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A Bill for an Act to enhance the integrity of the Parliament of Australia, and for related purposes
For authoritative information on the progress of bills and on amendments proposed to them, please see the House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, and the Journals of the Senate as available on the Parliament House website.
Registered 27 Oct 2020
Introduced HR 26 Oct 2020

2019‑2020

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Standards Bill 2020

 

No.      , 2020

 

(Dr Haines)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act to enhance the integrity of the Parliament of Australia, and for related purposes

  

  

  


Contents

Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             5

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 5

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 5

3............ Objects of Act..................................................................................... 6

4............ Saving of powers, privileges and immunities...................................... 7

5............ Act binds the Crown........................................................................... 7

6............ Application of Act............................................................................... 7

7............ Definitions.......................................................................................... 8

Part 2—Parliamentary values and conduct                                                         12

Division 1—Statement of parliamentary values                                           12

8............ Parliamentary values......................................................................... 12

Division 2—Parliamentary code of conduct                                                   13

9............ Upholding democracy and respecting others regardless of background 13

10.......... Conflicts of interest........................................................................... 13

11.......... Using position for profit................................................................... 14

12.......... Outside employment and activities.................................................... 14

13.......... Accepting any gift, hospitality or other benefit.................................. 14

14.......... Use of influence................................................................................ 14

15.......... Use of public resources..................................................................... 15

16.......... Personal conduct............................................................................... 15

17.......... Managing confidential and personal information.............................. 15

18.......... Post‑retirement activities................................................................... 16

19.......... Staff of parliamentarians................................................................... 16

20.......... Extending code of conduct................................................................ 16

Part 3—Registers of Interests                                                                                       17

21.......... Register of interests—House of Representatives.............................. 17

22.......... Register of interests—Senate............................................................ 17

Part 4—Parliamentary Integrity Adviser                                                              18

Division 1—Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser               18

23.......... Parliamentary Integrity Adviser........................................................ 18

24.......... Functions of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser................................... 18

Division 2—Provision of advice                                                                            20

Subdivision A—Requests for advice                                                                    20

25.......... Parliamentarian, former parliamentarian or staff may request advice. 20

26.......... Minister may request advice.............................................................. 21

27.......... Presiding officer or chair of committee may request advice.............. 22

28.......... Requirements relating to requests for advice..................................... 22

29.......... Provision of advice........................................................................... 22

30.......... Limited protection from acting on conflict of interest issue............... 23

Subdivision B—Confidentiality of information                                               24

31.......... Interpretation..................................................................................... 24

32.......... Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.................. 24

33.......... Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law.......... 25

34.......... Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates........... 25

35.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure....................................... 25

36.......... No requirement to provide information to courts etc......................... 25

37.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person................. 26

Division 3—Better practices guides and fact sheets                                   27

38.......... Better practices guides and fact sheets............................................... 27

Division 4—Annual report                                                                                       28

39.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 28

Part 5—Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                           30

Division 1—Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                                                                                                      30

40.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner............................................ 30

41.......... Functions of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner....................... 30

Division 2—Alleged or suspected contraventions of parliamentary code of conduct    32

42.......... Referral of alleged or suspected contravention.................................. 32

43.......... How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with............ 33

44.......... Assessment and preliminary enquiries.............................................. 35

45.......... Inquiries............................................................................................ 36

46.......... Report of inquiry............................................................................... 38

47.......... Opportunity to be heard.................................................................... 39

48.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Committee 41

49.......... Advice of outcome of inquiry........................................................... 41

50.......... Public advice of outcome of inquiry.................................................. 42

51.......... Report to House................................................................................ 42

52.......... Failure to comply with parliamentary code of conduct...................... 43

Division 3—Alleged or suspected contraventions of ministerial code of conduct            45

53.......... Referral of alleged or suspected contravention.................................. 45

54.......... How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with............ 45

55.......... Assessment and preliminary enquiries.............................................. 47

56.......... Inquiries............................................................................................ 49

57.......... Report of inquiry............................................................................... 50

58.......... Opportunity to be heard.................................................................... 52

59.......... Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Prime Minister                53

60.......... Advice of outcome of inquiry........................................................... 53

61.......... Public advice of outcome of inquiry.................................................. 54

62.......... Report to House................................................................................ 55

Division 4—Confidentiality of information                                                     56

63.......... Interpretation..................................................................................... 56

64.......... Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.................. 56

65.......... Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law.......... 57

66.......... Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates........... 57

67.......... Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure....................................... 57

68.......... No requirement to provide information to courts etc......................... 58

69.......... Offences for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person................ 58

Division 5—Annual report                                                                                       60

70.......... Annual report.................................................................................... 60

Part 6—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner                                                                             62

Division 1—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser            62

71.......... Appointment of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.............................. 62

72.......... General terms and conditions of appointment................................... 63

73.......... Other paid work................................................................................ 63

74.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 63

75.......... Leave of absence............................................................................... 64

76.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 64

77.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 64

78.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 65

79.......... Acting appointments......................................................................... 65

80.......... Assistance to Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.................................. 66

Division 2—Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner           67

81.......... Appointment of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.................. 67

82.......... General terms and conditions of appointment................................... 68

83.......... Other paid work................................................................................ 68

84.......... Remuneration.................................................................................... 68

85.......... Leave of absence............................................................................... 69

86.......... Resignation....................................................................................... 69

87.......... Removal from office......................................................................... 69

88.......... Disclosure of interests....................................................................... 70

89.......... Acting appointments......................................................................... 71

90.......... Assistance to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner...................... 71

91.......... Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner............................ 72

Division 3—Approval or rejection of recommendations for appointments         73

92.......... Committees may approve or reject recommendation for appointment 73

Part 7—Miscellaneous                                                                                                       74

93.......... Offence of victimisation.................................................................... 74

94.......... Protection from liability..................................................................... 74

95.......... Immunities from certain State and Territory laws.............................. 75

96.......... Review relating to Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. 75

97.......... Review relating to lobbying and post‑separation employment.......... 76

98.......... Review relating to political finance, funding, donations and campaign regulation    77

99.......... Review of operation of Act............................................................... 78

100........ Schedules.......................................................................................... 80

101........ Regulations....................................................................................... 80

Schedule 1—House of Representatives—Register of Members’ Interests               81

Schedule 2—The Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests 85

Schedule 3—Amendments                                                                                              89

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013                                                                      89

 


A Bill for an Act to enhance the integrity of the Parliament of Australia, and for related purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary

  

1  Short title

                   This Act is the Commonwealth Parliamentary Standards Act 2020.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 and 2 and anything in this Act not elsewhere covered by this table

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.

 

2.  Sections 3 to 101

The later of:

(a) day after the day on which the Consolidated Revenue Fund is appropriated under an Act to the Department in which this Act is administered for payment for the purposes of this Act; and

(b) the day section 3 of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020 commences.

However, the provisions do not commence at all unless both of the events mentioned in paragraphs (a) and (b) occur.

 

3.  Schedules 1 to 3

At the same time as the provisions covered by table item 2.

 

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Objects of Act

             (1)  The object of this Act is to promote public trust and confidence in the integrity of the institutions of the Parliament, and of parliamentarians, and ensure that the responsibilities and obligations of parliamentarians reflect community expectations and community standards, by:

                     (a)  providing for a statement of values for parliamentarians, and their staff; and

                     (b)  providing for a code of conduct for parliamentarians, and their staff; and

                     (c)  providing for a register of interests for parliamentarians; and

                     (d)  helping parliamentarians, their staff, and others to deal appropriately with ethics or integrity issues including by complying with this Act; and

                     (e)  providing for the investigation, referral and resolution of alleged contraventions of this Act or associated standards; and

                      (f)  making consequential amendments to certain other Acts;

             (2)  To assist in achieving the objects in paragraphs (1)(a) to (d), this Act establishes the office of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.

             (3)  To assist in achieving the objects in paragraph (1)(e), this Act establishes the office of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

4  Saving of powers, privileges and immunities

                   Except as expressly provided otherwise in this Act, this Act does not affect the powers, privileges and immunities of each House of the Parliament, and of the members and committees of each House.

5  Act binds the Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.

6  Application of Act

                   This Act applies both within and outside Australia and extends to every external Territory.

7  Definitions

             (1)  In this Act:

applicable code of conduct means:

                     (a)  in the case of a Minister:

                              (i)  a Ministerial code of conduct imposed by the Prime Minister on the Prime Minister’s Ministers, including the Statement of Ministerial Standards dated 30 August 2018 and as revised from time to time and any replacement document; or

                             (ii)  a Ministerial code of conduct prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition; or

                            (iii)  a Ministerial code of conduct adopted by resolution of the House of which the Minister is or was a member; or

                     (b)  in the case of a parliamentarian (including a Minister)—a parliamentary code of conduct.

Assistant Federal Integrity Commissioner for Education Training and Prevention has the same meaning as in the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020.

Assistant Federal Integrity Commissioner for Research and Public Interest has the same meaning as in the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020.

child: without limiting who is a child of a person for the purposes of this Act, someone is the child of a person if he or she is a child of the person within the meaning of the Family Law Act 1975.

civil penalty provision means a provision of a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory in relation to a contravention of which a civil penalty may be imposed.

conflict of interest has its ordinary meaning and, without limiting the ordinary meaning, includes a parliamentarian:

                     (a)  participating; or

                     (b)  making a decision;

in the execution of the parliamentarian’s office which furthers the private interests of the parliamentarian, or the private interests of a specified person or organisation, or the interests of a foreign power.

conflict of interest issue is an issue whether a person:

                     (a)  had, or may have had, a conflict of interest; or

                     (b)  has, or may have, a conflict of interest; or

                     (c)  will, or may at any time in the future, have a conflict of interest;

and includes a reasonably held perception that a person had, has or will have a conflict of interest.

criminal offence means an offence against a law of the Commonwealth or of a State or Territory.

disciplinary proceeding has the same meaning as in the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020.

engage in conduct means:

                     (a)  do an act; or

                     (b)  omit to do an act.

ethics or integrity issue means an issue concerning ethics or integrity and includes a conflict of interest issue.

former parliamentarian means person who was, but is no longer, a parliamentarian.

frivolous, in relation to an allegation or referral, includes allegations or referrals that are:

                     (a)  trivial in nature and have no serious purpose or value; or

                     (b)  so meritless that further investigation would be a waste of time or cost.

gift means a gift whether it is or is not registrable in accordance with this Act or a resolution or resolutions of a House of the Parliament.

interest means an interest whether it is or is not registrable in accordance with this Act or a resolution or resolutions of a House of the Parliament.

Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner means the person appointed under section 175 of the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006 as the Integrity Commissioner.

paid work means work for financial gain or reward (whether as an employee, a self‑employed person or otherwise).

parliamentarian means:

                     (a)  a senator; or

                     (b)  a member of the House of Representatives; or

                     (c)  a Minister of State who is not a senator or member of the House of Representatives; or

                     (d)  a person who is taken to be the President of the Senate under the Parliamentary Presiding Officers Act 1965 and who is not a senator or member of the House of Representatives; or

                     (e)  a person who is taken to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives under the Parliamentary Presiding Officers Act 1965 and who is not a senator or member of the House of Representatives.

parliamentary code of conduct means.

                     (a)  the code of conduct in Division 2 of Part 2; or

                     (b)  a code of conduct for parliamentarians adopted by resolution of the House of which the parliamentarian is or was a member, to the extent that the code is of effect in accordance with section 20.

parliamentary remuneration, expenses or allowances means official allowances (including allowances by way of salary), expenses and entitlements (including superannuation entitlements) of parliamentarians under the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 or any other law of the Commonwealth.

Presiding Officer means:

                     (a)  in relation to the Senate—the President of the Senate; or

                     (b)  in relation to the House of Representatives—the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Presiding Officers means the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives acting jointly.

protected Adviser information: see subsection 31(1).

protected Commissioner information: see subsection 63(1).

public official has the same meaning as in the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020.

relevant document means:

                     (a)  for a request for advice under Subdivision A of Division 4 of Part 4—see subsection 31(2); or

                     (b)  for an alleged or suspected contravention of a provision of an applicable code of conduct under Division 2 or 3 of Part 5—see subsection 63(2).

sensitive information has the same meaning as in the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020.

staff, in relation a parliamentarian, means a person employed by the parliamentarian under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984.

use, in relation to information, includes make a record of.

vexatious in relation to an allegation or referral, includes allegations or referrals that are:

                     (a)  solely focused on the harassment, frustration or the bringing of undue financial burden upon an individual or organisation; or

                     (b)  unduly repetitive, burdensome, and unwarranted when compared to their merits.

             (2)  For the purposes of this Act, a family member, in relation to any person, is taken to include the following (without limitation):

                     (a)  a de facto partner of the person (within the meaning of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901);

                     (b)  someone who is the child of the person, or of whom the person is the child, because of the definition of child in this section;

                     (c)  anyone else who would be a family member of the person if someone mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) is taken to be a family member of the person.

Part 2Parliamentary values and conduct

Division 1Statement of parliamentary values

8  Parliamentary values

             (1)  Parliamentarians are public officials who have responsibility to secure and sustain the public trust against abuse or harm.

             (2)  Parliamentarians should demonstrate the following values in carrying out their public duties:

                     (a)  selflessness;

                     (b)  integrity;

                     (c)  objectivity;

                     (d)  accountability;

                     (e)  openness;

                      (f)  honesty;

                     (g)  leadership.

             (3)  The code of conduct in Division 2 sets out the manner in which a parliamentarian demonstrates the values set out in subsection (2) of this section.

Division 2Parliamentary code of conduct

9  Upholding democracy and respecting others regardless of background

                   A parliamentarian must:

                     (a)  make the performance of their public duties their prime responsibility; and

                     (b)  exercise reasonable care and diligence in performing their public duties; and

                     (c)  submit themselves to the lawful scrutiny appropriate to their office; and

                     (d)  treat all persons with respect and have due regard for their opinions, beliefs, rights and responsibilities.

10  Conflicts of interest

             (1)  A parliamentarian must:

                     (a)  declare any actual or perceived conflict of interest, including when speaking or voting in parliamentary proceedings (including the proceedings of parliamentary committees); and

                     (b)  avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest, including, where appropriate, by recusing themselves from speaking or voting in parliamentary proceedings (including the proceedings of parliamentary committees).

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1), a parliamentarian has a conflict of interest if the parliamentarian:

                     (a)  participates; or

                     (b)  makes a decision;

in the execution of the parliamentarian’s office which furthers the private interests of the parliamentarian, or the private interests of a specified person or organisation, or the interests of a foreign power.

             (3)  Without limiting subsection (1), a parliamentarian does not have a conflict of interest if the parliamentarian or a specified person is only affected as a member of the public or a broad class of persons.

11  Using position for profit

             (1)  A parliamentarian must not:

                     (a)  receive a fee, payment, retainer or reward; or

                     (b)  permit any compensation to accrue to their beneficial interest or the beneficial interest of a specified person; or

                     (c)  entertain or accept an offer or expectation of a future fee, payment, retainer, reward or compensation to themselves or a specified person;

for, or on account of, or as a result of the use of, their position as a parliamentarian.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to any parliamentary salary or work‑related parliamentary expenses or allowances, the Budget or other public resources under the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, Independent Expenses Authority Act 2017 or any other law.

12  Outside employment and activities

                   A parliamentarian may engage in employment, business and community activities outside of their duties as a parliamentarian, but must avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest that might arise from those activities, including where the activities compromise the parliamentarian’s ability to fulfil their public duties.

13  Accepting any gift, hospitality or other benefit

                   A parliamentarian must not accept any gift, hospitality or other benefit which:

                     (a)  creates an actual or perceived conflict of interest; or

                     (b)  might create a perception of an attempt to influence the parliamentarian in the exercise of their public duties.

14  Use of influence

                   A parliamentarian:

                     (a)  must exercise their influence as a parliamentarian responsibly; and

                     (b)  must not use their influence to improperly further their private interests, or the private interests of a specified person or organisation, or the interests of a foreign power.

15  Use of public resources

                   A parliamentarian must comply with:

                     (a)  the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 and any regulations made under those Acts; and

                     (b)  any other law, rule or guidance regarding the use of public resources.

16  Personal conduct

             (1)  A parliamentarian must ensure that their conduct as a parliamentarian does not bring discredit upon the Parliament.

             (2)  A parliamentarian:

                     (a)  must act ethically, reasonably and in good faith when using, and accounting for the use of, public resources in relation to the performance of their public duties;

                     (b)  must not deliberately mislead the Parliament or the public about any matter relating to the performance of their public duties; and

                     (c)  must not bully or harass any person.

             (3)  A parliamentarian must be fair, objective and courteous:

                     (a)  in their dealings with the community; and

                     (b)  without detracting from the importance of robust public debate in a democracy, in their dealings with other parliamentarians.

17  Managing confidential and personal information

             (1)  A parliamentarian must not use confidential information gained in the performance of their public duties to further their private interests, or the private interests of a specified person or organisation, or the interests of a foreign power.

             (2)  A parliamentarian must respect the confidentiality of information they receive in the course of their public duties.

18  Post‑retirement activities

                   A former parliamentarian must not take improper advantage of any office held as a parliamentarian after they cease to be a parliamentarian.

19  Staff of parliamentarians

                   The duties and obligations of this Part apply to a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 as if that person were a parliamentarian.

20  Extending code of conduct

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act is not intended to exclude or limit the power of a House of the Parliament to adopt, by resolution, a code of conduct or the operation of such a code of conduct.

             (2)  A code of conduct adopted by a House of the Parliament that is inconsistent with this Division has no effect to the extent of the inconsistency, but the code of conduct is taken to be consistent with this Division to the extent that the code of conduct is capable of operating concurrently with this Division.

Part 3Registers of Interests

  

21  Register of interests—House of Representatives

             (1)  A member of the House of Representatives must register the member’s interests as provided for in Schedule 1.

             (2)  The House of Representatives may, by resolution carried by two thirds of Members, impose additional requirements to those in Schedule 1, so long as the additional requirements are not inconsistent with Schedule 1.

22  Register of interests—Senate

             (1)  A senator must register the senator’s interests as provided for in Schedule 2.

             (2)  The Senate may, by resolution carried by two thirds of Senators, impose additional requirements to those in Schedule 2, so long as the additional requirements are not inconsistent with Schedule 2.

Part 4Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

Division 1Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

23  Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

             (1)  There is to be a Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is an independent officer of the Parliament.

             (3)  Subject to this Act and to any other laws of the Commonwealth, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is not subject to direction by any person in the performance or exercise of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions or powers.

24  Functions of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has the following functions:

                     (a)  at the request of a parliamentarian, a former parliamentarian, or a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, to provide independent confidential advice, which may be requested to be in writing, to that parliamentarian or person about:

                              (i)  an applicable code of conduct, including a parliamentary code of conduct; or

                             (ii)  parliamentary remuneration, expenses or allowances; or

                            (iii)  an ethics or integrity issue; or

                            (iv)  an interest, including an actual or potential conflict of interest issue; or

                             (v)  a matter of propriety, including the receipt of a gift; or

                            (vi)  any similar issue;

                            whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act in relation to the parliamentarian, the former parliamentarian or the person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984;

                     (b)  at the request of a Minister, to provide independent confidential advice, which may be requested to be in writing, to that Minister about the Minister’s compliance with an applicable code of conduct being a Ministerial code of conduct, whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act in relation to the Minister;

                     (c)  to work with the Federal Integrity Commissioner and Assistant Federal Integrity Commissioner for Research and Public Interest to understand the nature, scope, and impact of corruption risk and prevalence within the Parliament;

                     (d)  to act as the registrar of statements of interests for members of the House of Representatives and for senators, as provided for in Schedules 1 and 2;

                     (e)  at the request of a presiding officer or a committee of a House of the Parliament, to provide independent confidential written advice in relation to any matter related to the objects of this Act;

                      (f)  to prepare better practice guides and fact sheets, in relation to matters of conduct, propriety and ethics, for Ministers, parliamentarians, former parliamentarians and persons employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984;

                     (g)  to provide an annual report to the Parliament outlining the nature of all matters considered under paragraphs (a) and (b), without identifying any of the parties involved;

                     (h)  any other function conferred by this Act or another Act (or an instrument under this Act or another Act) on the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions.

Division 2Provision of advice

Subdivision ARequests for advice

25  Parliamentarian, former parliamentarian or staff may request advice

             (1)  A parliamentarian, a former parliamentarian, or a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser about:

                     (a)  an applicable code of conduct, including a parliamentary code of conduct; or

                     (b)  parliamentary remuneration, expenses or allowances; or

                     (c)  an ethics or integrity issue; or

                     (d)  an interest, including an actual or potential conflict of interest issue; or

                     (e)  a matter of propriety, including the receipt of a gift; or

                      (f)  any similar issue;

whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act.

             (2)  A request for advice must be about a matter relating to:

                     (a)  the parliamentarian or the former parliamentarian requesting the advice; or

                     (b)  the person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 requesting the advice; or

                     (c)  a family member of the parliamentarian, the former parliamentarian or person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 requesting the advice; or

                     (d)  a person employed or formerly employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 by the parliamentarian or the former parliamentarian requesting the advice.

             (3)  Despite subsection (2), a parliamentarian who is the leader of a political party may request advice about a matter relating to:

                     (a)  a parliamentarian who is a member of that political party; or

                     (b)  a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 by a parliamentarian who is a member of that political party; or

                     (c)  a family member of a parliamentarian who is a member of that political party;

provided that in all cases, the leader of the political party must first inform the parliamentarian, person or family member concerned of their intention to request the advice.

             (4)  To avoid doubt, a request for advice may not be about a matter relating to any other parliamentarian or person, expect as provided for in subsection (2) or (3).

26  Minister may request advice

             (1)  A Minister may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser about any issue relating to compliance with an applicable code of conduct, being a Ministerial code of conduct, whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act.

             (2)  A request for advice must be about a matter relating to:

                     (a)  the Minister requesting the advice; or

                     (b)  a family member of the Minister requesting the advice; or

                     (c)  a person employed or formerly employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 by the Minister requesting the advice.

             (3)  Despite subsection (2), the Prime Minister may request advice about a matter relating to:

                     (a)  a Minister or former Minister; or

                     (b)  a person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 by a Minister; or

                     (c)  a family member of a Minister;

provided that in all cases, the Prime Minister must first inform the Minister, person or family member concerned of their intention to request the advice.

             (4)  To avoid doubt, a request for advice may not be about a matter relating to any other parliamentarian or person, except as provided for in subsection (2) or (3).

27  Presiding officer or chair of committee may request advice

                   A presiding officer or a chair of a committee of a House of the Parliament may request advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser about any ethics or integrity issue, or any general matter relating to ethics and integrity including revision or development of a code of conduct, as may relate to the roles, functions and operations of that House or committee.

28  Requirements relating to requests for advice

             (1)  If requested by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, a request for advice under section 25, 26 or 27 must be in writing.

             (2)  The person making the request for advice must disclose to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser all information relevant to the matter or issue the subject of the request.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may request additional information from the person for the purpose of giving the advice. The request must explain how the additional information relates to request for advice.

29  Provision of advice

             (1)  If a person makes a request for advice on a matter or issue under section 25, 26 or 27, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must give the person advice on the matter or issue.

             (2)  However, subsection (1) does not apply if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                     (a)  reasonably believes that:

                              (i)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser does not have sufficient information in relation to the matter or issue to give the advice (whether or not after making a request for additional information under section 28); or

                             (ii)  the advice is asked for in circumstances where the giving of the advice would not be in keeping with the objects of this Act; and

                     (b)  gives the person written reasons for refusing to give the advice.

             (3)  If the person requests advice in writing, or the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser decides that the advice should be provided in writing, then the advice must be in writing.

             (4)  In giving advice under subsection (1), the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                     (a)  must have regard to the ethical principles set out in an applicable code of conduct; and

                     (b)  may have regard to any other ethical standards the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser considers appropriate.

30  Limited protection from acting on conflict of interest issue

             (1)  This section applies if a person:

                     (a)  requests advice under section 25, 26 or 27 on a conflict of interest issue involving the person; and

                     (b)  discloses all information relevant to the matter or issue the subject of the request when seeking the advice; and

                     (c)  makes the request in writing; and

                     (d)  receives written advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser on the issue; and

                     (e)  does an act to resolve the conflict of interest issue substantially in accordance with the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice on the issue.

             (2)  The person is not subject to any civil liability for, or in relation to, the act.

             (3)  To avoid any doubt, subsection (2) does not affect the person’s liability for any act or omission done or made in connection with the conflict of interest issue before the person receives the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice.

Subdivision BConfidentiality of information

31  Interpretation

             (1)  Protected Adviser information is information about a person, matter or issue obtained by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in the course of exercising powers, or performing duties or functions, under or in accordance with this Division.

             (2)  Each of the following documents is a relevant document for a request for advice under Subdivision A:

                     (a)  a written request, if made in writing;

                     (b)  any other records of the request;

                     (c)  any documents given under subsection 28(2) in relation to the request;

                     (d)  any additional information given under subsection 28(3) in relation to the request;

                     (e)  any written reasons given by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under subsection 28(3) in relation to additional information sought;

                      (f)  any written advice given by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under subsection 29(1) in relation to the request.

             (3)  A reference in this Subdivision to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser includes a reference to a person assisting the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under section 80.

32  Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.

                   The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may use or disclose protected Adviser information if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser uses or discloses the information for the purposes of performing functions or duties or exercising powers under this Division.

Note 1:       This section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Note 2:       Use, in relation to information, includes make a record of (see the definition of use in section 7).

33  Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law

                   The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may use or disclose protected Adviser information if the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory.

Note :         This section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

34  Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates

                   The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may disclose protected Adviser information to the person to whom the protected Adviser information relates.

Note :         This section is a requirement for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

35  Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is or was the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser; and

                     (b)  the person has obtained protected Adviser information; and

                     (c)  the person uses or discloses the information; and

                     (d)  the use or disclosure is not authorised or required by a provision in this Subdivision.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person to the extent that the person uses or discloses protected information in good faith and in purported compliance with a provision in this Subdivision.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

36  No requirement to provide information to courts etc.

                   Except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of giving effect to this Act, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is not to be required to disclose protected Adviser information, or produce a document containing protected Adviser information, to:

                     (a)  a court; or

                     (b)  a tribunal, authority or person that has the power to require the answering of questions or the production of documents.

37  Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person

             (1)  A person other than the Parliamentary Integrity Advisor must not record, use or disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person’s recording, use or disclosure of information if the recording, use or disclosure is:

                     (a)  in the performance of his or her functions under this Act; or

                     (b)  authorised under this or another Act.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

             (3)  A person other than the Parliamentary Integrity Advisor who is or has been involved in the administration of this Act is not, in any proceeding, compellable to disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act.

Division 3Better practices guides and fact sheets

38  Better practices guides and fact sheets

                   The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may promote better practice in relation to matters of conduct, propriety, ethics and integrity for parliamentarians, former parliamentarians, and persons employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984, by preparing and disseminating better practice guides and fact sheets to those persons.

Division 4Annual report

39  Annual report

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must prepare and give:

                     (a)  the President of the Senate for presentation to the Senate; and

                     (b)  the Speaker of the House of Representatives for presentation to the House of Representatives;

a report on the activities of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser during a financial year.

Note:          See also section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about annual reports.

             (2)  A report under subsection (1) must include:

                     (a)  the number of times advice was prepared by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser during the year, including information about:

                              (i)  the number of times advice related to an applicable code of conduct or a part thereof; and

                             (ii)  the types of gifts to which advice related; and

                            (iii)  the types of interest to which advice related; and

                     (b)  the general nature of the advice that was prepared by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser during the year; and

                     (c)  details of any better practice guides or fact sheets prepared and disseminated by the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser during the year.

             (3)  A report under subsection (1) may include such other information relating to the objects of this Act and the activities of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser considers appropriate.

             (4)  Despite subsection (3), a report under subsection (1) must not include information likely to identify a specific request for the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice on any matter or issue, including information likely to identify:

                     (a)  a person who requested the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice; or

                     (b)  in the case of a family member or employee about whom the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s advice was requested, that family member or employee.

Part 5Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Division 1Establishment and functions and powers of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

40  Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

             (1)  There is to be a Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is an independent officer of the Parliament.

41  Functions of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has the following functions:

                     (a)  to investigate alleged or suspected contraventions of this Act or any applicable code of conduct, including a parliamentary code of conduct;

                     (b)  at the request of a Minister, including the Prime Minister, to investigate alleged or suspected contraventions of an applicable code of conduct, being a Ministerial code of conduct, whether the request for advice relates to an issue that arose before or after the commencement of this Act in relation to the Minister;

                     (c)  to lead corruption education, training and prevention initiatives in collaboration with the Federal Integrity Commissioner and the Assistant Federal Integrity Commissioner for Education, Training and Prevention;

                     (d)  at the request of a presiding officer or a committee of a House of the Parliament, to inquire into and report upon any matter related to ethical and integrity standards among parliamentarians or their staff;

                     (e)  to provide an annual report to the Parliament outlining the nature of all matters considered under paragraphs (a) and (b), without identifying any of the parties involved;

                      (f)  any other function conferred by this Act or another Act (or an instrument under this Act or another Act) on the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions.

Division 2Alleged or suspected contraventions of parliamentary code of conduct

42  Referral of alleged or suspected contravention

             (1)  A person who considers that there has been a contravention of a provision of a parliamentary code of conduct may refer the alleged or suspected contravention to:

                     (a)  the Presiding Officer of the House of the Parliament of which the Member who is alleged to have contravened the requirement is a Member; or

                     (b)  the Privileges Committee of the House of the Parliament of which the Member who is alleged to have contravened the requirement is a Member; or

                     (c)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1):

                     (a)  the person may refer the allegation or information anonymously; and

                     (b)  the person may refer the allegation or information either orally or in writing.

             (3)  If the person refers the allegation or information orally, the Presiding Officer, Privileges Committee or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may require the person to put the allegation or the information in writing.

             (4)  Whether the person refers the allegation or information orally or in writing, the Federal Integrity Commissioner may require the person to identify, in writing, the nature of the person’s relationship with any other persons or agencies identified in the referral.

             (5)  If the person is asked to put the allegation or information in writing under subsection (3)  the Presiding Officer, Privileges Committee or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may refuse to deal further with the allegation or information until the allegation or information is put in writing.

43  How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with

             (1)  A Presiding Officer or Privileges Committee who receives a referral under subsection 42(1) must refer the alleged or suspected contravention to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner determines that a referral under this Division may involve conduct that may constitute a criminal offence, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must refer the alleged contravention to the Federal Integrity Commissioner, the Australian Federal Police or another appropriate law enforcement agency.

Note:          Division 2 of Part 4 of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020 provides how the Federal Integrity Commissioner deals with corruption issues including criminal offences.

             (3)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner determines that a referral under this Division involves a corruption issue within the meaning of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must deal with the corruption issue in one of the following ways:

                     (a)  by inquiring into the corruption issue;

                     (b)  by referring the corruption issue to the Federal Integrity Commissioner.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may inquire into the corruption issue under paragraph (3)(a) either alone or jointly with the Federal Integrity Commissioner or with another government agency with appropriate functions or powers for the purpose.

             (5)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may refer the corruption issue under paragraph (3)(b) with any of the following:

                     (a)  a request for the Federal Integrity Commissioner to investigate or otherwise deal with the corruption issue;

                     (b)  a request for advice on how the corruption issue should be investigated;

                     (c)  a request for a joint investigation.

             (6)  In deciding how to deal with a corruption issue under subsection (3), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must have regard to the following:

                     (a)  whether the corruption issue may involve serious and/or systemic corrupt conduct based on advice from the Federal Integrity Commissioner and the Assistant Federal Integrity Commissioner for Research and Public Interest;

                     (b)  the need to ensure that the corruption issue is fully investigated;

                     (c)  the rights and obligations of the Federal Integrity Commissioner or any other agency to investigate the corruption issue;

                     (d)  the rights and obligations of any person who refers or provides information in relation to the corruption issue, including any need to protect the person’s identity or confidentiality or to protect the person from reprisal or detrimental action;

                     (e)  if a joint investigation with the Federal Integrity Commissioner is being considered—the extent to which the Federal Integrity Commissioner is able to cooperate in the investigation;

                      (f)  the resources that are available to investigate the corruption issue;

                     (g)  the need to ensure a balance between:

                              (i)  the Federal Integrity Commissioner’s role in dealing with corruption issues (particularly in dealing with significant corruption issues); and

                             (ii)  ensuring that the Parliament takes responsibility for the conduct of parliamentarians and their staff;

                     (h)  the remoteness of the person who made the referral under subsection 42(1) from the corruption issue;

                      (i)  the likely significance of the corruption issue for the Parliament and for the Commonwealth.

             (7)  Subsection (6) does not limit the matters to which the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may have regard.

44  Assessment and preliminary enquiries

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  an alleged or suspected contravention is referred to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under this Division; and

                     (b)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner does not refer the alleged or suspected contravention under either subsection 43(2) or (3).

             (2)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must deal with the alleged or suspected contravention in one of the following ways:

                     (a)  by making preliminary enquiries to determine whether to further inquire into the alleged or suspected contravention;

                     (b)  by inquiring into the alleged or suspected contravention;

                     (c)  at any time, by determining to take no further action.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may make preliminary enquiries under paragraph (2)(a) in such manner as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner sees fit.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may decide under paragraph (2)(c) to take no further action in relation to an alleged or suspected contravention, at any time, only if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied on reasonable grounds that:

                     (a)  the contravention is already being, or will be, investigated by another Commonwealth agency or resolved by another process; or

                     (b)  the referral of the allegation, or information, that raised the contravention is frivolous or vexatious; or

                     (c)  the conduct which is the subject of the alleged or suspected contravention has been, is or will be, the subject of proceedings before a court; or

                     (d)  the subject matter of the allegation or suspicion does not sufficiently relate to any provision of an applicable code of conduct; or

                     (e)  there is insufficient information or evidence with which to deal or inquire into the contravention; or

                      (f)  after due consideration, including any enquiries, there is insufficient basis for concluding that a contravention has occurred; or

                     (g)  that the person who referred the allegation, or information, that raised the contravention, is too remote from the allegation or information; or

                     (h)  further action in relation to the alleged or suspected contravention is not warranted having regard to all the circumstances.

             (5)  Without limiting paragraph (4)(d), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may determine that the subject matter does not sufficiently relate to any provision of an applicable code of conduct on the grounds that it solely or overwhelmingly concerns:

                     (a)  the political position, policy, platform, views or opinions of a parliamentarian; or

                     (b)  the private or personal life of a parliamentarian or of other persons.

             (6)  If, at any time, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner forms the opinion that:

                     (a)  a particular action by a parliamentarian, Presiding Officer or Privileges Committee could be taken to rectify or resolve an issue giving rise to the alleged or suspected contravention; and

                     (b)  the action would not prejudice any further inquiry or other inquiry, or the making of a report in relation to the contravention or any related matter;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may convey that opinion to the parliamentarian, Presiding Officer or Privileges Committee, with a recommendation that they take such action.

45  Inquiries

             (1)  This section applies if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner decides under subsection 44(2) to undertake an inquiry into the alleged or suspected contravention.

             (2)  The following provisions apply in relation to an inquiry that is conducted by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under subsection (1) (with references to the Auditor‑General being replaced by references to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner):

                     (a)  sections 32, 33 and 35 of the Auditor‑General Act 1997;

                     (b)  any other provisions of the Auditor‑General Act 1997, or of regulations under that Act, that are relevant to the operation of section 32, 33 or 35 of that Act.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must advise:

                     (a)  the Privileges Committee of the House or Houses to which the contravention relates; and

                     (b)  the parliamentarian or parliamentarians and any other persons to which the contravention relates;

of the decision to inquire into the contravention, and of any decision to take no further action in relation to the contravention.

             (4)  However, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner need not advise a person under subsection (3), if doing so would be likely to prejudice:

                     (a)  the inquiry or any other inquiry; or

                     (b)  the protection of the identity or confidentiality of any person who referred or provided information in relation to the contravention, or protection of such a person from reprisal or detrimental action; or

                     (c)  any action taken as a result of an inquiry referred to in paragraph (a).

             (5)  A parliamentarian or person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 is to cooperate and assist with an inquiry.

             (6)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may keep any person (or a representative nominated by the person) informed of the progress of an inquiry, if the person:

                     (a)  raised the alleged or suspected contravention; or

                     (b)  is a parliamentarian or other person to whom the contravention or inquiry relates.

             (7)  Except where disclosed or authorised by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, a House or a Committee, or in accordance with this Act, a person may not disclose any relevant document relating to an alleged or suspected contravention under this Division.

Note:          Subsection 69(4) provides that relevant documents, as defined by subsection 63(2), are in camera evidence for the purposes of section 13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. The penalty for unauthorised disclosure is, in the case of a natural person, imprisonment for 6 months or 50 penalty units or, in the case of a corporation, 250 penalty units.

46  Report of inquiry

Report and its contents

             (1)  After completing an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must prepare a report on the inquiry.

             (2)  The report must set out:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s findings on the contravention; and

                     (b)  the evidence and other material on which those findings are based; and

                     (c)  any recommendations that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner thinks fit to make and, if recommendations are made, the reasons for those recommendations.

This subsection has effect subject to subsections (4) and (5).

Note:          See section 47 for the need for the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give certain people an opportunity to be heard before including critical statements in a report.

             (3)  Without limiting paragraph (2)(c), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may recommend:

                     (a)  taking action to rectify or mitigate the effects of a contravention; or

                     (b)  the adoption of measures to remedy deficiencies in policy, procedures or practices that facilitated a contravention; or

                     (c)  taking appropriate action to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a person; or

                     (d)  taking appropriate action with a view to having a person charged with a criminal offence; or

                     (e)  such actions as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner considers will assist to resolve a contravention.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may exclude information from the report if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the information is sensitive information or the inclusion of the information may:

                              (i)  endanger a person’s life or physical safety; or

                             (ii)  prejudice proceedings brought as a result of the inquiry, or another inquiry under this Act; and

                     (b)  it is desirable in the circumstances to exclude the information from the report.

             (5)  In deciding whether to exclude information from the report under subsection (4), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between:

                     (a)  the public interest that would be served by including the information in the report; and

                     (b)  the prejudicial consequences that might result from including the information in the report.

Supplementary report

             (6)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner excludes information from a report under subsection (4), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must prepare a supplementary report that sets out:

                     (a)  the information; and

                     (b)  the reasons for excluding the information from the report under subsection (4).

47  Opportunity to be heard

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not include in a report under section 46 in relation to an investigation of a corruption issue an opinion or finding that is critical of a person (either expressly or impliedly) unless the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has taken the action required by subsection (3) before completing the investigation.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  a person may have:

                              (i)  committed a criminal offence; or

                             (ii)  contravened a civil penalty provision; or

                            (iii)  engaged in conduct that could be the subject of disciplinary proceedings; or

                            (iv)  engaged in conduct that could be grounds for terminating the person’s appointment or employment; and

                     (b)  taking action under subsection (3) would compromise the effectiveness of:

                              (i)  the inquiry into the contravention or another inquiry; or

                             (ii)  any action taken as a result of an inquiry referred to in subparagraph (i).

             (3)  If the opinion or finding is critical of a person, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the person:

                     (a)  a statement setting out the opinion or finding; and

                     (b)  a reasonable opportunity to appear before him or her and to make submissions in relation to the opinion or finding.

             (4)  Submissions under subsection (3) may be made orally or in writing.

             (5)  A person referred to in subsection (3):

                     (a)  may appear before the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner personally; or

                     (b)  may, with the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s approval, be represented by another person.

48  Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Committee

                   The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the Privileges Committee of the House or Houses to which the report relates:

                     (a)  the report prepared under subsection 46(1); and

                     (b)  if a supplementary report is prepared under subsection 46(6) in relation to the inquiry—the supplementary report.

49  Advice of outcome of inquiry

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may advise a person (or a representative nominated by the person) of the outcome of an inquiry, if the person:

                     (a)  raised the alleged or suspected contravention; or

                     (b)  is a parliamentarian or other person to whom the contravention or inquiry relates.

             (2)  However, if the report of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under subsection 46(1) included:

                     (a)  a finding that a contravention occurred; or

                     (b)  a recommendation that any action be taken as a result of a contravention;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may only advise a person of the outcome of an inquiry after the report has been considered by the Privileges Committee of each House to which the inquiry relates.

             (3)  One way of advising a person (or the representative) is to give a copy of all or part of any report prepared under subsection 46(1) in relation to the investigation.

             (4)  In advising a person of the outcome of the investigation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may exclude information from the advice if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the information is sensitive information; and

                     (b)  it is desirable in the circumstances to exclude the information from the advice.

             (5)  In deciding whether to exclude information from the advice under paragraph (4)(b), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between:

                     (a)  the person’s interest in having the information included in the advice; and

                     (b)  the prejudicial consequences that might result from including the information in the advice.

50  Public advice of outcome of inquiry

             (1)  If, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                     (a)  an alleged or suspected contravention has been the subject of public attention or debate; and

                     (b)  no contravention occurred, or it could not be concluded that a contravention occurred;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may, if he or she considers it to be in the public interest to do so, issue public advice summarising the outcome of the inquiry.

             (2)  In determining whether the issuing of public advice under subsection (1) is in the public interest, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must consult:

                     (a)  the person or persons in relation to whom the contravention was alleged or suspected; and

                     (b)  the Privileges Committee of each House to which the alleged or suspected contravention related.

51  Report to House

             (1)  If:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner gives a Privileges Committee a report prepared under subsection 46(1); and

                     (b)  the report included:

                              (i)  a finding that a contravention occurred; or

                             (ii)  a recommendation that any action be taken as a result of a contravention;

the Committee must table the report in each House of the Parliament within 5 sitting days of that House after its receipt by the Committee.

             (2)  To avoid doubt, a Privileges Committee is not required by subsection (1) to cause a supplementary report prepared under subsection 46(6) to be tabled in the House.

             (3)  In tabling a report of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, a Committee may table in the House such further advice or recommendations about the report, or about actions to be taken as a result of the report, as the Committee sees fit.

52  Failure to comply with parliamentary code of conduct

             (1)  This section applies where either House of the Parliament determines, following an inquiry under section 45 and consideration of a report tabled under section 51, that a person has contravened a requirement of a provision of a parliamentary code of conduct.

             (2)  A wilful contravention of a requirement of a provision of the parliamentary code of conduct is a contempt of the Parliament and may be dealt with accordingly.

             (3)  In addition to any other punishment that may be awarded by either House of the Parliament under subsection (2), if a parliamentarian or other person is determined to have contravened a requirement of a provision of the parliamentary code of conduct, the House of which the parliamentarian is a member may impose any of the following penalties:

                     (a)  a requirement to apologise to the House;

                     (b)  a requirement to rectify a statement of interests provided by the parliamentarian or other person, or any information included in the register of interests, under Schedule 1 or 2;

                     (c)  a requirement to pay a specified fine (not exceeding 100 penalty units) to the Presiding Officer for payment into the Consolidated Revenue Fund;

                     (d)  a formal censure or reprimand by the House;

                     (e)  the suspension of the parliamentarian from the House for the period (not exceeding 2 months) determined by the House;

                      (f)  such other penalty as the House deems appropriate in the circumstances.

             (4)  A motion of a House of Parliament proposing to impose the penalty specified in paragraph (3)(e) must be passed by a special majority.

             (5)  For the purposes of subsection (4), special majority means two thirds of the whole number of the members of the House of Parliament.

             (6)  If a parliamentarian does not comply with a penalty imposed under paragraph (3)(a), (b) or (c), within the time ordered by the House, the parliamentarian is to be declared to be suspended from the House for a period of time determined by the House, or until such time as they comply.

             (7)  Nothing in subsections (1) to (6) limits the matters about which the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may make recommendations in a report under section 46, or a Privileges Committee may make recommendations under section 51, or a House may take action under subsection (2).

Division 3Alleged or suspected contraventions of ministerial code of conduct

53  Referral of alleged or suspected contravention

             (1)  A person who considers that there has been a contravention of a provision of an applicable code of conduct, being a Ministerial code of conduct, may refer the alleged or suspected contravention to:

                     (a)  the Prime Minister; or

                     (b)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  Without limiting subsection (1):

                     (a)  the person may refer the allegation or information anonymously; and

                     (b)  the person may refer the allegation or information either orally or in writing.

             (3)  If the person refers the allegation or information orally, the Prime Minister or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may require the person to put the allegation or the information in writing.

             (4)  If the person is asked to put the allegation or information in writing under subsection (3), the Prime Minister or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may refuse to deal further with the allegation or information until the allegation or information is put in writing.

54  How alleged or suspected contraventions must be dealt with

             (1)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner receives a referral under subsection 53(1), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must refer the alleged or suspected contravention to the Prime Minister.

             (2)  If, after referring the alleged or suspected contravention to the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner determines that a referral under this Division may involve conduct that may constitute a criminal offence, the Prime Minister or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must refer the alleged contravention to the Federal Integrity Commissioner, the Australian Federal Police or another appropriate law enforcement agency.

Note:          Division 2 of Part 4 of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020 provides how the Federal Integrity Commissioner deals with corruption issues including criminal offences.

             (3)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner determines that a referral under this Division involves a corruption issue within the meaning of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Act 2020, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must, when referring the allegation or suspected contravention to the Prime Minister under subsection (1):

                     (a)  recommend to the Prime Minister that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner inquire into the corruption issue;

                     (b)  recommend to the Prime Minister that the corruption issue be referred to the Federal Integrity Commissioner.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may inquire into a corruption issue under paragraph (3)(a) either alone or jointly with the Federal Integrity Commissioner or with another government agency with appropriate functions or powers for the purpose.

             (5)  In deciding what to recommend in respect of a corruption issue under subsection (3), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must have regard to the following:

                     (a)  whether the corruption issue may involve serious corrupt conduct or systemic corrupt conduct;

                     (b)  the need to ensure that the corruption issue is fully investigated;

                     (c)  the rights and obligations of the Federal Integrity Commissioner or any other agency to investigate the corruption issue;

                     (d)  the rights and obligations of any person who refers or provides information in relation to the corruption issue, including any need to protect the person’s identity or confidentiality or to protect the person from reprisal or detrimental action;

                     (e)  if a joint investigation with the Federal Integrity Commissioner is being considered—the extent to which the Federal Integrity Commissioner is able to cooperate in the investigation;

                      (f)  the resources that are available to investigate the corruption issue;

                     (g)  the need to ensure a balance between:

                              (i)  the Federal Integrity Commissioner’s role in dealing with corruption issues (particularly in dealing with significant corruption issues); and

                             (ii)  ensuring that the Prime Minister takes responsibility for the conduct of Ministers and their staff;

                     (h)  the likely significance of the corruption issue for the Parliament and for the Commonwealth.

             (6)  Subsection (5) does not limit the matters to which the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may have regard.

55  Assessment and preliminary enquiries

             (1)  This section applies if:

                     (a)  an alleged or suspected contravention is referred to the Prime Minister under this Division; and

                     (b)  the alleged or suspected contravention is not referred under either subsection 54(2) or (3).

             (2)  The Prime Minister may refer the alleged or suspected contravention to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for advice, assessment or inquiry.

             (3)  If a contravention is referred under subsection (2), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must deal with the alleged or suspected contravention in one of the following ways:

                     (a)  by making preliminary enquiries to determine whether to further inquire into the alleged or suspected contravention;

                     (b)  by inquiring into the alleged or suspected contravention;

                     (c)  at any time, by determining to take no further action.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may make preliminary enquiries under paragraph (3)(a) in such manner as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner sees fit.

             (5)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may decide under paragraph (3)(c) to take no further action in relation to an alleged or suspected contravention, at any time, only if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied on reasonable grounds that:

                     (a)  the contravention is already being, or will be, investigated by another Commonwealth agency or resolved by another process; or

                     (b)  the referral of the allegation, or information, that raised the contravention is frivolous or vexatious; or

                     (c)  the conduct which is the subject of the alleged or suspected contravention has been, is or will be, the subject of proceedings before a court; or

                     (d)  the subject matter of the allegation or suspicion does not sufficiently relate to any provision of an applicable code of conduct; or

                     (e)  there is insufficient information or evidence with which to deal or inquire into the contravention; or

                      (f)  after due consideration, including any enquiries, there is insufficient basis for concluding that a contravention has occurred; or

                     (g)  further action in relation to the alleged or suspected contravention is not warranted having regard to all the circumstances.

             (6)  Without limiting paragraph (5)(d), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may determine that the subject matter does not sufficiently relate to any provision of an applicable code of conduct on the grounds that it solely or overwhelmingly concerns:

                     (a)  the political position, policy, platform, views or opinions of a parliamentarian; or

                     (b)  the private or personal life of a parliamentarian or of other persons.

             (7)  If, at any time, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner forms the opinion that:

                     (a)  a particular action by the Prime Minister or a parliamentarian could be taken to rectify or resolve an issue giving rise to the alleged or suspected contravention; and

                     (b)  the action would not prejudice any further inquiry or other inquiry, or the making of a report in relation to the contravention or any related matter;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may convey that opinion to the Prime Minister or parliamentarian, with a recommendation that they take such action.

56  Inquiries

             (1)  This section applies if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner decides under subsection 55(3) to undertake an inquiry into the alleged or suspected contravention.

             (2)  The following provisions apply in relation to an inquiry that is conducted by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under subsection (1) (with references to the Auditor‑General being replaced by references to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner):

                     (a)  sections 32, 33 and 35 of the Auditor‑General Act 1997;

                     (b)  any other provisions of the Auditor‑General Act 1997, or of regulations under that Act, that are relevant to the operation of section 32, 33 or 35 of that Act.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must advise:

                     (a)  the Prime Minister; and

                     (b)  the parliamentarian or parliamentarians and any other persons to which the contravention relates;

of the decision to inquire into the contravention, and of any decision to take no further action in relation to the contravention.

             (4)  However, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner need not advise a person of a decision to inquire into the contravention, if doing so would be likely to prejudice:

                     (a)  the inquiry or another contravention inquiry; or

                     (b)  the protection of the identity or confidentiality of any person who referred or provided information in relation to the contravention, or protection of such a person from reprisal or detrimental action; or

                     (c)  any action taken as a result of an inquiry referred to in paragraph (a).

             (5)  A parliamentarian or person employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 is to cooperate and assist with an inquiry.

             (6)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may keep any person (or a representative nominated by the person) informed of the progress of an inquiry, if the person:

                     (a)  raised the alleged or suspected contravention; or

                     (b)  is a parliamentarian or other person to whom the contravention or inquiry relates.

             (7)  Except where disclosed or authorised by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, a House or a Committee, or in accordance with this Act, a person may not disclose any relevant document relating to an alleged or suspected contravention under this Division.

Note:          Subsection 69(4) provides that relevant documents, as defined by subsection 63(2), are in camera evidence for the purposes of section 13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. The penalty for unauthorised disclosure is, in the case of a natural person, imprisonment for 6 months or 50 penalty units or, in the case of a corporation, 250 penalty units.

57  Report of inquiry

Report and its contents

             (1)  After completing an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must prepare a report on the inquiry.

             (2)  The report must set out:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s findings on the contravention; and

                     (b)  the evidence and other material on which those findings are based; and

                     (c)  any recommendations that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner thinks fit to make and, if recommendations are made, the reasons for those recommendations.

This subsection has effect subject to subsections (4) and (5).

Note:          See section 58 for the need for the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give certain people an opportunity to be heard before including critical statements in a report.

             (3)  Without limiting paragraph (2)(c), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may recommend to the Prime Minister:

                     (a)  taking action to rectify or mitigate the effects of a contravention; or

                     (b)  the adoption of measures to remedy deficiencies in policy, procedures or practices that facilitated a contravention; or

                     (c)  taking appropriate action to initiate disciplinary proceedings against a person; or

                     (d)  taking appropriate action with a view to having a person charged with a criminal offence; or

                     (e)  such actions as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner considers will assist to resolve a contravention.

             (4)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may exclude information from the report if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the information is sensitive information or the inclusion of the information may:

                              (i)  endanger a person’s life or physical safety; or

                             (ii)  prejudice proceedings brought as a result of the inquiry, or another inquiry under this Act; and

                     (b)  it is desirable in the circumstances to exclude the information from the report.

             (5)  In deciding whether to exclude information from the report under subsection (4), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between:

                     (a)  the public interest that would be served by including the information in the report; and

                     (b)  the prejudicial consequences that might result from including the information in the report.

Supplementary report

             (6)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner excludes information from a report under subsection (4), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must prepare a supplementary report that sets out:

                     (a)  the information; and

                     (b)  the reasons for excluding the information from the report under subsection (4).

58  Opportunity to be heard

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not include in a report under section 46 in relation to an investigation of a corruption issue an opinion or finding that is critical of a person (either expressly or impliedly) unless the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has taken the action required by subsection (3) before completing the investigation.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  a person may have:

                              (i)  committed a criminal offence; or

                             (ii)  contravened a civil penalty provision; or

                            (iii)  engaged in conduct that could be the subject of disciplinary proceedings; or

                            (iv)  engaged in conduct that could be grounds for terminating the person’s appointment or employment; and

                     (b)  taking action under subsection (3) would compromise the effectiveness of:

                              (i)  the inquiry into the contravention or another inquiry; or

                             (ii)  any action taken as a result of an inquiry referred to in subparagraph (i).

             (3)  If the opinion or finding is critical of a person, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the person:

                     (a)  a statement setting out the opinion or finding; and

                     (b)  a reasonable opportunity to appear before him or her and to make submissions in relation to the opinion or finding.

             (4)  Submissions under subsection (3) may be made orally or in writing.

             (5)  A person referred to in subsection (3):

                     (a)  may appear before the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner personally; or

                     (b)  may, with the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s approval, be represented by another person.

59  Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to give report to Prime Minister

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give the Prime Minister:

                     (a)  the report prepared under subsection 57(1); and

                     (b)  if a supplementary report is prepared under subsection 57(6) in relation to the inquiry—the supplementary report.

             (2)  The Prime Minister may take such actions in relation to, or as a result of, the report, as the Prime Minister sees fit.

60  Advice of outcome of inquiry

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may advise a person (or a representative nominated by the person) of the outcome of an inquiry, if the person:

                     (a)  raised the alleged or suspected contravention; or

                     (b)  is a parliamentarian or other person to whom the contravention or inquiry relates.

             (2)  However, if the report of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under subsection 57(1) included:

                     (a)  a finding that a contravention occurred; or

                     (b)  a recommendation that any action be taken as a result of a contravention;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may only advise a person of the outcome of an inquiry after the report has been considered by the Prime Minister.

             (3)  One way of advising a person (or the representative) is to give a copy of all or part of any report prepared under subsection 46(1) in relation to the investigation.

             (4)  In advising a person of the outcome of the investigation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may exclude information from the advice if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that:

                     (a)  the information is sensitive information; and

                     (b)  it is desirable in the circumstances to exclude the information from the advice.

             (5)  In deciding whether to exclude information from the advice under paragraph (4)(b), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must seek to achieve an appropriate balance between:

                     (a)  the person’s interest in having the information included in the advice; and

                     (b)  the prejudicial consequences that might result from including the information in the advice.

61  Public advice of outcome of inquiry

             (1)  If, in the opinion of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                     (a)  an alleged or suspected contravention has been the subject of public attention or debate; and

                     (b)  no contravention occurred, or it could not be concluded that a contravention occurred;

the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may, if he or she considers it to be in the public interest to do so, issue public advice summarising the outcome of the inquiry.

             (2)  In determining whether the issuing of public advice under subsection (1) is in the public interest, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must consult:

                     (a)  the person or persons in relation to whom the contravention was alleged or suspected; and

                     (b)  the Prime Minister.

62  Report to House

             (1)  The Prime Minister may table, or cause to be tabled, a report under this Division by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, in the House of which the Minister is a member; or in both Houses.

             (2)  Nothing in this Division prevents the tabling in either House of a report of an inquiry into an alleged or suspected contravention of a parliamentary code of conduct under Division 2, in relation to a parliamentarian who also happens to be a Minister.

Division 4Confidentiality of information

63  Interpretation

             (1)  Protected Commissioner information is information about a person, matter, issue or allegation obtained by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the course of exercising powers, or performing duties or functions, under or in accordance with Division 2 or 3.

             (2)  Each of the following documents is a relevant document for an alleged or suspected contravention of a provision of an applicable code of conduct under Division 2 or 3:

                     (a)  a written allegation or information relating to a contravention, if given in writing;

                     (b)  any other records of an allegation or information, including an acknowledgement of an allegation and correspondence relating to how an allegation is being dealt with;

                     (c)  any documents, information or evidence provided or gathered as a part of preliminary enquiries under subsections 44(3) or 55(4);

                     (d)  any documents, information or evidence provided or gathered as a part of an inquiry under sections 45 or 56, or as part of the preparation of a report under sections 46 or 57.

             (3)  A reference in this Division to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner includes a reference to a person assisting the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under section 90.

64  Authorised use or disclosure—performing functions etc.

                   The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may use or disclose protected Commissioner information if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner uses or discloses the information for the purposes of performing functions or duties or exercising powers under Division 2 or 3.

Note 1:       This section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

Note 2:       Use, in relation to information, includes make a record of (see the definition of use in section 7).

65  Authorised use or disclosure—required or authorised by law

                   The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may use or disclose protected Commissioner information if the use or disclosure is required or authorised by or under a law of the Commonwealth, or of a State or Territory.

Note :         This section is an authorisation for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

66  Authorised disclosure—person to whom information relates

                   The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may disclose protected Commissioner information to a person to whom the protected Commissioner information relates.

Note :         This section is a requirement for the purposes of other laws, including the Australian Privacy Principles.

67  Offence for unauthorised use or disclosure

             (1)  A person commits an offence if:

                     (a)  the person is or was the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner; and

                     (b)  the person has obtained protected Commissioner information; and

                     (c)  the person uses or discloses the information; and

                     (d)  the use or disclosure is not authorised or required by a provision in this Division.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person to the extent that the person uses or discloses protected information in good faith and in purported compliance with a provision in this Division.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

68  No requirement to provide information to courts etc.

                   Except where it is necessary to do so for the purposes of giving effect to this Act, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is not to be required to disclose protected Commissioner information, or produce a document containing protected Commissioner information, to:

                     (a)  a court; or

                     (b)  a tribunal, authority or person that has the power to require the answering of questions or the production of documents.

69  Offences for unauthorised use or disclosure—any person

             (1)  A person other than the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not record, use or disclose information in relation to an alleged or suspected contravention of a code of conduct that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years or 120 penalty units, or both.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to a person’s recording, use or disclosure of information if the recording, use or disclosure is:

                     (a)  in the performance of his or her functions under this Act; or

                     (b)  authorised under this or another Act.

Note:          A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matters in this section (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

             (3)  A person other than the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner who is or has been involved in the administration of this Act is not, in any proceeding, compellable to disclose information in relation to an ethics or integrity issue about another person that came to the person’s knowledge because of the person’s involvement in the administration of this Act.

             (4)  A relevant document under subsection 63(2), provided by or to any person, is taken to be a document or evidence provided in camera to either or both Houses of Parliament, for the purposes of section 13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987.

Note:          The penalty for unauthorised disclosure of in camera documents or evidence is: in the case of a natural person, imprisonment for 6 months or 50 penalty units; or in the case of a corporation, 250 penalty units. See section 13 of the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987.

Division 5Annual report

70  Annual report

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give:

                     (a)  the President of the Senate for presentation to the Senate; and

                     (b)  the Speaker of the House of Representatives for presentation to the House of Representatives;

a report on the activities of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner during a financial year.

Note:          See also section 34C of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901, which contains extra rules about annual reports.

             (2)  A report under subsection (1) must include:

                     (a)  the number of alleged or suspected contraventions of this Act received and investigated by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner during the year, including information about the number of times a contravention was established; and

                     (b)  the general nature of the contraventions; and

                     (c)  the actions recommended by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner or taken by the presiding officers, Privileges Committees or the Parliament in response to any contraventions.

             (3)  A report under subsection (1) may include such other information relating to the objects of this Act and the activities of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner considers appropriate.

             (4)  Despite subsection (3), a report under subsection (1) must not include information likely to identify a specific contravention, or alleged or suspected contravention, of this Act, including information likely to identify:

                     (a)  a person who referred an alleged or suspected contravention; or

                     (b)  a parliamentarian or other person to whom the alleged or suspected contravention relates;

unless:

                     (c)  the information referred to has already been made public by the House or in a report under subsection 46(6); and

                     (d)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is satisfied that, in all the circumstances, it is in the public interest to do so.

Part 6Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

Division 1Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

71  Appointment of Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be appointed by the Presiding Officers by written instrument.

Note:          Subject to subsection 72(1), the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (2)  Before the Presiding Officers appoint a person as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, the Presiding Officers must be satisfied that the person has.

                     (a)  suitable qualifications or experience, including a high level of knowledge and experience in parliamentary practice, parliamentary law and parliamentary privilege; and

                     (b)  is of good character.

             (3)  Before the Presiding Officers appoint a person as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                     (a)  the Presiding Officers must refer the proposed recommendation for the appointment to the Senate Committee of Privileges and the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests under section 92; and

                     (b)  for each of those committees, either:

                              (i)  the period that the committee has under that section to consider the proposed recommendation has ended without the committee rejecting the proposed recommendation; or

                             (ii)  the committee notifies the Presiding Officers that it has decided to approve the proposed recommendation.

72  General terms and conditions of appointment

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years. The sum of the periods for which the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office must not exceed 10 years.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may be appointed on a full‑time or part‑time basis.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser holds office on the terms and conditions (if any), in relation to matters not covered by this Act, that are determined by the Presiding Officers.

73  Other paid work

             (1)  If the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a full‑time basis, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must not engage in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s office without the Presiding Officer’s approval.

             (2)  If the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a part‑time basis, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must not engage in any paid work that, in the Presiding Officers’ opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s duties.

74  Remuneration

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

75  Leave of absence

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers may grant the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Presiding Officers determine.

76  Resignation

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser may resign the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s appointment by giving the Presiding Officers a written resignation.

             (2)  The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Presiding Officers or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

77  Removal from office

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may remove the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser from office if each House of the Parliament, in the same session of the Parliament, presents an address to the Presiding Officers asking for the removal of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser on the ground:

                     (a)  of misbehaviour; or

                     (b)  that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is unable to perform the duties of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s office because of physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers must remove the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser from office if any of the following apply:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s remuneration for the benefit of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s creditors;

                     (b)  if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a full‑time basis:

                              (i)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser engages, except with Presiding Officers’ approval, in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s office; or

                             (ii)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months;

                     (c)  if the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is appointed on a part‑time basis—the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser is absent, except on leave of absence, to an extent that the Presiding Officers consider excessive;

                     (d)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 78.

78  Disclosure of interests

             (1)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser must give written notice to the Presiding Officers of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions.

             (2)  The notice must be published on the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s website.

79  Acting appointments

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser:

                              (i)  is absent from duty or from Australia; or

                             (ii)  is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers must not appoint the Federal Integrity Commissioner, the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner, the Whistleblowing Protection Commissioner, an Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission, or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to act as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser.

80  Assistance to Parliamentary Integrity Adviser

             (1)  A Department of the Parliament may assist the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in the performance of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser’s functions.

             (2)  The assistance may include the following:

                     (a)  the provision of information;

                     (b)  the provision of advice;

                     (c)  the making available of resources and facilities;

                     (d)  the making available of staff.

             (3)  If an officer or employee of a Department mentioned in subsection (1) assists the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser, the officer or employee is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to be a person assisting the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under this section.

Division 2Administrative provisions relating to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

81  Appointment of Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be appointed by the Presiding Officers by written instrument.

Note:          Subject to subsection 82(1), the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may be reappointed: see section 33AA of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901.

             (2)  Before the Presiding Officers appoint a person as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, the Presiding Officers must be satisfied that the person has.

                     (a)  suitable qualifications or experience, including a high level of knowledge and experience in parliamentary practice, parliamentary law and parliamentary privilege; and

                     (b)  is of good character.

             (3)  Before the Presiding Officers appoint a person as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                     (a)  the Presiding Officers must refer the proposed recommendation for the appointment to the Senate Committee of Privileges and the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests under section 92; and

                     (b)  for each of those committees, either:

                              (i)  the period that the committee has under that section to consider the proposed recommendation has ended without the committee rejecting the proposed recommendation; or

                             (ii)  the committee notifies the Presiding Officers that it has decided to approve the proposed recommendation.

82  General terms and conditions of appointment

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment. The period must not exceed 5 years. The sum of the periods for which the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office must not exceed 10 years.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may be appointed on a full‑time or part‑time basis.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner holds office on the terms and conditions (if any), in relation to matters not covered by this Act, that are determined by the Presiding Officers.

83  Other paid work

             (1)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not engage in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s office without the Presiding Officer’s approval.

             (2)  If the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must not engage in any paid work that, in the Presiding Officers’ opinion, conflicts or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s duties.

84  Remuneration

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is determined by the Remuneration Tribunal. If no determination of that remuneration by the Tribunal is in operation, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the remuneration that is prescribed by the regulations.

             (2)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is to be paid the allowances that are prescribed by the regulations.

             (3)  Subsections 7(9) and (13) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 do not apply in relation to the office of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Note:          The effect of this subsection is that remuneration or allowances of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner will be paid out of money appropriated by an Act other than the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

             (4)  This section has effect subject to the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (except as provided by subsection (3)).

85  Leave of absence

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has the recreation leave entitlements that are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers may grant the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner leave of absence, other than recreation leave, on the terms and conditions as to remuneration or otherwise that the Presiding Officers determine.

86  Resignation

             (1)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may resign the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s appointment by giving the Presiding Officers a written resignation.

             (2)  The resignation takes effect on the day it is received by the Presiding Officers or, if a later day is specified in the resignation, on that later day.

87  Removal from office

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may remove the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner from office if each House of the Parliament, in the same session of the Parliament, presents an address to the Presiding Officers asking for the removal of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner on the ground:

                     (a)  of misbehaviour; or

                     (b)  that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is unable to perform the duties of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s office because of physical or mental incapacity.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers must remove the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner from office if any of the following apply:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                              (i)  becomes bankrupt; or

                             (ii)  applies to take the benefit of any law for the relief of bankrupt or insolvent debtors; or

                            (iii)  compounds with the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s creditors; or

                            (iv)  makes an assignment of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s remuneration for the benefit of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s creditors;

                     (b)  if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a full‑time basis:

                              (i)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner engages, except with Presiding Officers’ approval, in paid work outside the duties of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s office; or

                             (ii)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is absent, except on leave of absence, for 14 consecutive days or for 28 days in any 12 months;

                     (c)  if the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is appointed on a part‑time basis—the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is absent, except on leave of absence, to an extent that the Presiding Officers consider excessive;

                     (d)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 88.

88  Disclosure of interests

                   The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner must give written notice to the Presiding Officers of all interests, pecuniary or otherwise, that the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner has or acquires and that conflict or could conflict with the proper performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions.

89  Acting appointments

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may, by written instrument, appoint a person to act as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                     (a)  during a vacancy in the office of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner (whether or not an appointment has previously been made to the office); or

                     (b)  during any period, or during all periods, when the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner:

                              (i)  is absent from duty or from Australia; or

                             (ii)  is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of the office.

             (2)  The Presiding Officers must not appoint the Federal Integrity Commissioner, the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner, the Whistleblowing Protection Commissioner, an Assistant Commissioner of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission, or the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser to act as the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

90  Assistance to Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

             (1)  A Department of the Parliament may assist the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in the performance of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions.

             (2)  The assistance may include the following:

                     (a)  the provision of information;

                     (b)  the provision of advice;

                     (c)  the making available of resources and facilities;

                     (d)  the making available of staff.

             (3)  If an officer or employee of a Department mentioned in subsection (1) assists the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, the officer or employee is taken, for the purposes of this Act, to be a person assisting the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under this section.

91  Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner

             (1)  The Presiding Officers may appoint one or more Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioners.

             (2)  Sections 81 to 89 apply to the appointment of an Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, as if a reference to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner were a reference to an Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (3)  The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may, in writing, delegate all or any of the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner’s functions or powers under this Act to an Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

Note:          Sections 34AA to 34A of the Acts Interpretation Act 1901 contain provisions relating to delegations.

Division 3Approval or rejection of recommendations for appointments

92  Committees may approve or reject recommendation for appointment

             (1)  If the Presiding Officers refer a proposed recommendation for an appointment of the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to the Senate Committee of Privileges and the House of Representatives Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests for approval, each committee must:

                     (a)  approve or reject the proposed recommendation within 10 sitting days after receiving it; or

                     (b)  notify the Presiding Officers in accordance with subsection (2).

             (2)  A committee may notify the Presiding Officers within 10 sitting days after receiving a proposed recommendation that it needs more time to consider the proposed recommendation. If the committee does so, the committee must approve or reject the proposed recommendation within 20 sitting days after receiving it.

             (3)  If a committee does not make a decision on a proposed recommendation by the required time, the committee is taken, at that time, to have approved the proposal.

             (4)  The committee must notify the Presiding Officers of its decision in relation to a proposed recommendation as soon as practicable after making the decision.

             (5)  A notification under this section must be in writing.

             (6)  A committee must report to both Houses of the Parliament on its decision in relation to a proposed recommendation.

Part 7Miscellaneous

  

93  Offence of victimisation

             (1)  A person commits an offence if the person causes, or threatens to cause, detriment to another person (the victim) on the ground that the victim, or any other person:

                     (a)  has referred, or may refer, to a Presiding Officer or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner an allegation, or information, that raises a possible contravention of this Act; or

                     (b)  has requested, or may request, advice from the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser; or

                     (c)  has given, or may give, information to a Presiding Officer, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner or the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in accordance with this Act; or

                     (d)  has produced, or may produce, a document or thing to a Presiding Officer, the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner or the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser in accordance with this Act.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 2 years.

             (2)  For the purpose of subsection (1), a threat may be:

                     (a)  express or implied; or

                     (b)  conditional or unconditional.

             (3)  In a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1), it is not necessary to prove that the person threatened actually feared that the threat would be carried out.

94  Protection from liability

             (1)  Subsection (2) applies to the following persons:

                     (a)  the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser;

                     (b)  a person assisting the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser under section 80;

                     (c)  the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner;

                     (d)  a person assisting the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under section 90;

                     (e)  an Assistant Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  A person referred to in subsection (1) is not liable to civil proceedings for loss, damage or injury of any kind suffered by another person as a result of the performance or exercise, in good faith, of the person’s functions, powers or duties under or in relation to this Act.

             (3)  Subsection (4) applies if information, evidence or a document has been given or produced to a person referred to in subsection (1).

             (4)  A person is not liable to an action, suit or proceeding in respect of loss, damage or injury of any kind suffered by another person by reason only that the information, evidence or document was given or produced.

95  Immunities from certain State and Territory laws

                   The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner is not required under, or by reason of, a law of a State or Territory:

                     (a)  to obtain or have a licence or permission for doing any act or thing in the exercise of the person’s powers or the performance of the person’s duties as the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser or Parliamentary Standards Commissioner; or

                     (b)  to register any vehicle, vessel, animal or article belonging to the Commonwealth.

96  Review relating to Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

             (1)  It is the intention of Parliament that:

                     (a)  the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 be replaced by an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Act; and

                     (b)  the functions, powers and resources of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority be expanded to those of an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority; and

                     (c)  the Independent Parliament Standards Authority be an authority of the Parliament; and

                     (d)  the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority support the administration of this Act and the functions and assistance of the Parliamentary Integrity Advisor and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner.

             (2)  The Minister must cause to be undertaken a review of the preferred legislative options to achieve the objectives in subsection (1).

             (3)  The review must commence no sooner than 18 months after the commencement of this section but no later than 24 months after that commencement.

             (4)  The Minister must consult with the Presiding Officers regarding the manner of the review, and may refer any or all of the questions for the review for advice and recommendation by a Parliamentary committee or committees.

             (5)  The Minister must ensure that public consultation is undertaken in connection with the undertaking of the review.

             (6)  The Minister must cause to be prepared a written report of the review.

             (7)  The report must be completed within 6 months after the review is completed.

             (8)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report.

97  Review relating to lobbying and post‑separation employment

             (1)  It is the intention of Parliament that:

                     (a)  the Australian Government Lobbying Code of Conduct and policies, rules and standards for the post‑separation employment of Commonwealth public officials be revised to meet national and international best practice; and

                     (b)  the administration and enforcement of the Lobbying Code of Conduct, Register of Lobbyists and policies, rules and standards for the post‑separation employment of Commonwealth public officials be given a statutory basis; and

                     (c)  there be enhanced administration and enforcement of the Australian Government’s lobbying and post‑separation employment regimes by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and Australian Federal Integrity Commission.

             (2)  The Minister must cause to be undertaken a review of the preferred legislative options to achieve the objectives in subsection (1).

             (3)  The review must commence no sooner than 18 months after the commencement of this section but no later than 24 months after that commencement.

             (4)  The Minister may refer any or all of the issues in subsection (1) for advice and recommendation by a Parliamentary committee or committees.

             (5)  The Minister must ensure that public consultation is undertaken in connection with the undertaking of the review.

             (6)  The Minister must cause to be prepared a written report of the review.

             (7)  The report must be completed within 6 months after the review is completed.

             (8)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report.

98  Review relating to political finance, funding, donations and campaign regulation

             (1)  It is the intention of Parliament that:

                     (a)  Commonwealth legislation and enforcement for transparency, integrity and accountability in political campaign finance and campaign regulation be revised to meet national and international best practice; and

                     (b)  reform should be undertaken to bring about consistency and alignment between Commonwealth, State and Territory rules and processes for political campaign finance and campaign regulation; and

                     (c)  there be enhanced administration and enforcement of Commonwealth rules and processes for political campaign finance and campaign regulation by the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Australian Federal Integrity Commission and Australian Electoral Commission.

             (2)  The Minister must cause to be undertaken a review of the preferred legislative options to achieve the objectives in subsection (1).

             (3)  The review must commence no sooner than 18 months after the commencement of this section but no later than 24 months after that commencement.

             (4)  The Minister may refer any or all of the issues in subsection (1) for advice and recommendation by a Parliamentary committee or committees.

             (5)  The Minister must consult with the States and Territories in the course of the review.

             (6)  The Minister must ensure that public consultation is undertaken in connection with the undertaking of the review.

             (7)  The Minister must cause to be prepared a written report of the review.

             (8)  The report must be completed within 12 months after the review is completed.

             (9)  The Minister must cause a copy of the report to be laid before each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the day on which the Minister receives the report.

99  Review of operation of Act

Undertaking the review

             (1)  The presiding officers must cause an independent review to be undertaken of the first 3 years of the operation of this Act.

Report to presiding officers

             (2)  The persons undertaking the review must give the presiding officers a written report of the review within 6 months after the end of the 3‑year period.

Submissions

             (3)  The review must include an opportunity for:

                     (a)  parliamentarians, former parliamentarians and persons employed under the Members of Parliament Staff Act 1984; and

                     (b)  members of the public;

to make written submissions on the operation of this Act.

Assistance

             (4)  The Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may, if requested to do so by the persons undertaking the review, assist them in:

                     (a)  conducting the review; and

                     (b)  preparing the written report.

Tabling of report

             (5)  The presiding officers must cause a copy of the report of the review to be tabled in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of that House after the presiding officers receive the report.

Section not to apply if review conducted by Parliamentary committee

             (6)  However, this section does not apply if a committee of one or both Houses of the Parliament has reviewed the operation of this Act, or started such a review, before the end of the 3‑year period.

Definition

             (7)  In this section:

independent review means a review undertaken by a person or persons who, in the presiding officers’ opinions, possess appropriate qualifications to undertake the review.

100  Schedules

                   Legislation that is specified in Schedule 3 to this Act is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in that Schedule, and any other item in that Schedule has effect according to its terms.

101  Regulations

             (1)  The Governor‑General may make regulations prescribing matters:

                     (a)  required or permitted by this Act to be prescribed; or

                     (b)  necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.

             (2)  The regulations may require that information or reports that are required to be given under prescribed provisions are also to be given to prescribed persons in specified circumstances.


Schedule 1House of Representatives—Register of Members’ Interests

Note:       See section 21.

  

  

1.      Registration of Members’ interests

(1)     Within 28 days of making and subscribing an oath or affirmation as a Member of the House of Representatives each Member shall provide to the Registrar of Members’ Interests, a statement of—

(a)     the Member’s registrable interests, and

(b)    the registrable interests of which the Member is aware—

(i)        of the Member’s spouse and

(ii)      of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support,

in accordance with resolutions adopted by the House and in a form determined by the Committee of Members’ Interests or by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 28 days of that alteration occurring.

 

(2)     The statement to be provided by a Member shall include:

(i)        in the case of a Member who was not a Member of the House of Representatives in the immediately preceding Parliament, interests held at the date of his or her election and any alteration of interests which has occurred between that date and the date of completion of the statement, and

(ii)      in the case of a Member who was a Member of the House of Representatives in the immediately preceding Parliament, interests held at the date of dissolution of the House of Representatives in the previous Parliament and any alteration of interests which has occurred between that date and the date of completion of the statement.

2.      Registrable interests

That the statement of a Member’s registrable interests to be provided by a Member shall include the registrable interests of which the Member is aware (l) of the Member’s spouse and (2) of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(a)           shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(b)          family and business trusts and nominee companies—

i.        in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and

ii.      in which the Member, the Member’s spouse, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the Member for support, is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the Member, the Member’s spouse or dependent children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust;

(c)           real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned;

(d)          registered directorships of companies;

(e)           partnerships indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;

(f)           liabilities indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned;

(g)           the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments;

(h)          saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned;

(i)            the nature of any other assets (excluding household and personal effects) each valued at over $7,500;

(j)            the nature of any other substantial sources of income;

(k)          gifts valued at more than $750 received from official sources, or at more than $300 where received from other than official sources provided that a gift received by a Member, the Member’s spouse or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the Member judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist;

(l)            any sponsored travel or hospitality received where the value of the sponsored travel or hospitality exceeds $300;

(m)        membership of any organisation where a conflict of interest with a Member’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise, and

(n)          any other interests where a conflict of interest with a Member’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise.

 

3.      Register and Registrar of Members’ Interests

(a)           at the commencement of each Parliament, and at other times as necessary, Mr Speaker shall appoint the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser as the Registrar of Members’ Interests and that officer shall also assist the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests in relation to matters concerning Members’ interests;

(b)          the Registrar of Members’ Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests, maintain a Register of Members’ Interests in a form to be determined by that committee from time to time;

(c)           as soon as possible after the commencement of each Parliament the chairman of the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests shall table in the House a copy of the completed Register of Members’ Interests and shall also table from time to time as required any notification by a Member of alteration of those interests, and

(d)          the Register of Members’ Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests from time to time.

Any Member of the House of Representatives who—

(a)     knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Members’ Interests by the due date;

(b)     knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Members’ Interests within 28 days of the change occurring, or

(c)    knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Members’ Interests,

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the House of Representatives and shall be dealt with by the House accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee and/or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for inquiry and report and may not be considered by any other committee.

Schedule 2The Senate—Register of Senators’ Interests

Note:       See section 22.

  

  

1.      Registration of Senators’ Interests

 

(1)                Within:

(a)               28 days after the first meeting of the Senate after 1 July first occurring after a general election; and

(b)              28 days after the first meeting of the Senate after a simultaneous dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and

(c)               28 days after making and subscribing an oath or affirmation of allegiance as a senator for a Territory or appointed or chosen to fill a vacancy in the Senate;

each senator shall provide to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests a statement of:

(a)             the senator’s registrable interests; and

(b)            the registrable interests of which the senator is aware:

(i)                   of the senator’s spouse or partner, and

(ii)                 of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support;

in accordance with this Schedule and in a form determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests from time to time, and shall also notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar within 35 days of that alteration occurring.

(2)                Any senator who:

(a)             knowingly fails to provide a statement of registrable interests to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests by the due date;

(b)            knowingly fails to notify any alteration of those interests to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests within 35 days of the change occurring; or

(c)             knowingly provides false or misleading information to the Registrar of Senators’ Interests;

shall be guilty of a serious contempt of the Senate and shall be dealt with by the Senate accordingly, but the question whether any senator has committed such a serious contempt shall first be referred to the Privileges Committee and/or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner for inquiry and report and may not be considered by any other committee.

2.      Registrable interests of spouses or partners and dependants

 

Statements of the registrable interests of a senator’s spouse or partner or of any dependent children submitted in accordance with paragraph (1) shall be maintained in a separate part of the register and shall remain confidential to the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser and the Committee of Senators’ Interests, except where the committee or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner considers that a conflict of interest arises, at which time the committee may table the declaration or the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner may include it in a relevant report.

 

3.      Registrable interests

 

The statement of a senator’s registrable interests to be provided by a senator shall include the registrable interests of which the senator is aware of the senator’s spouse or partner and of any children who are wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support, and shall cover the following matters:

(a)             shareholdings in public and private companies (including holding companies) indicating the name of the company or companies;

(b)            family and business trusts and nominee companies:

(i)              in which a beneficial interest is held, indicating the name of the trust and the nature of its operation and beneficial interest, and

(ii)            in which the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner, or a child who is wholly or mainly dependent on the senator for support, is a trustee (but not including a trustee of an estate where no beneficial interest is held by the senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children), indicating the name of the trust, the nature of its operation and the beneficiary of the trust;

(c)             real estate, including the location (suburb or area only) and the purpose for which it is owned;

(d)            registered directorships of companies;

(e)             partnerships, indicating the nature of the interests and the activities of the partnership;

(f)             liabilities, indicating the nature of the liability and the creditor concerned;

(g)            the nature of any bonds, debentures and like investments;

(h)            saving or investment accounts, indicating their nature and the name of the bank or other institutions concerned;

(i)              the nature of any other assets (excluding household and personal effects) each valued at more than $7,500;

(j)              the nature of any other substantial sources of income;

(k)            gifts valued at more than $750 received from official sources (such sources being an Australian or foreign national, state, provincial or local government or a person holding an office in such a government) or at $300 or more where received from other than official sources, provided that a gift received by a senator, the senator’s spouse or partner or dependent children from family members or personal friends in a purely personal capacity need not be registered unless the senator judges that an appearance of conflict of interest may be seen to exist;

(l)              any sponsored travel or hospitality received where the value of the sponsorship or hospitality exceeds $300;

(m)           being an office holder of or financial contributor donating $300 or more in any single calendar year to any organisation; and

(n)            any other interests where a conflict of interest with a senator’s public duties could foreseeably arise or be seen to arise.

 

4.      Register and Registrar of Senators’ Interests

 

(3)                 At the commencement of each parliament, and at other times as necessary, the President shall appoint the Parliamentary Integrity Adviser as the Registrar of Senators’ Interests and that officer shall also be secretary of the Committee of Senators’ Interests.

(4)                 The Registrar of Senators’ Interests shall, in accordance with procedures determined by the Committee of Senators’ Interests, maintain a Register of Senators’ Interests in a form to be determined by that committee from time to time.

(5)                 As soon as possible after receipt of statements of registrable interests in accordance with section 1(1), the chairman of the Committee of Senators’ Interests shall table in the Senate a copy of the completed Register of Senators’ Interests and shall also table every 6 months any notification by a senator of alteration of those interests.

(6)                 The Register of Senators’ Interests shall be available for inspection by any person under conditions to be laid down by the Committee of Senators’ Interests from time to time.

(7)                 That part of the Register of Senators’ Interests relating to spouses or partners and dependent children shall remain confidential to the Committee of Senators’ Interests as provided for in paragraph 2.

 

5.      Interpretation

 

For the purposes of paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Schedule, ‘partner’ means a person who is living with another person in a bona fide domestic relationship.


Schedule 3Amendments

  

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

1  Subsection 69(1) (before table item 1)

Insert:

1A

A parliamentarian.

The Parliament.

1B

A staff member of a parliamentarian (within the meaning of the Members of Parliament Staff Act 1984).

The Parliament.