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    3.1 OQPC’s involvement before Authority to Prepare a Bill approval

    OQPC can be involved in the preparation of legislation before an Authority to Prepare a Bill approval is obtained from Cabinet. This involvement can include the following:

    • The sponsoring department may discuss with OQPC the options for a legislative proposal before or during the department’s preparation of the relevant submission. An important option to consider is whether legislation is necessary and, if it is, how the regulatory burden can be minimised, having regard to the required policy outcomes and to the principles of good legislation.
    • When a Cabinet submission for Authority to Prepare a Bill is circulated, OQPC may provide a briefing note to the Policy Division of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet as part of the department’s processes to brief the Premier on Cabinet submissions.
    • There may be a special arrangement for OQPC to start drafting before Cabinet Authority to Prepare a Bill approval has been obtained.

    3.1.1 Sponsoring department discussions with OQPC before finalising submission

    Policy officers may discuss with OQPC proposals for legislation as part of the departmental process of identifying options for dealing with an issue, before preparing the Authority to Prepare a Bill submission or during the preparation of the submission.

    OQPC’s central role in preparing legislation for the government as a whole allows it to identify useful legislative schemes for consideration by the instructing officer, issues involving fundamental legislative principles, alternative ways of achieving policy objectives and other relevant matters.

    3.1.2 Submissions circulated to OQPC for comment

    Generally, a Cabinet submission for Authority to Prepare a Bill is circulated to OQPC. OQPC considers the drafting instructions accompanying the submission and comments on any aspect relevant to the drafting process.

    In particular OQPC comments on any potential inconsistency with fundamental legislative principles suggested by the submission or attached drafting instructions. Other comments may be about the condition of the drafting instructions and the inconsistency between the instructions and Queensland Government policy.

    If appropriate, OQPC prepares a briefing note for possible referral of its views to the Premier. The briefing note is given to the Policy Division of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Also, a copy of the note is sent to the instructing officer.

    3.1.3 Drafting before Cabinet has approved a submission for Authority to Prepare a Bill

    The general rule is that drafting of a Bill does not commence until Cabinet has authorised, by Cabinet decision, the Bill’s preparation.

    The reasons for this are essentially practical, for example, whether it is appropriate to bring drafts into existence before the government as a whole has had an opportunity to direct the process and whether it is an effective use of resources to draft legislation not approved by Cabinet when there may be legislation already approved by Cabinet that has not been finalised.

    However, there are exceptions to the general rule. The Premier may authorise drafting to start at an earlier time. If it is inconvenient to obtain the Premier’s authorisation, the Director-General or some other senior officer of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet may provide written authorisation. The parliamentary counsel may also arrange for an earlier start.

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    Last updated:
    14 November, 2013
    Last reviewed:
    13 November, 2013