DescriptionSuperseded by M2012-14
The purpose of this Memorandum is to pull together the guidelines in relation to agency input into statutory and Parliamentary committees. As all Ministers will be aware, statutory committees, such as the Public Accounts Committee, and other Parliamentary committees, such as the Legislative Council's General Purpose Standing Committees, initiate a wide range of inquiries which seek input from Government departments and instrumentalities. Requests for input to such inquiries can include approaches to the Premier or the relevant Minister or directly to departments.
Whilst it is open to such Parliamentary committees to request input directly from departments or agencies, it has been a long-established protocol for committees to first approach the relevant Minister with requests for submissions or responses. This is because the advocacy of Government policy is a Ministerial responsibility.
However, it is a matter of concern to me that some departments have been acting without reference to their Minister and other affected administrations. I wish to stress that any input to committee inquiries should be well co-ordinated and that appropriate consultation should occur between all affected administrations before individual agencies or departments respond to requests for formal comments. This is especially important where administrations are requested to address committee reports which contain recommendations with financial implications.
Accordingly, Ministers should ensure that where they, or their departments, are approached to make submissions or provide input to committee inquiries, or to provide responses to committee reports, they are personally aware and approve of the position being put by their departments and agencies. Where the matter is significant, affects the Government as a whole or has cross-portfolio implications, Ministers should advise me by letter of the contents of any proposed submission. Ministers should await my response before advising their departments or agencies to proceed.
Please note that the procedures for NSW submissions to Commonwealth inquiries are set out in Ministerial Memorandum No. 90-24 and continue to apply. That is, co-ordination of responses from NSW to these inquiries is the responsibility of The Cabinet Office and all submissions should be forwarded to The Cabinet Office prior to dispatch.
In addition, the "Guidelines for Officers who are Witnesses before Parliamentary Committees" promulgated by Neville Wran in Memorandum 84/41 (84/2026) should continue to be carefully adhered to in cases where oral submissions or evidence are involved. These guidelines have been built on by further guidelines issued by me concerning Ministers and public sector employees dealing with the Legislative Council's General Purpose Standing Committees (Memoranda 1998-09 and 1998-10).
Implementation of the above procedures will continue to ensure that the policy position contained in submissions to Parliamentary committee inquiries as well as responses to reports prepared by such committees is, in fact, the Government's position and will obviate any confusion or inconsistency in the position taken by different agencies and ministries.
It would be appreciated if you would draw this matter to the attention of all organisations within your administration. It would also be appreciated if this matter could be brought to the attention of state owned corporations so that they may take these procedures into account and, where necessary, adapt them to make them compatible with there governing statutes.
Who needs to know and/or comply with this?
- Date Issued
- Jul 5, 2006
- Review Date
- Jul 5, 2016
- Replaced By