The Greens’ Shane Rattenbury has announced moves to get important checks on the Government out from under the thumb of the executive:
ACT Greens Member for Molonglo, Shane Rattenbury, today presented a bill to recognise the auditor-general, the ombudsman and the three Electoral Commission members as officers of the Assembly.
The legislation fulfils an item in the Parliamentary Agreement, and means that the three officers will be appointed by and report directly to the Assembly, rather than via the executive government.
“The Officers of Assembly Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 will help to ensure that the government exercises the power given to it on trust by the people it represents in a responsible and lawful way,” said MR Rattenbury.
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“This is the second of the three governance and integrity reforms that the Greens committed to deliver in the lead up to the election and that have been committed to be delivered in the Parliamentary Agreement for the 8th Assembly.
“Officers of the Parliament can be distinguished from other statutory offices because their governance arrangements are based on a relationship with the Parliament rather than with Executive government and the Bill will entrench the relationship with the Assembly and the independence of these officers.
“The Auditor General and the Ombudsman provide a very important oversight mechanism to ensure the integrity of executive conduct.
“The Bill will allow the two office holders to continue to work constructively with government agencies but ultimately they will be responsible to the parliament, ensuring they fulfil their role of behalf of the parliament, independent to the entity that they are responsible for scrutinising.