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    6.2 Consultation within government

    To ensure a whole of government approach is applied to matters to be considered by Cabinet, it is essential that full consultation takes place between the originating agency and other relevant, interested or affected agencies, prior to the matter becoming the subject of a formal submission.

    Departments being consulted must be given adequate time to consider a draft submission. Disputes about the adequacy of consultation or how accurately other departments' views are presented often result in a submission being delayed. Clear feedback should be provided during the development of a submission on whether the views of consulted departments are accepted and how these are being reflected in the submission. Consulted departments should see the final version of the document before it is submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat to ensure that they agree with the comments attributed to them.

    Every attempt must be made to resolve disagreement between departments prior to the submission being lodged. However, submissions should not be unduly delayed because of a failure to reach full agreement. Where agreement cannot be reached on contentious issues, such differences should be outlined in the body of the submission.

    A Consultation Addendum summarising consultation details with departments must be attached to all submissions to support the consultation section (refer to Chapter 5.4.6" Consultation Addendum". The Addendum must include the following minimum details:

    • department name;
    • officers consulted; and
    • date consulted.

    6.2.1 Consultation on Establishment of and Appointments to a government body

    Establishment of a government body

    In accordance with the Public Interest Map policy at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's website, Executive Services, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, must be consulted in relation to the establishment of any government body (excluding companies and government owned corporations). In relation to the establishment of companies, Queensland Treasury will consult with Executive Services during ‘preliminary consultation’ with departments who are seeking the Treasurer's approval to form a company.

    As part of the ‘public interest case’ process, where it is proposed to remunerate appointees, Treasury Department, and Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations Division, Department of Justice and Attorney-General must also be consulted.

    Appointments to a government body

    It is the government's policy to support and encourage diversity and equity in government bodies and committees. This is reflected in government policies including the Women on Boards Strategy - Stage 2 and the Queensland Multicultural Policy - A multicultural future for all of us. In order to support these policies, it is important to reflect diversity and equity considerations in Significant Appointment submissions, or the letter to the Premier (where appointments will be made by the Minister and not considered by Cabinet).

    The government's target that 50 per cent of appointments to government bodies should be women by December 2014 is supported by the Women on Boards Strategy - Stage 2. In order to increase the representation of women on government bodies and meet the government's target, departments should ensure that:

    • selection panels, where applicable, reflect a gender mix;
    • nominating organisations, including industry bodies, propose equal numbers of male and female candidates and/or demonstrate how they have considered gender diversity in their recruitment and nomination process; and
    • Significant Appointment submissions, or the letter to the Premier (where appointments will be made by the Minister and not considered by Cabinet), detail the process used to achieve gender diversity, or provide reasons why gender diversity cannot be achieved.

    Executive Services (Department of the Premier and Cabinet), Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations Division (Department of Justice and Attorney-General) and the Office for Women (Department of Communities) must be consulted in relation to all appointments to Government bodies, including both those considered by Cabinet as a Significant Appointment submission and those made by a Minister and not considered by Cabinet. Treasury Department must be consulted for Significant Appointments to companies.

    The purpose of this consultation is to ensure:

    • that gender and multicultural considerations, and interested community members generally, are taken into account and are given the opportunity to add to the expertise of bodies to which key appointments are being made; and
    • remuneration for members is commensurate with government policy.

    Executive Services maintains the ‘Queensland register of nominees to government bodies’, a database of applicants who would like to be considered for appointment to Queensland government bodies. The register includes the names of applicants with an understanding of multiculturalism, women with a range of backgrounds, experiences and interests, including Indigenous women, and young people.

    When a search of the register is conducted, Executive Services liaises with the Office for Women, Multicultural Affairs Queensland, and, where necessary, the Office for Youth to ensure that gender, multicultural, and youth representation considerations are taken into account.

    A search of the register is not required when:

    • the legislation, under which the appointment is to be made, provides for the appointee to be nominated by a specific body or a specific type of body, internal or external to the government; or
    • the appointment is judicial or quasi-judicial in nature.

    When a search of the register is considered unnecessary, the consultation section of the Significant Appointment Cabinet submission, or the letter to the Premier (where appointments will be made by the Minister and not considered by Cabinet), should set out the reasons why the search was not conducted.

    Ministers are required to raise all proposed appointments, regardless of whether they are significant or not, with the Premier in writing before the appointments are made. This letter should be lodged with the Premier through Executive Services, and must include:

    • the government body membership, including details of new, outgoing and remaining members; and
    • current curriculum vitae for all proposed appointees; and
    • that the Minister is satisfied with the suitability of the nominees, including that appropriate suitability checks have been carried out; and
    • that the Minister has ensured diversity of nominees, including details of the existing and proposed gender distribution on the body, as well as the process used to achieve gender diversity, or reasons why gender diversity could not be achieved; and
    • that other government policies regarding appointment of public servants, Members of Parliament or lobbyists have been considered.

    Wherever possible, departments should consider starting the reappointment process at least six months prior to proposed Cabinet consideration to ensure adequate time for consultation obligations and prescribed Cabinet submission lodgement timeframes.

    All Significant Appointment Cabinet submissions will need to reflect the consultation undertaken in the relevant sections of the submission as well as the consultation addendum attached to the submission.

    6.2.2 Departments and committees to be consulted

    The following departments and committees must be consulted prior to preparation of a submission in the specific instances listed.

    Department of the Premier and Cabinet

    Policy Division

    The Policy Division must be consulted in relation to all Cabinet proposals. Consultation must begin at the commencement of the policy development process with close liaison maintained through the whole process leading to Cabinet consideration.

    The Policy Division has a primary role of coordination of government policy by facilitating consultation through the network of Division contacts allocated to departments. Their involvement in the development process from an early stage is essential to ensure the best possible policy outcome. A full description of the role of the Policy Division is described in Chapter 2.3.

    Where relations with other jurisdictions involve whole of government considerations, or are sensitive and may lead to a Cabinet submission (eg. treaties, intergovernmental agreements, submissions to national or Parliamentary inquiries, etc.), Intergovernmental Relations, Policy Division should be consulted at an early stage.

    Policy Division must be consulted in relation to all submissions to Queensland Parliamentary Committees, all responses to Queensland Parliamentary Committee reports, and all submissions to Commonwealth inquiries and Commonwealth Parliamentary Committees, including individual agency submissions of a factual nature only which are not going to Cabinet. (See also Chapter 8.3.1.)

    Where submissions propose new criminal justice policy initiatives requiring evaluation or seek funding to evaluate existing policy initiatives, the Criminal Justice Research Unit should be consulted.

    Policy Division should be consulted where submissions progressing legislative proposals are likely to impact on Government institutions. There is a requirement to prepare an Institutional Impact Statement in these circumstances (see Chapter 5.4.3). Policy Division has administrative responsibility for the Government Institutional Impact Statement Guideline.

    Parliamentary Liaison Officer

    The Parliamentary Liaison Officer must be consulted on all proposed legislation. Consultation must begin when timelines for the passage and commencement of the legislation are being considered. This is often at the policy submission stage. Consultation must also occur on all Authority to Prepare and Authority to Introduce submissions. The purpose of this consultation is to ensure that sufficient time has been allowed for introduction, review by a relevant Parliamentary Portfolio Committee/s, and passage.

    The Premier's written approval is required before any public announcement or arrangements are made concerning the passage and commencement of legislation. Refer to Chapter 7.1.5 Monitoring the legislative program.

    Executive Services (Policy Submissions - Establishment of government body and Significant Appointment submissions)

    Executive Services, Department of the Premier and Cabinet must be consulted in relation to any of the following:

    • the ‘public interest case’ to establish a new government body as outlined in the Public Interest Map policy at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's website (excluding companies and government owned corporations);
    • all Significant Appointment submissions;
    • consultation with the ‘Queensland register of nominees to government bodies’, a database of members of the community interested in being appointed to government bodies; and
    • any proposal to appoint Members of Parliament to government bodies.

    Communication Services (Major communication campaigns)

    Where a department is proposing any major, sensitive, controversial, major impact, and/or television or equivalent advertising campaigns, Communication Services, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, should be aware of this proposal and provide advice in relation to the process for obtaining relevant approvals (email gacc@premiers.qld.gov.au).

    Refer to Chapter 3.2.2 "Matters to be considered by Cabinet Budget Review Committee" and Chapter 3.2.3 "Consideration of major communication campaigns".

    Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel (OQPC)

    In performing its drafting functions, OQPC has a specific statutory function to advise Ministers and units of the public sector on:

    • alternative ways of achieving policy objectives; and
    • the application of fundamental legislative principles.

    OQPC should be consulted in the early stages of developing legislative proposals, preferably before finalising the drafting instructions attached to an Authority to Prepare a Bill submission.

    Public Service Commission (PSC)

    PSC must be consulted on issues relating to the management and governance of the Queensland public sector, including proposals involving:

    • significant change management;
    • the structure and governance of government entities;
    • proposed legislative change which may impact on the structure of departments or employment arrangements;
    • the senior executive service;
    • workforce management and employment security issues; and
    • any other matter relating to the statutory function of the Public Service Commission.

    Departments must consult with the Public Service Commission on submissions with departmental full-time equivalent impacts to ensure the Government’s whole-of-sector approach to reprioritising efforts has been considered. This is to ensure, to the extent possible, that the skills of existing public service employees are considered when new projects or policies are to be implemented and to drive the internal reprioritisation of staff by agencies. Four weeks before advance submission (or as early as possible) departments should contact PSC through FTE@psc.qld.gov.au.

    Treasury Department

    Financial considerations

    The Treasury Department has the responsibility to advise government on the financial and budgetary implications of all Cabinet documents. Therefore, all Cabinet proposals with financial implications, whether implicit or explicit, direct or indirect, must be the subject of consultation with the Treasury Department as early as possible during their development.

    For appointments to government bodies, Treasury Department should be consulted, through the Treasury CLLO, in relation to Significant Appointments to companies and funding and remuneration as part of the ‘public interest case’ (refer to Chapter 5.1.7 Significant Appointment and to the Public Interest Map policy at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's website).

    In drafting CBRC submissions with financial implications, originating agencies must consult closely with the Treasury Department and agree to costing information that is to be included in the submission. Where the submission arises or follows on from earlier CBRC consideration, and costing information has been amended since the original submission, it must be agreed with the Treasury Department, and a comprehensive explanation on the changes made should be outlined in the submission.

    CBRC will not consider the proposal if prior agreement of the Treasury Department to financial information has not been received and reflected in a proposed submission.

    Office of Best Practice Regulation

    Departments should undertake early and ongoing consultation with the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR), within the Queensland Productivity Commission, as part of policy development where new or amending regulation (including Primary and Subordinate Legislation and some quasi-regulation) is being considered.

    OBPR provide advice in relation to regulatory impact analysis and should be consulted during the development of regulatory proposals, Regulatory Impact Statements and post-implementation reviews in accordance with the Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation.

    All submissions involving regulatory proposals and post-implementation reviews of regulation should detail advice received from OBPR as to whether:

    • the regulatory proposal is excluded from further regulatory impact analysis and the basis for the exclusion;
    • the regulatory proposal is likely to have significant adverse impacts on the community or a section of the community;
    • a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) is required; and
    • the RIS prepared in relation to the regulatory proposal or post-implementation review is adequate.

    For further information please refer to the Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation and OBPR’s website.

    National Competition Policy

    Treasury Department is responsible for the coordination of National Competition Policy implementation across departments. In the first instance, agencies should consult with the relevant business groups within Treasury Department on all proposals that have competition implications including the following:

    • proposed new or amending legislation (or reviews of legislation) which could contain restrictions on competition. Legislation that restricts competition should be assessed under The Queensland Government Guide to Better Regulation. The Guide incorporates assessment requirements that were previously required under the Queensland Government's Public Benefit Test process;
    • consideration of restructuring options for government business activities; and
    • competitive neutrality issues.

    Department of Justice and Attorney-General

    The Department must be consulted where proposals raise the creation of new offences, increased powers to police or other State officials, affect court, tribunal or State Penalties Enforcement Registry processes or resources, or directly or indirectly require the provision of extensive legal representative services, eg. by Legal Aid Queensland, or the provision of legal advice, in particular by the Crown Solicitor.

    Where the advice of the Crown Solicitor has been sought in relation to a Cabinet proposal:

    • the Attorney-General must be notified before lodgement of the final Cabinet submission;
    • the legal advice must be referenced in the body of the submission when prepared, and a copy of the advice attached; and
    • the Department of Justice and Attorney-General must be included in the consultation addendum to the submission.

    When proposing to establish a new right of review of a Queensland Government decision, or when proposing a significant change to an existing review process, the relevant Cabinet submission must set out how the issues identified in the Administrative Review Policy have been addressed. Strategic Policy can provide advice on the application of the policy in specific circumstances.

    Inconsistency with the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth)

    Departments preparing legislation that could be inconsistent with the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth) are required to consult with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General to ensure that Queensland's obligations arising from the Commonwealth-State Corporations Agreement are fulfilled. This Agreement provides that States must notify, and seek the approval of, the Ministerial Council for Corporations when proposing legislation that is inconsistent with the Corporations Act 2001 (Commonwealth).

    Central Bargaining Unit (Enterprise Bargaining Agreement CBRC submissions)

    The Central Bargaining Unit of the Division of Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations, Department of Justice and Attorney-General centrally manages public sector enterprise bargaining negotiations. Departments are required to consult with the Central Bargaining Unit prior to submitting negotiating frameworks to CBRC for consideration and approval.

    The Minister responsible for Industrial Relations is to be a joint signatory on all CBRC submissions directly relating to public sector enterprise bargaining matters.

    Division of Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations (PSIER) (Significant Appointments)

    If it is proposed, as part of the ‘public interest case’ process (refer to Chapter 5.1.7 Significant Appointment and to the Public Interest Map policy at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's website), that remuneration will be paid to appointees, then the Division of Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations (Department of Justice and Attorney-General) will be consulted in relation to the determination of the amount of remuneration.

    The Division of Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations must be consulted on all Significant Appointment Cabinet submissions to ensure that remuneration rates in the submission are consistent with the various categories as outlined in the ‘Remuneration Guidelines - remuneration of part-time chairs and members of government boards, committees and Statutory Authorities’.

    In order to implement this directive, all proposed Significant Appointment Cabinet submissions are to be directed to the CLLO, Department of Justice and Attorney-General, who will coordinate the Department of Justice and Attorney-General's response.

    In order to minimise the impact of timing, consultation with the Division of Public Sector Industrial and Employee Relations should be undertaken during the preparation of the Cabinet submission.

    All Significant Appointment Cabinet submissions will need to reflect the consultation undertaken with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in the sections entitled Remuneration and Conditions; Consultation; and Results of Consultation. Consultation with the Department of Justice and Attorney-General also needs to be included in the consultation addendum attached to the submission.

    Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation

    The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation provides guidance on developing Rural and Regional Impact Statements. For further information please contact the Rural and Regional Queensland unit at RRIS@deedi.qld.gov.au.

    Employment Initiatives

    The Division of Employment and Indigenous Initiatives within the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation must be consulted as early as possible during the development of an Employment and Skills Development Impact Statement for all Cabinet submissions (excluding Information and Significant Appointment submissions but including submissions to CBRC). Refer to Chapter 5.4.3 "Preparation of a body of a Cabinet submission"

    Department of Public Works

    The Office of the Queensland Government Chief Information Officer, Department of Public Works must be consulted where a Cabinet or Cabinet Committee submission has a major information management or information technology and communications component. Such consultation should be noted in any subsequent Executive Council Minute.

    The QGCIO has a leadership role across government in relation to information and communication technology matters. Its involvement in the development process from an early stage is essential to ensure a more centralised and coordinated approach to information and communication technology matters.

    Department of Local Government and Planning

    The Department of Local Government and Planning must be consulted on proposals dealing with infrastructure, project delivery, economic and resource development.

    Integrated Development Assessment System

    The Department of Local Government and Planning must be consulted to ensure conformity with the Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) principles when new legislation and regulations include development assessment and approval provisions.

    Local Government

    State agencies have a continuing responsibility to consult and communicate with local governments regarding policy and legislative proposals in accordance with the Protocol Establishing Roles and Responsibilities of the State Government and Local Government in the Queensland System of Local Government (the Protocol).

    In particular, paragraphs 5.2.4 and 5.2.5 of the Protocol outline the responsibilities of State agencies as follows:

    5.2.4 Engage in timely, cooperative, proper and meaningful consultation on all legislative and policy initiatives affecting Local Government, where practicable.

    5.2.5 Consider and consult with Local Government regarding financial and other resourcing implications, that flow from policy or legislative changes that could result in additional functions and responsibilities for Local Government.

    The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) is the peak body representing Local Governments in Queensland and accordingly, as well as consulting with the Department of Local Government and Planning, departments need to consult separately with the LGAQ.

    Departments are obliged to consult with the LGAQ at major stages of policy and legislative development. Further, Cabinet should be informed of the results of consultation with local government when policy and legislative proposals that affect local government are submitted for Cabinet consideration. The Department of Local Government and Planning is responsible for whole of government coordination of State policies affecting local government. Departmental officers are available to assist departments in complying with the requirements of the Protocol.

    Department of Communities

    Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian (the Commission)

    The Commission should be consulted at an early stage on policies or legislation relating to the delivery of services to children and young people (under the age of 18), or that otherwise impact on children or young people.

    The Commission has a legislative requirement to monitor and review laws, policies and practices relating to the delivery of services to children and young people or that otherwise impact on them. The Commission is able to provide independent advice from the viewpoint of what is in the best interests of children or young people.

    Office for Youth

    The Office for Youth can work with agencies to proactively identify opportunities for the appointment of young people (aged 18-25) to government boards and other bodies. The Office for Youth can also assist in recruiting candidates on request.

    The Office for Youth should be consulted at an early stage on policies or legislation relating to the delivery of services to young people (aged 12-25), or that otherwise impact on young people. This is consistent with the Queensland Youth Charter.

    Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy

    Departments should be aware that Aboriginal and Torres Strait issues encompass a broad policy spectrum. The Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Policy (OATSIP) is concerned with improving the cultural, economic, physical and social well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders through coordinating and partnering arrangements. Departments should therefore ensure that OATSIP is consulted on all matters relating to or impacting on outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders.

    Office for Women

    The Office for Women must be consulted in relation to all appointments made to government bodies, including those made by a Minister and not considered by Cabinet. The Office for Women will work with agencies to proactively identify opportunities for the appointment of women and suitably qualified female nominees, to assist agencies to meet the government's target that by December 2014, 50 per cent of appointees to government bodies should be women.

    Queensland Ombudsman

    The Queensland Ombudsman must be consulted on policies or legislation that potentially restrict the right of the citizen to bring a grievance to the Queensland Ombudsman and any matter which may affect that office or involve significant issues of public administration.

    Caucus and Bills Committees

    Caucus and the relevant Bills Committee should be consulted throughout the policy development of any legislation. Caucus must be consulted at both the draft and final Bill stages prior to the legislation being introduced into Parliament.

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    Last updated:
    4 July, 2017
    Last reviewed:
    4 July, 2017