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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 2 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 400 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Bronwen Overton-Clarke, dated 15 and 16 February 2001.

Meredith Whitten, dated 15 February 2001.

I ask for leave to make a statement in relation to the contracts.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, I have tabled these documents in accordance with those sections referred to. Members will recall that contracts were previously tabled on 13 February. I presented today one long-term contract and six contract variations. The details of the contracts will be circulated to members. I would like to make the usual request to members to respect the personal privacy of the public servants concerned and deal sensibly with the information in each case.

Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2000

MR HUMPHRIES (Chief Minister, Minister for Community Affairs and Treasurer): May I also correct one aspect of my presentation speech for the Public Sector Management Amendment Bill 2000, which I presented on 30 November last year. I have become aware that one element of my speech was based on incorrect information provided by my department. I would like to provide the necessary clarification for the record.

The Public Sector Management Amendment Bill proposes a new legislative framework for the handling of discipline and efficiency matters, the handling of reviews and employment related decisions in the ACT public service. The framework places the final responsibility for decision-making in those matters with agency chief executives and does not mandate a role for unions in these processes. However, the bill provides scope for union delegates and other members of staff to participate in the promotion review process as independent employees providing they act impartially. The commissioner provides a second tier of procedural review of employment-related decisions and may make relevant recommendations to the responsible chief executive.

The new framework would operate in conjunction with procedures agreed in agency certified agreements. Where certified agreements were inconsistent with the new framework, the agreements would take precedence. This is consistent with the government's view that the enterprise bargaining process is the appropriate way to deal with local industrial and organisational issues.

In my speech I indicated that the unions had proposed an alternative framework for the review of employment related decisions. This proposal involved the Commissioner for Public Administration in making final decisions at the recommendation of wide-ranging review committees which included mandatory union representation. The union had suggested that this process was consistent with processes agreed in agency certified agreements. Commenting on the union proposal in my speech, I indicated that certified agreements do not mandate union nominees on review panels and do not include the commissioner as decision maker. While this is generally the case, some certified agreements in the ACT public service do include at least elements of these arrangements.

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