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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Thursday, 27 November 2014) . . Page.. 4150 ..

The bill provides the option for whole-of-government annual reporting to improve presentation. The bill allows for whole-of-government reporting by a coordinating directorate to present a single ACT public service result on particular targets, such as greenhouse gas emission targets. The extent and timing of these proposals being taken up will be progressed in the development of the new directions.

Finally, the bill extends the submission time line of annual reports by one month to the end of October to allow for sufficient rigour in the quality assurance process, including the Auditor-General’s audit of financial statements. While a change in timing of annual report hearings would result, it does not alter the information or impact on the opportunity for scrutiny of that information. Even with the current end of September deadline, annual report hearings often extend late into the year. This extended timing has precedent in other jurisdictions, including the commonwealth, which has some entities that are required to table their annual reports by the last sitting period for the calendar year.

These small but key amendments will complement open government reform, improve transparency and allow sufficient time and rigour of annual report content whilst maintaining the opportunity for annual report hearings and appropriate scrutiny process. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Hanson) adjourned to the next sitting.

Judicial Commissions Amendment Bill 2014

Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Attorney-General, Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Capital Metro) (10.17): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

I am pleased to present the Judicial Commissions Amendment Bill 2014 today. The bill amends the Judicial Commissions Act 1994 to create a statutory framework for handling complaints against judges and magistrates in the ACT, including the establishment of a part-time judicial council, and provide powers to the council to receive, investigate and report on complaints, and take appropriate action to address complaints. Our community rightly has confidence in our judiciary, which is fundamental to the rule of law and a free society. This bill is designed to further underpin that confidence.

At present the ACT has limited formal options for responding to a complaint made against a judicial officer. Under the Judicial Commissions Act, the Attorney-General may request the executive to appoint a judicial commission to investigate a complaint

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