Appendix 2 - Reports addressing requirements of legislation

As an Australian Government agency, the department reports annually on its performance in relation to several legislated provisions, as detailed below.

Reports against particular legislation, 2007–08

Section 74 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991

In 2007–08, one occupational health and safety incident was reported to Comcare under section 68 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1991. The incident, which involved the book-binding machine in the Print Unit, was investigated. The recommended improvements, including the installation of an additional guard and clearer signage, were implemented.

Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982

The department is not subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1982. However, the department’s policy is to comply with the intent of the Act to the extent practicable, having regard to the legal issues which may arise through the non-application to the department of the protections afforded by the Act.

No requests for information were received during the year.

Privacy Act 1988

The department is not subject to most of the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988. The provisions relating to tax file numbers apply, and the department has common law obligations in relation to the handling of personal information. It is departmental policy to observe, as far as practicable, the Privacy Principles set out in the Act.

No privacy issues were raised with the department during the year.

Section 311A of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918

In 2007–08, the department paid a total of $211,157 for advertising. Of the total, $201,331 was for Senate committee activities, and the balance was for recruitment and other minor advertising, delivered through hma Blaze, the government contractor.

No market research, polling, direct mail or creative advertising organisations were engaged during the year.

Section 516A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Although the department was not subject to the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, it adopted policies and practices that contributed to best environmental performance during the year. Most aspects of the parliament’s environmental management are coordinated by the Department of Parliamentary Services, and details are provided in that department’s annual report.

Legal Services Directions 2005

In 2007–08, the department expended $132,986 on legal services. Of this amount, $114,305 was directed towards the provision of independent legal advice in supporting the work of the legislative scrutiny committees. There was no expenditure on counsel during the year.

In accordance with the Legal Services Directions 2005, the Clerk of the Senate certified to the Office of Legal Services Coordination compliance with certain matters under paragraph 11.2 of the directions.

Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002

In accordance with the Commonwealth Fraud Control Guidelines 2002, the department collected and reported fraud data and provided this fraud control information to the Australian Institute of Criminology.