SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
common source of concern to all Parliaments is the growing imbalance in the relationship between
Parliament and the Executive, the rapidly increasing power and influence of the Executive, the need for Parliament
strengthen its oversight
and check of Executive
activity, and the concurrent
for the Parliament to regain or assert greater independence and autonomy
in regard to its own internal arrangements.
. . . Paragraph 3.1.
the majority of countries throughout the world, the respective Parliaments and Executives have made arrangements
which provide for real autonomy in relation to their
financial appropriations ... Paragraph 3.3.
3. The Select Committee recognises that the present constitutional arrangements place financial initiative firmly in
the hands of the Executive;
it concludes that this is a
proper arrangement for Government appropriations, but not for Parliamentary appropriations and,
therefore, that the Constitution should be amended when the occasion next arises. . .
. Paragraphs 5.2 to 5.4.
4. In the meantime, it is still
possible to make new arrangements to achieve a desirable
measure of autonomy for the Parliament.
. Paragraph 5.5.
present procedure for Parliament's
appropriations is unsatisfactory as it involves Parliament making bids about
which the Executive may apply a qualitative
judgement and thereby restrict the ability of the Legislature to discharge its constitutional duties. . .
. Paragraph 5.6.
6. The Select Committee re-affirms the conclusion that Parliament is not an ordinary
annual service of the Government and that such classification is inconsistent with the
concept of the separation of powers and the supremacy
of Parliament. Accordingly, it is unsatisfactory for the Parliament to be included
in the Government's Appropriation
Bills. . . . Paragraph
Select Committee is confident that the arrangement which best recognises the proper relationship between Parliament and the Executive
is for the appropriations for each House to be included
in a separate Appropriation Bill. .
Select Committee is of the opinion that if, in addition to the separate
Appropriation Bill, each House established a Committee, with Executive representation, to examine and modify,
if necessary, the parliamentary estimates, then not only is a desirable level of autonomy achieved
for the Parliament, but also the Government's examination from its budgetary
policy standpoint is preserved.
. Paragraph 5.8.
administrative procedure imposed
by Government has meant that,
without the agreement of the Public
Service Board, a staffing proposal
has virtually no chance of approval. And the history
of the debate surrounding this matter shows that the Senate,
in particular, believes that the Board is not qualified
in matters concerning staffing of the Parliament to be given what virtually
amounts to a power of veto over Parliament's
proposals. . . .
10. The Select
Committee considers that the concept of a separate Parliamentary Service as proposed
by the Royal Commission on Government Administration is attractive and, whilst some work remains to be done to refine the plan, it might well be of benefit to the Parliament in the future. . . . Paragraphs 5.10 to
11. The Select Committee
considers that the Presiding Officers
should have access
to the Public Service
Board for advice
whenever they consider
it necessary; on no account should such advice be mandatory.
. Paragraphs 5.13 and 5.14.
12. Subject to modifications concerning the creation, etc. of offices and the Board's
advisory role, the proposals of the Board are sound and would only require
a simple amendment to the
Public Service Act to be implemented. . . . Paragraphs 5.12 to 5.15.
Select Committee concludes
that if the Committees of each House were, in addition to examining the Parliament's appropriations, charged with an advisory
role in relation to staffing proposals, once again a desirable level of autonomy
is achieved for the
Parliament and also the Government's examination from the standpoint of its man power policy is preserved. . . . Paragraphs 5.8 and 5.16.
14. The Select Committee is mindful of the need for an experimental approach
to be adopted as it
can understand a reluctance on the part of
the Government to agree to an
immediate total reform. . .
. Paragraphs 6.1 and 6.2.
15. The Select Committee
does not see a Commission similar to the United Kingdom's as being suitable
at this stage. The creation of a Commission would produce a rigid, structured approach
rather than the flexible approach
which is required at the moment. . . . Paragraph 6.3.
The Select Committee believes
that the Senate and,
where appropriate, the Government,
should agree to a trial
of the proposed arrangements
1. As a first step,
the Select Committee recommends that the Senate establish
a Standing Committee to be known as the Senate Appropriations and Staffing Commit tee. . . . Paragraph 6.5.
Select Committee recommends
that the appropriations for the Parliament
be removed from the Bill for the ordinary
annual services of the Government and included in a separate Parliamentary Appropriation Bill. . .
. Paragraph 6.13.
3. The Select Committee
also recommends that all items of expenditure administered by the Executive
departments on behalf of the Parliament be brought together
in the Parliamentary Appropriation Bill and that provision be made for an Advance
to the President of the
Senate on the same basis as the
Advance to the Minister for Finance . . .
4. The Select Committee recommends that the President
arranges for discussions to be held with the appropriate Executive departments to review those functions which are currently
administered by them, and subsequently to plan the transfer of functions
suitable for administration by the Senate.
. Paragraphs 6.16 and 6.17.
Select Committee recommends that section 9 of the Public Service Act 1922 be amended to vest in the Presiding Officers, separately or jointly as the case may be,
the power of appointment, promotion, creation, abolition and reclassification of offices,
and the determination of rates of pay and conditions of service.
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