Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 10 Hansard (Thursday, 15 August 2013) . . Page.. 3078 ..
Further, on the bill, the bill proposes that an appropriation for the officers of the Assembly must be included in the bill for the appropriation for the Office of the Legislative Assembly. This recognises that these officers sit with the Assembly and are not part of any administrative unit. While the bill will cement the independence of the officers, it must be said that the existing officers who currently occupy these roles all do a completely impartial job and fulfil the functions required of them in the public interest as they see it. Nevertheless, it is important that we continue to improve and it is important to note that each of the office-holders that the bill proposes to make an officer of the Assembly supported being given the role in their respective submissions to the administration and procedure committee inquiry last year.
This bill is another demonstration of the Greens’ commitment to accountability and integrity reforms that will make a real difference to the governance of the territory. This bill adopts the model for recognising these three roles as officers of the parliament. However, there are other positions that could be made officers of the Assembly. In Queensland, for example, they also recognise the Integrity Commissioner, the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commissioner and the Information Commissioner as officers of the parliament.
Over time, I think moves to improve the operation of the integrity arm of government will only increase and we will continue to better recognise the roles that we want a number of our other statutory officers to play. Immediate examples of positions that could be made officers of the parliament are the three commissioners within the Human Rights Commission and the Environment and Sustainability Commissioner. The Greens would certainly support recognising these positions as officers of the Assembly.
In the meantime, this bill is a very important step forward to better reflect the nature of the roles that the Auditor-General, Ombudsman and Electoral Commission play and recognise that it is the legislature on whose behalf these functions are fulfilled. I commend the bill to the Assembly.
Debate (on motion by Ms Gallagher) adjourned to the next sitting.
Education, Training and Youth Affairs—Standing Committee
Statement by chair
MS PORTER (Ginninderra): Pursuant to standing order 246A I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Education, Training and Youth Affairs of the Eighth Assembly relating to statutory appointments in accordance with resolution 5A.
Continuing resolution 5A was agreed to by the Legislative Assembly on 23 August 2012. The requirements of the resolution set out a transparency mechanism to promote accountability in the consideration of statutory appointments. The resolution requires relevant standing committees which consider statutory appointments to report on a six-monthly basis and present a schedule listing appointments considered during the applicable period.