Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 February 2022) . . Page.. 53 ..
Administration and Procedure—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MS BURCH (Brindabella) (11.54): In accordance with standing order 246A, the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure has agreed to the following statement. Members may recall that in the report on the review of committee support function which was undertaken by Dr Rosemary Laing and presented to the committee, the following suggested reform was made:
10. When the Administration and Procedure Committee is reviewing the standing referral of bills, it may wish to consider the observation about the usual non-availability of legislative scrutiny comments to committees considering whether to undertake policy inquiries into bills and consider possible mechanisms to overcome this.
This relates to the requirement that, when a bill has been presented to the Assembly, under the resolution agreed on 2 December 2020, committees have 14 days to decide whether to undertake an inquiry and then inform the Speaker, who shall inform the rest of the members.
The Clerk of the Assembly brought this matter to the attention of the committee and, whilst the committee will undertake a substantial review of Assembly standing orders and its practices later this year, the committee considered that the suggested reform could not wait that long. Accordingly, a member of the committee has placed a notice of motion on the notice paper proposing that the 2 December 2020 resolution, as amended, be amended further to allow committees three weeks from the dates of bills being presented to decide whether they will undertake an inquiry or not.
Such a change will, in most cases, allow the relevant committee to be apprised of any comments made by the Standing Committee on Justice and Community Safety (Legislative Scrutiny) and therefore will provide a much cleaner framework for referral of bills to committees.
Statement by chair
MS BURCH (Brindabella) (11.56): In accordance with standing order 246A, the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure has asked me to present the following statement. The committee has been made aware of several occasions where a complaint has been made against a member and the Commissioner for Standards has decided not to accept the complaint and not to investigate it further. On these occasions the commissioner is aware of the complaint, as well as the complainant, but the member who is the subject of the complaint is not.
The committee has considered whether it would be desirable for a member to know whether a complaint had been made against them, even though the commissioner has decided not to undertake any further investigation. The committee considers that there is merit in the MLA being aware of such a situation.