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Job Network Monitoring Authority Bill 2000 [No. 2]

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The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia











Job Network Monitoring Authority Bill 2000





Explanatory Memorandum











Circulated by Senator Collins











Job Network Monitoring Authority Bill 2000




The purpose of this Bill is to establish the Job Network Monitoring Authority (the Authority).




The Authority will have the role of providing an independent and highly accountable means of monitoring the actions and outcomes of the Job Network, as well as DEWRSB’s management of it.

The Authority would report to the Parliament and the Minister on the operations of the Job Network including:

·         the effectiveness of Job Network programs

·         the effectiveness of DEWRSB in monitoring Job Network members for contractual compliance, performance and quality and equity of service delivery

·         complaints made to DEWRSB in respect to the Job Network.

The Authority will also be able to act as an independent complaints review mechanism.

The Authority will consist of a small number of staff as well as a Chief Executive Officer.  It will need to work closely with DEWRSB to carry out its functions.  Its main task is to provide public accountability for the operations of Job Network members as well as DEWRSB’s management of the Job Network.

Information pertaining to the main functions of the Job Network Monitoring Authority will be made available to the Minister, the Parliament and the public.


Need for the Authority

The Job Network was set up in 1996 by a delegated instrument with no provision for independent scrutiny. Four years and two tender rounds later it is clear that the Authority is needed to provide openness and accountability for the Job Network contracts totalling $3 billion that are now in place for the next 3 years. 

A number of reports have been critical of the Job Network, including the McClure Report, ACOSS’s evaluation of the performance of the Job Network and papers by a number of academic and welfare groups.

The Auditor General’s report into the Job Network stated that DEWRSB was not doing an adequate job in monitoring the Job Network.  The Authority will fix this problem: it will not leave those who set up the system as the sole monitors of it.

An independent Authority is needed to critically analyse the workings of the Job Network and DEWRSB’s monitoring of it and come up with broad policy recommendations for public discussion.

The Authority has some similarities to the now disbanded Employment Services Regulatory Authority in that it is aiming to ensure accountability for employment services.  Unlike ESRA, however, the Job Network Monitoring Authority will not have direct involvement in the tender process or in administering the Job Network contracts.  It will, however, have a role in ensuring that DEWRSB adequately monitors the contracts.

It is envisaged that the Authority would in addition to working with DEWRSB, work with Job Network members and community groups to facilitate public discussions.

This Bill does not give the Authority the power to change or manage Job Network contracts.


Explanatory notes


Clause 1


This clause provides that the short title of the Bill is the Job Network Monitoring Authority Act 2000.


Clause 2


This clause provides that the Act will commence at a day to be fixed by proclamation, and that the proclamation cannot be made unless the Parliament has appropriated funds for the purposes of the Authority.


Clause 3


This clause provides that the objective of the Bill is to establish the Job Network Monitoring Authority.


Clause 4


This clause defines terms used in the Bill.


Clause 5


This clause establishes the Authority.


Clause 6


This clause sets out the functions and powers of the Authority.  It also excludes the Authority from managing Job Network contracts.


Clauses 7 and 8


These clauses make provision for the Minister to give directions to the Authority, or to ask for information from the Authority.

Clauses 9 - 18


These clauses provide for the appointment and termination of appointment, the remuneration and the duties of the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, and related matters.


Clauses 19 - 21


These clauses provide for the engagement of staff and consultants by the Authority, and make provision for the services of officers or employees of a Commonwealth authority to be made available to the Authority.


Clauses 22 - 23


These clauses set out the annual report and audit requirements of the Authority, and give authority for regulations to be made pursuant to the Act.