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    5.1 Types of submissions

    5.1.1 Policy

    Policy submissions are those Cabinet documents that primarily form the basis upon which major government policies are determined. It is essential that in drafting these submissions, a strategic view of the issue is adopted with a whole of government focus. Policy submissions must canvass all policy options for a particular issue or problem and contain a recommendation for Cabinet consideration and approval.

    A final Policy submission comprises a coversheet on green paper that summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information. Examples of the Policy submission coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.7 respectively. Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    The relevant Bills Committee and Caucus must be consulted both prior to and following Cabinet consideration of the Authority to Introduce a Bill submission.

    5.1.2 Policy Memorandum

    These submissions are designed to allow broad canvassing of all policy options for a particular issue or problem. Policy memoranda are used in instances where alternative policy options are available to the government and resolution by Cabinet on the preferred option is required. These submissions may be useful in circumstances where Ministers are taking a joint submission but cannot agree on a preferred policy option. The submission should not contain any recommended policy option, but seek direction of Cabinet on a preferred option.

    The recommendation should read:

    That direction is sought from Cabinet as to the preferred option from those options outlined in the body of the submission.

    A final Policy Memorandum comprises a coversheet on green paper that summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information. Examples of the Policy Memorandum coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.7 respectively. Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    5.1.3 Authority to Prepare a Bill

    Authority to Prepare a Bill submissions aim to explain the reasons for initiating a legislative proposal and its implications, and seeks Cabinet approval to commence drafting of the Bill. Refer also to Chapter 7.2 Development of a Bill

    The title of the submission must reflect the proper name of the Bill that is the subject of the submission. Drafting instructions must be attached to this type of Cabinet submission.

    Occasionally, submissions address both a policy and a legislative issue. In this case, the submission can be drafted as a Policy/Authority to Prepare. The submission drafted in this manner must include the relevant headings specified in the Authority to Prepare a Bill submission.

    The Authority to Prepare a Bill Submission recommendation should read:

    That approval be given to prepare the (name of Bill) in accordance with the drafting instructions accompanying this submission (refer Attachment #), incorporating the following key policy changes:

    • etc
    • etc

    The recommendation must include no more than five or six dot points of key policy changes being implemented by the Bill. For a Policy/Authority to Prepare submission, the policy changes should be listed as separate recommendations.

    A final Authority to Prepare a Bill submission comprises a coversheet on green paper that summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information.

    Examples of an Authority to Prepare submission coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.8 respectively.

    Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    The relevant Bills Committee must be consulted prior to Cabinet consideration of the Authority to Prepare a Bill submission.

    5.1.4 Authority to Introduce a Bill

    Authority to Introduce a Bill submissions aim to provide sufficient information to facilitate the introduction of the Bill into the Legislative Assembly.

    The draft Bill and explanatory notes must be attached to this type of Cabinet submission. The draft Bill must not be substantially altered once Cabinet approval has been obtained. Refer also to Chapter 7.3 Finalisation of a Bill.

    The title of the submission must reflect the proper name of the Bill that is the subject of the submission.

    The recommendations should read:

    1. That the (name of Bill) in accordance with the draft accompanying the submission, subject to minor corrections, be introduced into the Legislative Assembly as soon as possible.
    2. That Cabinet note that the (name of Bill) will be referred to an appropriate Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for consideration and report.

    A final Authority to Introduce a Bill submission comprises a coversheet on green paper that summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information. The coversheet must also indicate whether the Authority to Introduce submission is consistent with the Authority to Prepare submission by inclusion or attachment of a table of changes by clause and, if necessary, reference the relevant paragraphs within the body of the submission. Examples of an Authority to Introduce submission coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.9 respectively.

    Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    The relevant Bills Committee and Caucus must be consulted both prior to and following Cabinet consideration of the Authority to Introduce a Bill submission.

    5.1.5 Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation

    This type of Cabinet submission should address the core issues associated with significant regulatory proposals, prior to being forwarded to Executive Council.

    The Subordinate Legislation, Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS), formal advice received from the Office of Best Practice Regulation (OBPR) on the RIS, and explanatory notes must be attached to the Cabinet submission. Refer also to Chapter 7.5 "Significant Subordinate Legislation".

    The recommendations should read:

    That the (name of Regulation) in accordance with the draft attached to the submission be recommended to the Governor in Council for approval; and
    That Cabinet notes that the (name of Regulation) will be laid before the Legislative Assembly within 14 sitting days after publication in the Government Gazette.

    Under section 49 of the Statutory Instruments Act 1992, Subordinate Legislation must be laid before the Legislative Assembly within 14 sitting days after notification in the Gazette. The OQPC will arrange for the notification and tabling of all Subordinate Legislation that it drafts. Departments are responsible for the tabling of Subordinate Legislation that is not drafted by OQPC.

    A final Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation submission comprises a coversheet on green paper which summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information. Examples of an Authority to Forward Significant Subordinate Legislation submission coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.10 respectively.

    Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    5.1.6 Information

    Ministers may wish their colleagues to be informed of, or to note, a variety of major matters which have a whole of government interest. Ministers may therefore prepare an Information submission with an appropriate security classification for submission to Cabinet. The submission should provide analysis of the information and implications, where necessary. The noting of the Information submission by Cabinet, however, does not imply the endorsement or otherwise of any proposed course of action.

    Information submissions must not contain matters that require the endorsement or approval of Cabinet. If such action is required, it must be the subject of a Policy submission.

    The establishment of major Interdepartmental Committees, Green/White Papers, major policy reviews, and outcomes from Ministerial Council meetings (subject to approval by the Premier) should be brought to the attention of Cabinet through an appropriate Information submission. It should be noted that, subject to approval by the Premier, outcomes of Ministerial Council meetings may be either an Information submission or a Policy submission depending on whether there is a need for a Cabinet decision concerning a particular policy issue. Refer to Chapter 3.5 "Ministerial Councils".

    The recommendation for Information submissions should read:

    That following consideration, the contents of the submission be noted.

    A final Information submission comprises a coversheet on green paper that summarises the contents of the submission and the body of the submission which provides detailed information. Examples of an Information submission coversheet and body appear as Chapter 5.5 and Chapter 5.11 respectively.

    Chapter 5.4.1 and Chapter 5.4.3 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body.

    5.1.7 Significant Appointment

    Establishment, review, or assessment of a government body

    Cabinet has approved the adoption of the Public Interest Map as the public sector governance model for the establishment and accountability of government bodies (excluding companies and government owned corporations), which is detailed at the Department of the Premier and Cabinet's website, see Public Interest Map policy.

    A ‘public interest case’ must be made in order to establish any new government body and to determine the appropriate form of a new body. Executive Services, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, must be consulted in relation to the establishment of any government body (except companies and government owned corporations, which are the responsibility of the Treasury Department), and Ministers must seek the Premier's approval of the ‘public interest case’ prior to proceeding with the new body's establishment.

    In relation to companies, it should be noted that, if following completion of questions one to six of the ‘public interest case’, it is determined that a company is the most suitable organisational form, the ‘public interest case’ is not required to be further developed (i.e. question seven and determination of governance arrangements). Responses to questions one to six will form part of ‘preliminary consultation’ with Queensland Treasury to establish a company.

    A ‘public interest case’ will be required when the body is established and reviewed for the first time, but not each time an appointment is made to the body or when the body is assessed every three years. If a sunset clause is not applied when the body is established, the Public Interest Map policy requires that the body must be reviewed three years after it is established.

    Departments are required to assess all existing government bodies every three years to ensure that they are operating effectively against their terms of reference or the functions for which they were established. Newly established bodies should be assessed in the assessment cycle following their first three year review. Departments must inform the portfolio Minister of the assessment outcomes for all government bodies in their portfolio, including any issues that have been identified requiring action. Ministers are required to inform the Premier in writing that all bodies in their portfolio have been assessed and of the outcomes of the assessment.

    An intensive review, using a ‘public interest case’, is only required if issues are identified at the time of regular assessment, or when there is a significant change proposed for the body's terms of reference or functions.

    Appointment to a government body

    Appointments to government bodies, including those which are considered by Cabinet as a Significant Appointment submission and those made by a Minister rather than Cabinet, are subject to strict intra-government consultation requirements to ensure that:

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

    For detailed information on consultation requirements, refer to Chapter 6.2.1 Consultation on Significant Appointments

    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.

    The Premier's approval is required if a Minister is proposing a total membership of an advisory body to exceed 12.

    Cabinet consideration of significant appointments

    Ministers are required to bring all ‘significant’ full-time and part-time appointment proposals to a government body to Cabinet for consideration. Appointments to a government body are significant if:

    • the members, in connection with their role on a body, receive remuneration of any type from government funds (except for appointments to advisory bodies where Cabinet has previously approved that the advisory body be remunerated); or
    • members of the body are responsible for allocating government funds or resources; or
    • they are appointments to regulatory and licensing bodies, commissions, industry tribunals and boards, consumer and other tribunals of appeal or redress, major research bodies, significant regional coordination or service delivery bodies, or bodies principally responsible for the natural and cultural heritage of the State; or
    • the Premier, in consultation with the relevant Minister, considers they should be brought to the attention of Cabinet because of the pre-eminence of the body in question, its scope and/or influence or function, budgetary impact or other factor of whole of government interest.

    Significant Appointment submissions must set out the names of board members who are going to be replaced as well as a list of the remaining board members. These requirements are essential to enable the proper consideration of new significant appointments. This information should also be outlined in the letter to the Premier regarding proposed appointments (mentioned above).

    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.

    A Significant Appointment submission does not require a coversheet as for other submission types and the final copy consists only of a body of a submission on blue paper. An example of a Significant Appointment submission appears as Chapter 5.12. Current curriculum vitae for all proposed appointees must be attached to a Significant Appointment submission.

    Chapter 5.4.3 provides detailed explanation on the content requirements of the submission.

    Gender balance

    The Government has set a target that by December 2014, 50 per cent of appointments to Queensland government bodies are women. The Women on Boards Strategy – Stage 2 contains a range of actions to assist in achieving the target, including support for women, support for agencies and support for the system of appointments.

    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, to assist agencies to meet the government's target. Consultation should commence in the initial stages of the appointment process to enable the Office for Women to work with agencies to proactively identify opportunities for the appointment of women and suitably qualified female nominees.

    Significant Appointment submissions, or the letter to the Premier (where appointments will be made by a Minister and not considered by Cabinet), must detail the process used to achieve gender balance, or provide reasons why gender balance cannot be achieved.

    Advisory Bodies

    A government advisory body is formally established to provide advice to government. Advisory bodies need to be distinguished from stakeholder roundtables which are informally established by a Minister in response to a critical issue. The establishment of a stakeholder roundtable is a matter for a Minister, in consultation with the Premier. Members of a stakeholder roundtable are not remunerated and the roundtable should cease once the critical issue is resolved or managed by a relevant government agency or other consultation methods.

    Members of government bodies that are advisory in nature are, as a general rule, not remunerated and therefore the appointment of such members is not considered to be significant. The general policy is that the responsible Minister may approve, without Cabinet consideration, non-remunerated appointments to any established advisory bodies and remunerated appointments to any established advisory bodies where Cabinet has previously approved that the Advisory Body be remunerated.

    At a minimum and without Cabinet approval, out of pocket expenses will be paid to all members of advisory bodies.

    However, appointments to advisory bodies which will require Cabinet consideration include:

    • when a new advisory body is being established; or
    • where it is proposed to vary remuneration arrangements previously approved by Cabinet; or
    • the Premier determines that Cabinet should consider the appointments.

    Remuneration may only be paid to members of an Advisory Body in limited instances, where the members of that body essentially provide an expert service to the government through the relevant professional, scientific or technical experience or expertise the member applies to specific tasks delegated to them (as distinct from a general advisory brief).

    Relevant experience or expertise may include industry experience or background that is required on that advisory body.

    The Premier, in consultation with the responsible Minister, may also determine other exceptions to the general rule of non-remuneration to members of advisory bodies, on a case by case basis.

    Assessment of suitability for appointment

    To manage risks associated with appointments to government bodies, information on a person's suitability for appointment must be obtained for all appointments, including those which are considered by Cabinet as a Significant Appointment submission and those made by a Minister rather than Cabinet.

    Formal checks of criminal history, bankruptcy and eligibility to manage corporations (under the Corporations Act 2001 and Government Owned Corporations Act 1993) should be conducted as relevant and where legislation specifies conditions for eligibility for appointment.

    Where there are no legislative requirements to undertake checks for eligibility for appointment, departments are to seek a statement from proposed nominees to confirm their suitability for appointment to the relevant body. Such inquiries are to be made in a manner that does not pre-empt a decision by a Minister or Cabinet or Governor in Council approval.

    Information on a person's criminal history is only to be sought from person's being proposed for appointment. This information should not be used as a means of short-listing applicants. Disclosures of this nature are not sought from persons who list their details on the ‘Queensland register of nominees to government bodies’.

    Departments are to ask the proposed nominee(s) to declare whether there are any reasons why they should not be appointed to the relevant government body. Specifically, proposed nominees are to be asked to consent to disclose:

    • whether, if successful, there would be any conflicts of interests, ie. any private interests that may affect or appear to affect the appointee's public duty; and
    • whether they have any disclosable criminal convictions (convictions as an adult that form part of their criminal history) and have not been rehabilitated under the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986.

    Departments are to ensure that the proposed nominee is advised that, where they are unsure about the definition of disclosable criminal convictions or status of any criminal conviction, they may wish to seek legal advice in responding to the questions.

    CLLOs have access to an electronic template, a Personal Particulars Form, for the disclosure form to be used by departments to obtain such information. If necessary, a replacement electronic template of the disclosure form can be obtained from Executive Services, State Affairs, Governance Division, Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

    Information on a proposed nominee's suitability for appointment is to be sought regardless of whether they are a member of another government body. This is in recognition that:

    • the nature and functions of government bodies vary and therefore a person's suitability may vary;
    • the bodies may be administered by different Ministerial portfolios and it is not proposed that departments share previously collected personal information; and
    • a person's circumstances may have altered, including the expiry of a rehabilitation period for relevant offences or a change in private interests.

    All persons proposed for reappointment must also be asked prior to Cabinet consideration or Ministerial appointment, whether there are any reasons why they should not be reappointed.

    Refusal by a proposed nominee to provide this information does not automatically exclude a person from appointment. In instances where a person discloses a criminal conviction, the relevant Minister, in consultation with the Premier, is to consider the individual circumstances.

    It is not necessary to undertake suitability assessments for proposed appointments in the following situations:

    • where the proposed appointee is nominated by virtue of holding a specified position, or is elected under legislation; and
    • where the proposed appointee is a public sector employee representing the Queensland Government as part of their work duties.

    It is a matter for Ministerial discretion as to whether the same inquiries regarding suitability are carried out where public sector employees are appointed to government bodies outside of their position and receive remuneration.

    Information collected in relation to a person's suitability for appointment, including criminal history, must be handled confidentially, in accordance with the procedures for the security and management of Cabinet documents and not disclosed to outside agencies or parties. It will be the responsibility of CLLOs to ensure the security of this information, in accordance with their existing role.

    Appointment of public servants to government bodies

    Public servants may be appointed to a government body as a government or departmental responsibility, either linked with their tenure in a particular position or due to their experience within a department or the public service but not necessarily linked to a specific position.

    Appointment of office holders

    When appointing public servants as government or departmental representatives to boards, it is preferable to appoint by position title where possible, rather than appointing a specific person by name, ensuring that the appointment tenure is linked to the appointee's position with the department or agency relevant to the board/committee/tribunal position.

    This practice is permissible under the Acts Interpretation Act 1954, which provides that appointments may be made by the title of an office and that the appointee is taken to be the person occupying or acting in the office.

    The appointment of office holder positions, as opposed to individuals by name, removes the requirement for the appointee to tender a resignation upon ceasing employment with the public service or leaving the relevant position. This practice also eliminates the need for a significant appointment submission each time a new individual is employed in the specified position during the original term of appointment.

    Appointment by position title may not suit all appointments of public servants as government or departmental representatives to boards; however, where possible, this should be the preferred approach, subject to any mandatory appointment requirements prescribed by the enabling legislation being met.

    Appointment of persons

    In some instances, public servants may be appointed by name as a government or departmental representative to a government board, due to their experience within a department or the public service, without the appointment being linked to a specific position. Where this is the case, the appointment instrument should specify that the appointment of the individual is subject to continued employment both under the Public Service Act 2008 and with the department or agency relevant to the board position.

    To ensure that the board position is automatically vacated in these instances, the appointment instrument must specifically state that the appointment terminates on the person ceasing to be employed in the public service or ceasing to be employed with the specific department or agency relevant to the board position.

    However, it is acknowledged this may not always be suitable and that a number of existing appointments of departmental representatives to government boards are not specifically linked to their tenure. In these instances a formal resignation would be required from the government board if ceasing to be employed by the public service or with the department or agency relevant to the board position.

    Recommendations

    For appointments to be recommended by Cabinet to the Governor in Council, the recommendation should read:

    "That (name of nominee) be recommended to the Governor in Council for appointment as (position name) to the (board) for a term of (term) commencing from (date/date of approval or otherwise) with remuneration of ($ remuneration rate(s))."

    For appointments of the holder of a particular office or position within a government agency as a government or departmental representative, the recommendation should read:

    "That the (agency position or office title) be recommended to the Governor in Council for appointment as (position name) to the (board) for a term of (term) commencing from (date/date of approval or otherwise)."

    For appointments by name of public servants as a government or departmental representative, the recommendation should read:

    "That (name of nominee) be recommended to the Governor in Council for appointment as (position name) to the (board) for a term of (term) commencing from (date/date of approval or otherwise until date/date) or until the person ceases employment as a public servant under the Public Service Act 2008 or with the department or agency relevant to the board position, whichever occurs earlier."

    For appointments that can be approved by a Minister and which are required to be submitted to Cabinet for notation purposes, the recommendation should read:

    "That Cabinet notes the intention to appoint (name of nominee) as (position name) to the (board) for a term of (term) commencing from (date/date of approval or otherwise) with remuneration of ($ remuneration rate(s))."

    Where the remuneration of the board has been previously endorsed by Cabinet and approved by the Governor in Council, the Executive Council minute does not need to specify the remuneration amount. In these instances, the recommendation should read:

    "That Cabinet:
    endorse that (name of nominee) be recommended to the Governor in Council for appointment as (position title) to the (board) for a term of (term) commencing from (date/date of approval or otherwise); and
    note that (name of nominee) be remunerated at ($ remuneration rate(s)) as previously approved by the Governor in Council on (date of approval)."

    This would also need to be reflected in the submission under the remuneration section, outlining when the remuneration of the board had been previously approved by the Governor in Council and the details of that approval (including Executive Council minute number).

    Please note, this can only take place if the Governor in Council has approved a remuneration rate for the board and there are no changes to the rate of remuneration.

    Where multiple appointments are being proposed, the above recommendations may be adapted to incorporate a list provided that all information requirements as shown are met. In exceptional circumstances where a large number of appointments are proposed, a separate schedule may be prepared and provided as an attachment, and appropriately referenced in the recommendation.

    The final recommendation will relate to proactive release of the appointment/s and will be worded as follows:

    "That Cabinet note that the name/s, position/s and term/s of appointment will be published online in five weeks time, following Governor in Council approval of the nominees (or Ministerial advice to the nominees) and subject to approval by the Premier."

    Appointments of Members of Parliament to Offices of Profit

    The Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 provides that Members of Parliament (MP) who perform duties or services for government bodies (e.g. boards, committees, or councils) may receive 'reasonable expenses' in the course of performing such additional duties or services.

    MPs who receive remuneration associated with the performance of duties or services for government bodies in excess of what is reasonable, or for categories of expenses outside those listed in legislation, are liable to loss of their seat. Accordingly, MPs must undertake to irrevocably waive any entitlement beyond reasonable expenses that are associated with the performance of such duties or services for the Crown. This waiver must be in writing and forwarded to the relevant paying authority for the government body concerned with a copy to the Registrar of Members' Interests.

    Where a Significant Appointment Cabinet submission is recommending the appointment of an MP to a Queensland Government body and it is not intended to enact legislation to expressly authorise the office of profit to be held and the duties to be performed by a MP, the recommendation should read:

    That (name of nominee) MP, Member for (electorate name), be appointed as (position name if applicable) to the (name of government body); and be referred to sections 65 and 72 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 requiring provision of a written waiver to any entitlement to a fee or reward to the relevant paying authority, with a copy to the Registrar of Members' Interests.

    5.1.8 Cabinet Committee

    Cabinet Committee submissions may take varying forms depending on the specific requests of Committee members and the nature of information being presented to the Committee. However, as a general rule Cabinet Committee submissions may take either of two forms:

    • where information is conducive to Cabinet submission format, then a coversheet and body of a submission should be prepared, generally in accordance with Policy submission or Memorandum guidelines; or
    • where information is in a report or other specific form as requested by a Committee, then a coversheet to a submission need only be prepared. In this case, the main body of information, which may be in a report or other form, will be an attachment to the coversheet.

    The coversheet to a Cabinet Committee submission is to be prepared on pink paper, while the body of the submission, where required, is to be prepared on white paper. Refer to Chapter 5.3.2 "Colour of submissions"

    Examples of a Cabinet Committee submission coversheet and body (Policy submission) appear as Chapter 5.6 and Chapter 5.7 respectively.

    Chapters 5.4.2 and Chapter 5.4.4 respectively provide detailed explanation on the content requirements of the coversheet and body of a submission.

    Should there be doubt as to the form of a submission required by a Cabinet Committee, then the Cabinet Secretariat should be contacted for advice.

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