How Public Servants should deal with Legislation in Parliament

THE STORY SO FAR

  • Overview of developing Policy/preparing Legislation
  • Key messages
    • Teamwork, involving lawyers
    • Project manage the exercise
    • Factor in LAC Guidelines at all stages
  • Today
    • Managing a Bill in the House

TODAY’S STORY

  • Guidance Gap
  • New LAC Guidelines Chapter
  • “Bills after Introduction”
  • Consistent message
    • LAC Guidelines just as relevant to changes to Bills as they move through the House
    • “Every effort should be made to ensure that the Bill remains consistent with the Guidelines”.

THE COMPETING ROLES OF PUBLIC SERVANTS

  • Project manager
    • But timing and ultimate content out of our control!
  • Advisers to the Select Committee
    • But there may not be a Government majority!
  • Agent of the Minister/Government
    • Champions of the policy objectives

THE STAKES ARE HIGH

  • Maintain consistency with Guidelines
  • Continue to deliver policy objective
  • Ensure a workable Bill

through

  • Select Committee – structured!
  • Committee of the Whole – pressured!

LAC GUIDELINES ISSUES

  • Still consistent with policy objective?
  • Still understandable and accessible?
  • Consistent with common law principles?
  • Interpretation Act?
  • Bill of Rights Act?
  • Treaty issues?

LAC GUIDELINES ISSUES (Cont.)

  • International obligations?
  • Consistent with existing law?
    • Savings or transitionals?
  • New public power?
  • New public body?
  • Delegated legislation involved?
  • Appropriate remedies provided?

LAC GUIDELINES ISSUES (Cont)

  • Any new criminal offences?
  • Appeal and review issues dealt with?
  • New or changed powers of entry and search?
  • Privacy interests affected?
  • Any cross-border issues?

OTHER ISSUES/OBLIGATIONS

  • Attention to detail
  • Drafting consistency
  • Staying within “scope” (S.O 288 & 297)
  • Fiscal impact (S.O 318-322)
  • Government decides policy changes

SELECT COMMITTEE STAGE

  • Initial Briefing – tactically important!
  • Establish communication channel with Committee Clerk
  • Plan submission summarising and analysis

SELECT COMMITTEE STAGE (Cont).

  • Departmental Report
    • Plan structure and timing -
    • Allow time for
      • - Discussion with Minister
      • - Cabinet decisions -
    • Includes both recommendations arising from submissions and Departmental improvements
  • QA Committee Clerk’s commentary

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE

  • Ensure Government SOPs comply with LAC Guidelines
  • Help Minister understand the nature of amendments proposed
  • Watch out for scope issues!
  • Watch out for fiscal implications
  • Leave your cabbage at home!

OTHER ISSUES

  • Second Reading
    • Does your Minister need you?
  • Third Reading
    • Does your Minister need you?
  • Interaction with other political parties – Ministerial permission!

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