Published on: June 2022
Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2022
Second Reading Debate
Debate resumed from 8 June 2022.
Mr ANOULACK CHANTHIVONG (Macquarie Fields) (15:46:11):
I lead for the Opposition on the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2022. From the outset I state that Labor will not be opposing the bill in its currently proposed draft. In the last few minutes I have been advised that another amendment will be made by the Government to require compliance with the grants administration guide. I understand that the member for North Sydney will move that amendment at the end of this debate.
The bill will make a series of amendments to ensure compliance with Commissioner Hayne's Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, and the Australian accounting standards, and preparation of compliance statements as part of the audit process. Given the uncontroversial nature of the bill, my remarks will be relatively modest. There are amendments covering six Acts in total, in addition to amendments to Acts and regulations that relate to the change from "First State Superannuation Fund" to "Aware Super Fund". The list of legislation to be amended is detailed in the bill's explanatory notes. It is not necessary for me to repeat them for sake of adding a few words to my remarks.
The motive for this bill is to ensure that government legislation remains contemporary and compliant within the different operating environments. For example, the proposed changes to the Coal and Oil Shale Mine Workers (Superannuation) Act 1941 are in response to the Hayne royal commission. The proposed amendments seek to construct a revised corporate structure through a trustee arrangement that is in line with Commonwealth legislation. Schedule 1.1. outlines all these changes. Similarly, schedules 1.2 to 1.5 are amendments to the various pieces of government finance administration legislation to ensure that they comply with the Australian accounting standards. Further, schedules 1.3 and 1.4 are aimed at improving the preparation and reporting process of government sector finance compliance statements. Schedules 1.4 (2) and (3) require the Treasurer to provide compliance statements prior to the Auditor General preparing her audit reports and that certain statements and reports be tabled in the Legislatively Assembly.
I made further enquiries, particularly about schedule 1.6, which relates to the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1971. I understand that the proposed changes are also administrative in nature because of the changing circumstances and declining number of MPs who are eligible to be trustees of the parliamentary contributory superannuation fund, given the fund has been closed to new members since 2007. The proposed amendments are aimed at allowing the Treasurer to appoint trustees to and remove trustees from the board. I am advised that the appointed trustees do not receive any remuneration for their services, which I suspect to be valuable public information. There appears to be nothing controversial in the bill and the proposed amendments. I understand that part 4, regarding compliance with the grants administration guide, will be amended by the member for North Shore. That concludes my remarks on the bill.
Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (15:49:56):
On behalf of Mr Matt Kean: In reply: I thank the Opposition for its contribution to the debate. This is an important bill and makes much-needed administrative changes to a number of Acts administered by the Treasurer and the finance Minister. Its expedient passage through this Chamber is important to ensure that the necessary changes are given effect before the critical date of 30 June. I foreshadow that the Government will be moving an amendment to the bill in the consideration in detail stage. The amendment will establish a duty for the Government to comply with any mandatory requirements contained in the grants administration guide, which arose following the recently completed review of grants administration in New South Wales. I foreshadow also that the Government is committed to "follow the dollar" reforms as per its response to the Public Accountability Committee's inquiry into the integrity, efficacy and value for money of New South Wales Government grant programs, which will be worked through by Treasury in a consultative process. I commend the bill to the House.
TEMPORARY SPEAKER (Mr Lee Evans):
The question is that this bill be now read a second time.
Motion agreed to.
Consideration in detail requested by Ms Felicity Wilson.
Consideration in Detail
TEMPORARY SPEAKER (Mr Lee Evans):
By leave: I will deal with the bill in one group of clauses and schedules. The question is that clauses 1 to 3 and schedules 1 and 2 be agreed to.
Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (15:51:31):
I move Government amendment No. 1 on sheet c2022-116D:
Grants Administration Guide
Page 6, Schedule 1.4. Insert after line 29—
Schedule 1 Savings, transitional and other provisions
Insert at the end of the Schedule—
Part 4Provision consequent on enactment of Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Act 2022
31Duty to comply with Grants Administration Guide
(1)The following persons must not knowingly breach a mandatory requirement contained in a Grants Administration Guide—
Members of Parliament Staff Act 2013
(b)a person employed by a Minister under the ,
Government Sector Employment Act 2013
(c)an employee of a government sector agency within the meaning of the , other than a person employed in or by a State owned corporation.
(2)In this section—
Grants Administration Guide
means a Grants Administration Guide issued from time to time by the Premier and published in the Gazette.
, of a Grants Administration Guide, means a requirement contained in the Guide that is expressly identified by the Guide to be a mandatory requirement.
The amendments to the Treasury Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2022 will amend the Government Sector Finance Act 2018 to provide that a person must not knowingly breach a mandatory requirement of the grants administration guide issued by the Premier from time to time. The section will apply to employees of government sector agencies within the meaning of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013, Ministers, and persons employed under the Members of Parliament Staff Act 2013 by a Minister as a member of the Minister's staff. The section does not apply to persons employed by State-owned corporations.
The amendments will implement a recommendation of the recently completed review of grants administration in New South Wales. On 3 November 2021, the Premier announced the review of grants administration in New South Wales, led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, in partnership with the Productivity Commissioner, Mr Peter Achterstraat, AM. The purpose of the review was to deliver value for money by ensuring that the administration, assessment and assurance of grants programs in New South Wales is in line with best practice.
Good Practice Guide to Grants Administration
A key objective of the review was to produce an updated . The review report was published on 7 May 2022, with the draft grants administration guide set out as appendix A of that report. The grants administration guide provides guidance based on the principles set out in the Commonwealth Grants Rules and Guidelines 2017 and reflects the government sector core values of integrity, trust, service and accountability as provided in the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. The grants administration guide also includes mandatory requirements for officials, Ministers and ministerial staff. On 7 June the New South Wales Government announced its support or support in principle for all of the recommendations of the review.
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