matter relating to the parliamentarian, their staff or their family members.

A parliamentarian who is the leader of a political party may request advice about a matter relating to another parliamentarian, their staff or their family members but the leader of the political party must first inform the parliamentarian, person or family member concerned of their intention to request the advice.

Section 26 Minister may request advice

This section provides that a Minister may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser about the Minister’s compliance with an applicable code of conduct, whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act.

Subsection (2) provides that a request for advice must be about a matter relating to the Minister; or a family member of the Minister; or a person employed or formerly employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 by the Minister.

A request for advice may not be about a matter relating to any other parliamentarian or person, expect as provided for in subsection (2).

Section 27 Presiding officer or chair of committee may request advice

This section provides that a presiding officer or a chair of a committee of a House of the Parliament may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser about any ethics or integrity issue, or any general matter relating to ethics and integrity including revision or development of a code of conduct, as may relate to the roles, functions and operations of that House or committee.

Section 28 Requirements relating to requests for advice

This section provides that if requested by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, a request for advice under section 25, 26 or 27 must be in writing. The person making the request for advice must disclose to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser all information relevant to the matter or issue the subject of the request.

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may request additional information from the person for the purpose of giving the advice. The request must explain how the additional information relates to request for advice.

Section 29 Provision of advice

This section outlines the requirements of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in providing a person advice on the matter or issue requested under section 25, 26 or 27.

Section 30 Limited protection from acting on conflict of interest issue

This section applies if a person:

a)     requests advice under section 25, 26 or 27 on a conflict of interest issue involving the person; and

b)     discloses all information relevant to matter or issue the subject of the request when seeking the advice; and

c)     makes the request in writing; and

d)     receives written advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser on the issue; and

e)     does an act to resolve the conflict of interest issue substantially in accordance with the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice on the issue.

The person is not subject to any civil liability for, or in relation to, the act but this does not affect the person’s liability for any act or omission done or made in connection with the conflict of interest issue before the person receives the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice.

Subdivision B Confidentiality of information

Section 31 Interpretation

This section provides clarity for interpretation of key terms used in this subdivision.

Section 32 Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.

This section provides that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may use or disclose protected Adviser information if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser uses or discloses the information for the purposes of performing functions or duties or exercising powers under this Division.

Including notes that this section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles. And the use, in relation to information, includes make a record of (see the definition of use in section 7).

Section 33 Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law

This section provides that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may use or disclose protected Adviser information if the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory.

This section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Section 34 Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates

This section provides that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may disclose protected Adviser information to the person to whom the protected Adviser information relates.

This section is a requirement for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Section 35 Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure

This section provides that the offence for unauthorised use or disclosure is a penalty of imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both for a person that obtains, discloses or sues protected Adviser information.

Subsection (1) does not apply to a person to the extent that the person uses or discloses protected information in good faith and in purported compliance with a provision in this Subdivision.

A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

Section 36 No requirement to provide information to courts etc.

This section provides that except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of giving effect to this Act, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is not to be required to disclose protected Adviser information, or produce a document containing protected Adviser information, a court; or a tribunal, authority or person that has the power to require the answering of questions or the production of documents.

Section 37 Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person

This section provides that a person, other than the Parliamentary Integrity Advisor, must not record, use or disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act. The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

Subsection (1) does not apply to a person’s recording, use or disclosure of information if the recording, use or disclosure is in the performance of his or her functions under this Act; or authorised under this or another Act.

A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code ).

A person other than the Parliamentary Integrity Advisor who is or has been involved in the administration of this Act is not, in any proceeding, compellable to disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act.

Division 3 Better practices guides and fact sheets

Section 38 Better practices guides and fact sheets

This section outlines the role of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in promoting better practice in relation to matters of conduct, propriety, ethics and integrity for parliamentarians, former parliamentarians, and persons employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 , by preparing and disseminating better practice guides and fact sheets to those persons.

Division 4 Annual report

Section 39 Annual report

This section provides for the provision of an annual report each financial year and the contents of the annual report.

Part 5 Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Division 1 Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Section 40 Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

This section establishes that there is to be a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is an independent officer of the Parliament.

Section 41 Functions of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

This section outlines the functions of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions.

Division 2 Alleged or suspected contraventions of parliamentary code of conduct

Section 42 Referral of alleged or suspected contravention

This section provides for the process for referral of alleged or suspected contraventions of parliamentary code of conduct.

Section 43 How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with

This section provides the process of dealing with referrals under section 42.

Section 44 Assessment and preliminary enquiries

This section applies if an alleged or suspected contravention is referred to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under this Division; and the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner does not refer the alleged or suspected contravention under either subsection 43(2) or (3).

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must deal with the alleged or suspected contravention in one of the following ways:

(a) by making preliminary enquiries to determine whether to further inquire into the alleged or suspected contravention;

(b) by inquiring into the alleged or suspected contravention;

(c) at any time, by determining to take no further action.

Section 45 Inquiries

This section outlines the process for conducting an inquiry, including that the following provisions apply in relation to an inquiry conducted by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Section 46 Reports of inquiries

This section provides that after completing an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must prepare a report on the inquiry. It outlines what the report must set out and provides that some information may be excluded and put in a supplementary report.

Section 47 Opportunity to be heard

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not include in a report under section 46 in relation to an investigation of a corruption issue an opinion or finding that is critical of a person (either expressly or impliedly) unless the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has statement setting out the opinion or finding and had a reasonable opportunity to appear before him or her and to make submissions in relation to the opinion or finding.

Section 48 Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Committee

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the Privileges Committee of the House or Houses to which the report relates:

(a) the report prepared under subsection 46(1); and

(b) if a supplementary report is prepared under subsection 46(6) in relation to the inquiry—the supplementary report.

Section 49 Advice of outcome of inquiry

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may advise a person (or a representative nominated by the person) of the outcome of an inquiry and the consideration the Commissioner may consider.

Section 50 Public advice of outcome of inquiry

This section provides the conditions for the issue of public advice summarising the outcome of the inquiry.

Section 51 Report to House

This section provides the conditions for the tabling of a report of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the relevant House of parliament.

Section 52 Failure to comply with parliamentary code of conduct

This section provides for sanctions where House of the Parliament determines, following an inquiry under section 45 and consideration of a report tabled under section 51, that a person has contravened a requirement of a provision of a parliamentary code of conduct.

Division 3 Alleged or suspected contraventions of ministerial code of conduct

Section 53 Referral of alleged or suspected contravention

This section outlines the process for a referral where there is an alleged or suspected contravention of a provision of an applicable Ministerial code of conduct.

Section 54 How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with

This section provides the process for how alleged or suspected contraventions of a Ministerial code of conduct must be dealt with.

Section 55 Assessment and preliminary enquiries

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may make preliminary enquiries in such manner as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner sees fit.

Section 56 Inquiries

This section outlines provisions that apply in relation to an inquiry that is conducted by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Section 57 Report of inquiry

This section provides the process for a report and its contents after completing an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Section 58 Opportunity to be heard

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not include in a report under section 57, in relation to an investigation of a corruption issue, an opinion or finding that is critical of a person (either expressly or impliedly) unless the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has made a statement setting out the opinion or finding and had a reasonable opportunity to appear before him or her, to make submissions in relation to the opinion or finding.

Section 59 Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Prime Minister

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the Prime Minister the report prepared under subsection 57(1); and if a supplementary report is prepared under subsection 57(6) in relation to the inquiry—the supplementary report.

The Prime Minister may take such actions in relation to, or as a result of, the report, as the Prime Minister sees fit.

Section 60 Advice of outcome of inquiry

This section provides that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may advise a person (or a representative nominated by the person) of the outcome of an inquiry and the consideration the Commissioner may consider.

Section 61 Public advice of outcome of inquiry

This section provides the conditions for the issue of public advice summarising the outcome of the inquiry.

Section 62 Report to House

This section provides that the Prime Minister may table, or cause to be tabled, a report under this Division by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, in the House of which the Minister is a member; or in both Houses.

Nothing in this Division prevents the tabling in either House of a report of an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention of a parliamentary code of conduct under Division 2, in relation to a parliamentarian who also happens to be a Minister.

Division 4 Confidentiality of information

Section 63 Interpretation

This section provides clarity for interpretation of key terms used in this subdivision.

Section 64 Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.

This section relates to the use or disclosure of protected Commissioner information by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in performing the functions of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Section 65 Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law

This section relates to the use or disclosure of protected Commissioner information by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner as required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory.

Section 66 Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may disclose protected Commissioner information to the person to whom the protected Commissioner information relates.

This section is a requirement for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Section 67 Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure

This section provides for an office for unauthorised use or disclosure of protected Commissioner information.

Section 68 No requirement to provide information to courts etc.

The section provides that, except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of giving effect to this Act, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is not to be required to disclose protected Commissioner information, or produce a document containing protected Commissioner information, to a court; or a tribunal, authority or person that has the power to require the answering of questions or the production of documents.

Section 69 Offences for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person

This section provides that a person, other than the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, must not record, use or disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act. The penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

Division 5 Annual report

Section 70 Annual report

This section provides for the provision of an annual report each financial year and the contents of the annual report.

Part 6 Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Division 1 Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

Section 71 Appointment of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

This section provides for the process of appointment of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser by the Presiding Officers with the agreement of the Senate Committee of Privileges and the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests.

Section 72 General terms and conditions of appointment

This section provides that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years. The sum of the periods for which the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office must not exceed 10 years.

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may be appointed on a full-time or part--time- basis.

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office on the terms and conditions (if any), in relation to matters not covered by this Act, that are determined by the Presiding Officers.

Section 73 Other paid work

This section provides that if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a full-time basis, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must not engage in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s office without the Presiding Officer’s approval.

If the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a part-time basis, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must not engage in any paid work that, in the Presiding Officers’ opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s duties.

Section 74 Remuneration

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .

Section 75 Leave of absence

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The Presiding Officers may grant the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Presiding Officers determine.

Section 76 Resignation

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may resign the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s appointment by giving the Presiding Officers a written resignation.

The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Presiding Officers or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

Section 77 Removal from office

The Presiding Officers may remove the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser from office if each House of the Parliament on the grounds outlined in this section.

Section 78 Disclosure of interests

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must give written notice to the Presiding Officers of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions.

Section 79 Acting appointments

This section outlines that the Presiding Officers may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in specified circumstances and conditions.

Section 80 Assistance to Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

This section provides that a Department of State of the Commonwealth or an agency or authority or the Commonwealth (within the ordinary meaning of that expression) may assist the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in the performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions and the assistance this may include.

If an officer or employee of a body mentioned in subsection (1) assists the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, the officer or employee is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to be a person assisting the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under this section.

Division 2 Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Section 81 Appointment of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

This section provides for the process of appointment of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner by the Presiding Officers with the agreement of the Senate Committee of Privileges and the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests.

Section 82 General terms and conditions of appointment

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years. The sum of the periods for which the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office must not exceed 10 years.

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may be appointed on a full-time or part-time basis. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office on the terms and conditions (if any), in relation to matters not covered by this Act, that are determined by the Presiding Officers.

Section 83 Other paid work

If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a full-time basis, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not engage in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s office without the Presiding Officer’s approval.

If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a part-time basis, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not engage in any paid work that, in the Presiding Officers’ opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s duties.

Section 84 Remuneration

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 .

Section 85 Leave of absence

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

The Presiding Officers may grant the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Presiding Officers determine.

Section 86 Resignation

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may resign the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s appointment by giving the Presiding Officers a written resignation.

The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Presiding Officers or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

Section 87 Removal from office

This section provides the conditions for the removal of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner from office.

Section 88 Disclosure of interests

The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give written notice to the Presiding Officers of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions.

Section 89 Acting appointments

This section outlines that the Presiding Officers may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in specified circumstances and conditions.

Section 90 Assistance to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

This section provides that a Department of State of the Commonwealth or an agency or authority or the Commonwealth (within the ordinary meaning of that expression) may assist the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions and what this may include.

If an officer or employee of a body mentioned in subsection (1) assists the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, the officer or employee is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to be a person assisting the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under this section.

Section 91 Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

The Presiding Officers may appoint one or more Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioners.

Division 3—Approval or rejection of recommendations for appointments

Section 92 Committees may approve or reject recommendation for appointment

This section outlines the process of appointments.

Part 7—Miscellaneous

Section 93 Offence of victimisation

This section provides protection from victimisation and a related offence.

Section 94 Protection from liability

This section provides protection from liability for nominated persons in the performance or exercise, in good faith, of the person’s functions, powers or duties under or in relation to this Act.

Section 95 Immunities from certain State and Territory laws

The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is not required under, or by reason of, a law of a State or Territory:

(a) to obtain or have a licence or permission for doing any act or thing in the exercise of the person’s powers or the performance of the person’s duties as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner; or

(b) to register any vehicle, vessel, animal or article belonging to the Commonwealth.

Section 96 Review relating to Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

This section provides that it is the intention of Parliament that the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 be replaced by an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Act and that the Minister conduct a review and table a report on how this is to be done.

Section 97 Review relating to lobbying and postseparation employment

This section provides that it is the intention of Parliament that the Australian Government Lobbying Code of Conduct and policies, rules and standards be reviewed and the Minister table a copy of the report.

Section 98 Review relating to political finance, funding, donations and campaign regulation

This section provides that it is the intention of Parliament that Commonwealth legislation and enforcement for transparency, integrity and accountability in political campaign finance and campaign regulation be revised to meet national and international best practice and that the Minister must cause to be undertaken a review of the preferred legislative options to achieve these. The Minister must table the report.

Section 99 Review of operation of Act

This section provides that the Presiding officers must cause an independent review to be undertaken of the first 3 years of the operation of this Act.

Section 100 Schedules

Legislation that is specified in Schedule 3 to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in that Schedule, and any other item in that Schedule has effect according to its terms.

Section 101 Regulations

The Governor General may make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

The regulations may require that information or reports that are required to be given under prescribed provisions are also to be given to prescribed persons in specified circumstances.

 

Schedule 1— House of Representatives—Register of Members’ Interests

The schedule includes the House of Representatives Register of Members’ Interests.

Schedule 2— The Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests

The schedule includes the Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests.

Schedule 3 - Amendments

The schedule includes consequential amendments to the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 that result from the provisions in this Bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STATEMENT OF COMPATIBILITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS

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

National Integrity Commission 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 National Integrity (Parliamentary Standards) Bill creates:

·          statutory codes of conduct for the members of each house of parliament, and their staff (under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 );

·          a statutory basis for parliamentarians’ registers of interests;

·          a Parliamentary Integrity Advisor to provide independent, confidential advice and guidance to Members and their staff on how to honour the applicable codes of conduct;

·          a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to assist the presiding officers, Ethics & Privileges Committees, Prime Minister, and National Integrity Commission, with assessment, investigation and resolution of alleged breaches of the applicable codes of conduct.

Human rights implications

This Bill has been drafted to incorporate safeguards to protect the right to privacy and reputation, balanced against the objective to investigate conduct. There are safeguards on disclosure, with proportionate penalties that will apply to people who disclose information that might impact on rights to privacy.

The right to due process and procedural fairness is maintained in this bill to ensure that no opinions or findings that are critical of a person are publicly released unless they have been given an opportunity to respond.

The burden of proof is reversed on a person who is believed to have breached the unauthorised disclosure provisions. This is necessary because of the operation of section 13.3 of the Criminal Code. It is appropriate for the defendant to bear the burden of proving these matters because they are matters that, by their nature, are within the knowledge of the defendant.

Conclusion

This bill is compatible with human rights because while the bill does touch on the body of human rights law, it is minimal, reasonable and proportionate to its purpose.

 

Cathy McGowan AO