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How Governments Do Stuff The Importance of Understanding Process.

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Presentation on theme: "How Governments Do Stuff The Importance of Understanding Process."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Governments Do Stuff The Importance of Understanding Process

2 Understanding Process … … will help you know how to get things because you will know who to talk to and when to be talking to them

3 “We’re gunna do something! Now What?” Deciding to something needs to be done is easy Getting from decision to delivery is hard

4 Where are the Decision Makers? Senate House of Representatives Executive (Ministers and Public Service) Regulators Courts (Administrative law)

5 They are … Departments Ministerial advisers Members of HoR Senators Regulators Parliamentary Committee Secretariat External expert advisers

6 Idea to Legislation … Follow the Bouncing Bill First, draft your Bill Second, circulate your Bill to Stakeholders (optional) Third, choose a Chamber to introduce it Fourth, negotiate it through

7 The Path to Legislation (Simplified Version) 1 Bill Presented by Government in House of Reps Bill “Read” a first time Bill Read a Second time. Debated and Amendments May be Presented Bill read a Third Time and Voted on

8 Path to Legislation 2 Bill introduced to Senate and Read a First Time Bill May be Referred to a Committee for Inquiry Inquiry Reports in Writing to Senate With Recommendations. May be Dissenting Report from Minority of Committee Senate Read Bill a Second Time. Amendments introduced Bill Read a Third Time and Passed or Rejected

9 Path to Legislation 4 Bill Receives Royal Assent. Becomes an Act and is now Law But this is not the end …

10 Legislative Instruments and Regulation Bills Often Contain General Clauses or create Heads of Power Minister and Regulators are left to fill in the gaps E.g Ministers might be required to give further details on how clauses work through disallowable instruments Then regulators put it into practice

11 Regulators Deliver What the Laws Require E.g the ACCC has the Job of Implementing the Consumer and Competition Act (formerly the Trade Practices Act) This may Require them to order or negotiate with businesses.

12 Where Can We Influence? 1 Draft Legislation – Can talk to Departments and Minister, as well as alert other Parliamentarians about our concerns Often Precise Language is important, as well as Explanatory Memorandum

13 Where Can We Influence 2? In the HoR Second Reading Debate We Can Have our Issues Raised Important if Shadow Ministers in Lower House

14 Where Can We Have Influence 3? In the Senate If we can find an advocate in the Senate, have legislation sent to a committee inquiry Often Allows both Written and Oral Evidence Even if Issues Only in Dissenting Report, Can be Important

15 Where Can We Have Influence 4? In Second Reading Debate and Amendments Amendments Can be Presented by Government, Opposition or Cross Bench. Usually, Best Result is if Government is Persuaded to Agree (might even present amendments itself to get Bill through)

16 Where can we have influence 5? In drafting of Disallowable or regulatory instruments These Details can be Arcane but Often as Important as Legislation itself e.g Telstra separation arrangements specifying the scope of “equivalence”

17 Where Can We Have Influence 6? In How the Regulator Applies its Powers Often as Important as Any Stage. Where the Rubber Hits the Road If the Regulator has The Power to Intervene in Unconscionable conduct but never goes to court, what use is the law?

18 Take Home Lesson? There are many places from idea to implementation that you need to watch Be careful of declaring victory prematurely Equally, never give up until all avenues have been explored

19 David Forman Managing Director Government Affairs


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