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Standing Orders - Senate Standing Committee - Report - 3rd for 62nd Session (1986), dated 1 May 1986


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The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

Third Report, 1 May 1986 Fourth Report, 20 November 1986

Sixty-Second Session

1986

3rd and 4th Reports presented and ordered to be printed l May 1986 and

20 November 1986

Parliamentary Paper No. 435/1986

Parliamentary Paper No .4 3 5 /1986

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

SENATE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

Third Report, 1 May 1986

Fourth Report, 20 November 1986

T h e C o m m o n e r : r h C o v e r m e n i ' n n e

C a n b e r r a ',9 87

© Commonwealth of Australia 1987

ISBN 0 644 05896 X

Printed by Authority by the Commonwealth Government Printer

THE SENATE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

THIRD REPORT FOR THE SIXTY-SECOND SESSION

MEMBERS OF THE STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

The President, Senator the Hon. Douglas McClelland, (Chairman)

Senator D.J. Hamer, D.S.C., Deputy President of the Senate

Senator the

Senate

H o n . J.N. Button, Leader of the Government in the

Senator the H o n . F.M. Chaney, Leader of the Opposition in the

Senate

Senator P.F.S. Cook

Senator B.F. Kilgariff

Senator M.J. Macklin

Senator R. Ray

Senator E.A. Robertson

Senator A.E. Vanstone

THE SENATE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

THIRD REPORT OF THE SIXTY-SECOND SESSION

°rivate Interests of Senators

The Standi nci Orders Committee has the honour to report to the

Senate or. the matter referred to it by resolution of the Senate

on 20 October 1983, relating to the registration of private

interests of Senators.

In the resol uti on of 20 October 1983 the Senate expressed the

opinion that Senators should provide statements of their private

interests, including those of their families of which they are

w a r e , covering certain matters specified j . n the resolution, that

a public register of Senators' statements of their private

interests should be established, and that Senators should declare

any relevant interests if they participate in debate in the

Senate or vote in division. The resolution requested that the

Standing Orders Committee consider changes i.n the Standing Orders

which may h

desirability of adopting other provisions relating to the private

interests of S e n a t o r s . The full text of the resolution is

attached ug Appendix a .

The House of Reoresen ta five s passed a similar resolution on

? October 1983, and has since taken steps to establish a register

of the private interests of members of that House. Attached as

Appendix B are the several resolutions passed by the House of

Representatives, showing changes which have been made in the

requirements for registration of private interests.

The Committee has considered the matters referred to it on a

number of occasions, but. has been unable to make recommendations

to the Senate because of a fundamental disagreement amongst its

members as to the effectiveness of the proposed register and the

soundness of the proposals relating to registration and

declaration of interests contained in the resolution. The

Comnitt.ee considers that the question of whether there is to be a

register of s°nafp r s ' private i n t e r e s t s , and the nature of the

natters t.e be contained in i t , should be determined by the

Senat. 0 .

The Committee suggests that, as a starting point for this

determination, the Senate should consider whether any

requirements imposed on Senators in relation to registration of

crivate interests should be identical to those imposed on Members

of the House of Representatives. The Committee makes no

.recommendation to that effect but suggests this as a basis for

discussion by the cenate.

Douglas McClelland

Chairman

1 .May 198 6

APPENDIX A.

Resolution of the Senate 20 October 1983

That the Senate

(a) notes that Ministers have provided statements of their private interests, and those of their families of which they are aw-are, and that copies of those returns have been presented to the Parliament as a matter of public record; (b) is of the opinion that all Senators should provide similar statements of their

private interests, including those of their families of which they are aware, covering the following matters: (i) shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies.

(ii) family and business trusts and nominee companies (A) in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest; and (B) in which the person or immediate family is a trustee, indicating the

name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiarv of the trust, (iii) real estate, indicating the location (suburb or area only ) and the purpose for which it is ow ned, (iv) directorships in private companies, indicating the name of the company. its

activities and the total amounts of its assets and liabilities. (v) partnerships, indicating the nature of the interest, the activities of the partnership and the total amounts of its assets and liabilities. (vi) liabilities (excluding short-term credit arrangements) indicating the nature

of the liability and the creditor concerned. (vii) the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments, (viii) saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned,

(ix) the nature of any other assets (including collections, but excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $5000, (x) the nature of any other substantial sources of income. (xi) gifts valued at more than $250 received from official sources, or at more than

$ 100 where received from other than official sources. (xii) any sponsored travel or hospitality received, and (xiii) any other interests, such as membership of organisations, where a conllict of interest with a Senator's public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to

arise;

(c) agrees that a public register of Senators" statements of their private interests referred to in paragraph (b) should be established; (d) agrees that Senators should provide such statements on an annual basis and that amended statements should be provided if alterations in circumstances occur;

(e) agrees that notwithstanding the lodgement of statements bv Senators and their incorporation in a public register individual Senators should declare any relevant interest if they participate in a debate in the Senate or vote in a division m the Senate; and ( f ) requests the Standing Orders Committee to consider and report upon

(i) what changes in the Standing Orders may be required to give etfect to the matters contained in paragraphs (b) to ( e ). and (ii) the desirability of adopting other provisions relating to Members n| Parliament contained in the Report of the Committee of Inquiry into pjhiiv

Duty and Private Interest (except constitutional matters, hut including, m particular, a Code of Conduct).

APPENDIX B.

Resolution of the House of Representatives 5 October 1983

-That this House—

(1) notes that Ministers have provided statements of their private interests, and those of their families of which they are aware, and that copies of those returns have been presented to the Parliament as a matter of public record; (2) is of the opinion that all Members should provide similar statements of their

private interests, including those of their families of which they are aware, covering the following matters: (a) shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(b) family and business trusts and nominee companies-(i) in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest; and (ii) in which the person or immediate family is a trustee, indicating the

name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust; (c) real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned; (d) directorships in private companies, indicating the name of the company, its activities and the total amounts of its assets and liabilities; (e) partnerships, indicating the nature of the interest, the activities of the partnership and the total amounts of its assets and liabilities; (f) liabilities (excluding short-term credit arrangements) indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned; (g) the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments; (h) saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned; (i) the nature of any other assets (including collections, but excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $5000; (j) the nature of any other substantial sources of income; (k) gifts valued at more than $250 received from official sources, or at more than $100 where received from other than official sources; (l) any sponsored travel or hospitality received; and (m) any other interests, such as membership of organisations, where a conflict

of interest with a Member's public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise; (3) agrees that a public register of Members' statements of their private interests referred to in paragraph (2) should be established; (4) agrees that Members should provide such statements on an annual basis and

that amended statements should be provided if alterations in circumstances occur; (5) agrees that notwithstanding the lodgement of statements by Members and their incorporation in a public register individual Members should declare any

relevant interest if they participate in a debate in the House or vote in a division in the House, and

(6) requests the Standing Orders Committee to consider and report upon -(a) what changes to the standing orders may be required to give effect to the matters contained in paragraphs (2) to (5) of this resolution, and (b) the desirability of adopting other provisions relating to Senators and

Members contained in the report of the Committee of Inquiry into Public Duty and Private Interest (except constitutional matters, but including, in particular, a Code of Conduct).

5.

Resolutions of the House of Representatives 3 Ocfolcr 1984

! hat the standing orders be

amended by adopting the following new standing order:

Committee of Members’ Interests 28 a . (a) A Committee of Members’ Interests shall be appointed at the commencement of each Parliament— (i) to inquire into and report upon the arrangements made for the compilation,

maintenance and accessibility of a Register of Members’ Interests; (ii) to consider any proposals made by Members and others as to the form and content of the register; (iii) to consider any specific complaints made in relation to the registering or

declaring of interests; (iv) to consider what changes to any code of conduct adopted by the House are necessary or desirable; (v) to consider what classes of person (if any) other than Members ought to be

required to register and declare their interests, and (vi) to make recommendations upon these and any other matters which are relevant.

(b) The committee shall consist of 7 members, 4 Members to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip and 3 Members to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip:

Provided that, where the Opposition is composed of 2 parties, the committee shall consist of 4 Members to be nominated by either the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip, 2 Members to be nominated by either the Leader of the Opposition, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition or the Opposition Whip, and 1

Member to be nominated by either the Leader of the Third Party, the Deputy Leader of the Third Party or the Third Party Whip.

(c) The committee shall elect as chairman of the committee one of the Members nominated either by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the House or the Government Whip.

(d) The committee shall have power to send for persons, papers and records but shall not exercise that power, nor undertake an investigation of the private interests of any person, unless approved by not less than 4 members of the committee other than the chairman.

(e) The committee shall have power to confer with a similar committee of the Senate.

(f) The committee shall, as soon as practicable after 31 December in each year, prepare and table in the House a report on its operations during that year and shall also have power to report from time to time.

6 .

That the following resolutions relating to the registration and declaration of Members’ interests be adopted, such resolutions to have effect from the commencement of the 34th Parliament and to continue in force unless and until amended or repealed by the House of Representatives in this or a subsequent

Parliament: (1) Declaration of Members’ interests That within 28 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Member of the House of Representatives and within 28 days after the

commencement of the first period of sittings in each subsequent calendar year while remaining a Member of the House of Representatives, each Member shall provide to the Registrar of Members’ Interests, a statement of— (1) the Member’s registrable interests, and

(2) the registrable interests of which the Member is aware (a) of the Member’s spouse and (b) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, in accordance with resolutions adopted by the House and in a form determined by the Committee of Members’ Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 28 days of that alteration occurring. (2) Registrable interests

That the statement of a Member’s registrable interests to be provided by a Member shall include the registrable interests of which the Member is aware (1) of the Member’s spouse and (2) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(a) shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies; (b) family and business trusts and nominee companies — (i) in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust,

the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and (ii) in which the Member, the Member’s spouse, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, is a trustee, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of

the trust;

(c) real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned: (d) interests in companies to be determined by the Committee of Members’ Interests; (e) partnerships, indicating the nature of the interests, the activities of the

partnership and the total amounts of its assets and liabilities; (f) liabilities (excluding short-term credit arrangements) indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned; (g) the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments; (h) saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the

bank or other institutions concerned; (i) the nature of any other assets (including collections, but excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $5000; (j) the nature of any other substantial sources of income; (k) gifts valued at more than $250 received from official sources, or at more than

$ 100 where received from other than official sources; (l) any sponsored travel or hospitality received, and (m) any other interests, such as membership of organisations, where a conflict of interest with a Member’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to

arise.

(3) Register and Registrar of Members’ Interests

That

(a) at the commencement of each Parliament, and at other times as necessar). Mr Speaker shall appoint an officer of the Department of the House of Representatives as the Registrar of Members' Interests and that officer shall also be clerk to the Committee of Members' Interests;

(b) the Registrar of Members' Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Members' Interests, maintain a Register of Members' Interests in a form to be determined by that committee from time to time;

(c) as soon as possible after the commencement of each Parliament and in each subsequent calendar year during the life of that Parliament, the chairman of the Committee of Members' Interests shall table in the House a copy of the completed Register of Members' Interests and shall also table from time to

time as required any notification by a Member of alteration of those interests, and

(d) the Register of Members’ Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Members' Interests from time to time.

(4) Declaration of interest in debate and other proceedings

That, notwithstanding the lodgement by a Member of a statement of the Member’s registrable interests and the registrable interests of which the Member is aware (1) of the Member’s spouse and (2) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, and the incorporation of that statement in a Register of Members’ Interests, a Member shall declare any

relevant interest—

(a) at the beginning of his or her speech if the Member should participate in debate in the House, committee of the whole House, or a committee of the House (or of the House and the Senate), and

(b) as soon as practicable after a division is called for in the House, committee of the whole House, or a committee of the House (or of the House and the Senate) if the Member proposes to vote in that division, and

the declaration shall be recorded and indexed in the Votes and Proceedings or minutes of proceedings (as applicable) and in any Hansard report of those proceedings or that division:

Provided that it shall not be necessary for a Member to declare an interest when directing a question seeking information in accordance with standing order 142 or

Rpsolution of the House of Representatives 21 v i a n - L l n S ^

That

t i ) in the case of Members of the House of Representatives of the 34th Parliament who made and subscribed an oath or affirmation on 21 Pebruars I 98X a further period of 28 days from the day of issue of the forms of annual return by the Registrar of Members’ Interests be granted within which they will be required to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Members' Interests

in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the House on 9 October 1984 a.in., and (2) in all other respects, the resolutions adopted by the House on 9 October 1984 a.m. relating to the registration and declaration of interests continue in force.

Resolution of the House of Representatives 13 February 1986

-That—

(1) this House re-affirms the requirement for the registration and declaration of the interests of Members, their spouses and dependent children adopted by the House of Representatives on 9 October 1984 a.m.;

(2) the following amendments be made to resolution (2) of the House of Representatives of 9 October 1984 a.m.: (a) sub-paragraph (b) (ii) after “trustee” insert “(but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the Member, the

Member’s spouse or dependent children)”; (b) omit paragraph (d), substitute the following paragraph; “(d) registered directorships of companies;”; (c) omit paragraph (e), substitute the following paragraph:

“ (e) partnerships indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;”; (d) paragraph (f) omit “ (excluding short-term credit arrangements)”; (e) paragraph (i) omit “including collections, but”; (0 at the end of paragraph (k) add “provided that a gift received by a

Member, the Member’s spouse or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the Member judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist”; (g) omit paragraph (m), substitute the following paragraph:

“ (m) membership of any organisation, and”, and (h) at the end of the resolution add the following paragraph: “ (n) any other interests where a conflict of interest with a Member's public duties could foreseeabiy arise or be seen to arise.”; (3) the Committee of Members' Interests be required to determine a form for

registration of interests by 10 April 1986; (4) each current Member of the House of Representatives be required to provide to the Registrar of Members' Interests hv 30 June 1986 a statement of the registrable interests of the Member, the Member’s spouse and any

children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, as provided by the resolutions of 9 October 1984 a.m. as amended by this resolution”, and (5) any Member of the House of Representatives who (a) knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the

Registrar of Members' Interests by the due date; (b) knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Members' Interests within 28 days of the change occurring, or (c) knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of

Members’ Interests— shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the House of Representatives and shall be dealt with by the House accordingly.

THE SENATE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

FOURTH REPORT FOR THE SIXTY-SECOND SESSION

20 November 1986

21/h

THE SENATE

STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE

FOURTH REPORT OF THE SIXTY-SECOND SESSION

Procedural Changes

The Committee has given consideration to changes which might be

made in the procedures of the Senate to expedite the Senate's

proceedings and to allow more business to be dealt with in the

time available.

2. As a result of this consideration, the following proposals

were referred to the parties and to independent Senators for

their views.

(1) The debate on the moti.on for the adjournment of the

Senate to be under a total time limit of 60 minutes and

each Senator speaking to be limited to 5 minutes with a

right to ask for an extension of time for a further 5

m i n u t e s .

(2) Notices of motion to be treated in the same way as

petitions, i.e. to be handed in to the Clerk, who would

read a summary of the notices of motion lodged.

(3) Proposals for matters of public importance and urgency

motions to be received only on broadcast days.

(4)

2 .

Speaking time limits in ordinary debates to be reduced

from 30 minutes to 20 minutes in the Senate and from 15

minutes to 10 minutes in committee of the whole.

3. The Government party indicated approval of the proposals,

the Opposition parties reported their d i s a p p r o v a l , but it is to

be noted that they regard the proposals as matters f o r a free

vote, the Democrats indicated approval of the suggestions, and

Senator V a Π entire objected to proposal (2).

4. T h ' Committee now recommends for consideration these

p'-epos a 1 s . attached to this report as appendix 1 are proposed

aessi oral orders which would give effect to the proposals.

5. mhe Committee has also discussed more fundamental changes to

expedite the proceedings of the Senate and to make better use of

the ti me available for the consideration of b u s i n e s s . It has been

- ' g r e e d that the party whips will submit to Mr President a

proposal for the rationalisation of the allocation of time to the

co:i:d deration of government Bills a n d , after consideration by the

B-esi den*-, the proposal will be submitted to the Senate for

e ο n s i d e r a * - i o r .

deration of the Committee's Reports

^ - if has beer, a matter of concern to the Committee for some

'ire that recommendations contained in its reports are often not

cons:dored hy the Senate until long after they are p r e s e n t e d , if

* ' teg v o considered at all. In its First Report of this session,

: ■ ’ e s i - n n d in October 1985, the Committee recommended a more

r a t i o n a 1 procedure for dealing with its re c o m m e n d a t i o n s , but that

■■pc'T’r’p R O t i o i itself has rot yet been considered. Attached to

‘ P-.if, r--por<: as appendix 2 is a list indicating the

’ ' ■ ’'or 1 af ions of the Committee which have not been resolved.

7. It has been agreed, with the concurrence of the Leader of

the Government in the Senate, that time will be made available in

the first week of the next period of sittings to consider all

outstanding recommendations of the Committee.

Douglas McClelland

Chairman

20 November 1986

APPENDIX 1

PROPOSED SESSIONAL ORDERS

1. Adjournment of 1te Senate

11) T h a t , notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing

O r d e r s , when speaking on the motion for the adjournment of

the Senate a Senator shall not speak for more than 5

m i n u t e s , but in respect of a speech a Senator may move that

that time be extended by not more than 5 m i n u t e s , and such a

motion shall be put and determined without debate.

(2) That., if debate on the motion for the adjournment of the

Senate is not concluded at the expiration of 60 minutes

after the motion is m o v e d , the motion shall then be put and

determined without further debate.

2. Notices of Motions

That, notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing O r d e r s ,

notices of motions shall be given only by delivering the notices

to hbe Clerk before the Senate m e e t s , and the Clerk shall r e a d ,

at the time provided in the routine of business for the giving of

notices, a summary of notices so given.

3. Proposals pursuant to Standing Order 64

That, notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing O r d e r s ,

statements of proposed matters of public importance or of urgency

shall be received by the President and read to the Senate only on

days on which the proceedings of the Senate are broadcast.

iThis would be in addition to Sessional Order No. 4 adopted on

22 February 19 8 5,'

That, notwithstanding anything contained in the Standing Orders -

(a) a Senator shall not speak for more than 20 minutes in

a debate in the S e n a t e , but in respect of a speech a

Senator may move that that time be extended for not

more than 10 m i n u t e s , and such a motion shall be put

and determined without d e b a t e ;

(b ) where a right of reply is allowed in a debate in the

S e n a t e , a Senator speaking in reply shall not speak for

more than 20 minutes;

(c) in debate on the first reading of a Bill which the

Senate may not amend, a Senator shall not speak for

more than 10 m i n u t e s ; and

(d ) in Committee of the Whole a Senator shall not speak for

more than 10 minutes at a time on a question, but where

the speech of a Senator is interrupted by this

provision and no other Senator rises to speak, the

Senator so interrupted may speak for a further 10

minutes but no longer on a question.

4. Time Limits to Speeches

(This would supersede Sessional Order No. 11 adopted on

22 February 1985)

6.

APPENDIX 2

ITEMS IN STANDING ORDERS COMMITTEE REPORTS

YET TO BE DEALT WITH BY THE SENATE

(Note: this includes only items which contain recommendations

for action by the Senate.)

Report Date Item Action

Proposed

1 s t / 61 s t 6.10.83 Scrutiny of Bills Comm. adoption

of new

Standing

Order

1st ,/62nd 15.10.85 consideration of

S.O. Com m . Reports

new

sessional

order

reading of speeches amendment

of

Standing

Orders