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    8.6 Explanatory Memorandum

    As indicated in 8.2, each Minute must be accompanied by at least one Explanatory Memorandum. Sample Explanatory Memoranda can be found as part of Appendices 3 (.doc, 55 KB), 8 (.doc, 197 KB), 16 (.doc, 48 KB), 17 (.doc, 49 KB) and 18 (.doc, 48 KB).

    Where a Minute proposes several discrete actions, one Explanatory Memorandum may be used for each action provided that no more than one Explanatory Memorandum covers the action(s) described in a single sub-paragraph of the text of the Minute itself.

    The following headings are to be used in an Explanatory Memorandum. Headings which do not apply to the Minute should not be used. For example, if the Minute does not propose an action authorised by statute, then the 'Legislative Provision' heading should not be used.

    Brackets indicate alternative forms. For example, if only one statutory provision authorises the action or actions, then the heading should be 'Legislative Provision', while if two or more provisions authorise the action or actions, then the heading should be 'Legislative Provisions'.

    • Minister. The full title of the Minister is to be used.
    • Subject. This is the proposed wording for the Schedule of Minutes describing the action(s) canvassed by the Explanatory Memorandum. As a general rule the subject should paraphrase the information contained in the Recommendation on the Minute cover. This must explain succinctly and accurately the subject of the Explanatory Memorandum. This need not be a sentence. No reference should be made to the authorising statute.

    Where the Explanatory Memorandum covers the making of a statutory instrument, the wording should name in full the instrument and outline as briefly as possible the effect of the instrument. For example, in an Explanatory Memorandum for a proposed regulation, the Subject entry should be in the form 'Architects Amendment Regulation (No.1) 2003 which provides for the procedures for electing a member of the Board of Architects of Queensland'.

    Where the Explanatory Memorandum covers a project commencement approval proposal, the Subject entry should show the value proposed to be authorised and what the amount is to be spent on. For example, 'Project commencement approval of $12 500 000 (including GST) for electron microscopes for use in advanced microscopy studies at TAFE colleges'.

    Where the Explanatory Memorandum covers appointments to a board or similar, the Subject entry should show the positions to which the appointments are being made, but not the names of appointees. For example, 'Appointment of Chairperson and Members of the South Bank Corporation'.

    Words describing the recommended action, for example 'approval of' should not be used unless their omission would make the entry confusing. For example, where the Minute recommends approval for a statutory body to enter into an arrangement with a third party, 'Approval for the XYZ Corporation to enter into…' is appropriate.

    • Legislative provision(s). This should include the full title of the authorising Act or Acts of Parliament and all section references which provide authority for Governor in Council action. For example 'Section 92 of the Public Service Act 2008'. Other relevant section references may be added to provide clarity.
    • Background. This entry should show the process followed which led to the point where the proposed executive action is required. Where Cabinet approval has been specifically obtained for the action proposed by the Minute or Governor in Council approval has been obtained for a related action, this should be referenced with the relevant date, Cabinet decision number, and/or Executive Council Minute number.
    • Purpose and consequence. The objectives of government policy on the issue which has generated the proposal(s) should be canvassed as part of the 'Purpose'. The precise effects of the action(s) proposed should be included as 'consequence': for example, the exact duration of an appointment. A single paragraph is normally sufficient to relay adequate information for both. Caveats or restrictions on the effect of the action(s), such as sunset provisions or the term of appointment should be noted.
    • Has OQPC drafted the proposed subordinate legislation? (or) Has legal opinion been sought from the Crown Solicitor on the proposed instrument? The words 'Yes' or 'No' as applicable should be provided. If the answer is 'No', clarify why this is so and provide some indication of what alternative legal advice, if any, has been sought in relation to the instrument.
    • Consultation. Show all other agencies and other parties consulted in relation to the proposed action(s). Where an affected or interested party has not been consulted, indicate why this is so.

    Where Departments are considering the disposal of Crown land, they must consult with other Departments (and especially the Department of Housing and Public Works and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines) to see whether the land could be used by other Departments or agencies within government. Crown land that has not previously been alienated may also be subject to claim under the Native Title Act 1993. Consultation with the Native Title Unit of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines is to be noted.

    In relation to subordinate legislation, Departments should consult the Regulatory Review Branch of Queensland Treasury and Trade as to the need for a Regulatory Impact Statement under the Statutory Instruments Act 1992. The advice provided by the Regulatory Review Branch should be summarised under the heading "Results of Consultation".

    • Results of consultation. If consultation has yielded consensus on the proposed action(s), this should be reported, for example: 'All parties consulted agree with the proposed [type of action, e.g. appointment]'. If there is some conflict, state the nature of the conflict and the rationale for proceeding with the proposed action(s) in spite of disagreement.
    • Signature of the Chief Executive and date. The signature block is aligned with the left margin.
    • Signature of the Minister and date. The signature block is aligned with the right margin. The Minister's normal signature block should be used, i.e. there is no requirement for pre and post nominal honorifics. Note: The Minute will not be accepted if the signatures are not dated.

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    Last updated:
    18 May, 2016
    Last reviewed:
    10 October, 2012