The Remuneration Tribunal (the Tribunal) considers submissions when making remuneration decisions for individual public offices.
Who should make submissions?
The Tribunal prefers to receive submissions from a Portfolio Minister, or a Secretary, Program Manager or Employing Body (in respect of a principal executive office - PEO) with responsibility for the relevant office(s). However, it should be noted that the Tribunal will normally seek the views of the relevant portfolio Minister prior to determining the remuneration for an office, so that it is most time efficient for the submission to come directly from the Minister, or for the Minister's views to be provided with the submission.
To whom should submissions be sent?
In general, submissions should be forwarded to:
P.O. Box 281
Civic Square ACT 2608
Where a new office will only be in the Tribunal's jurisdiction after being 'referred in' (this subject is covered in the New Public Office Section), the submission should be attached to the referral-in request which should be sent to the Minister with responsibility for the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 (the RT Act) (currently the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service).
When should submissions be sent?
In the case of a new office, as soon as the relevant information necessary to prepare a complete submission is available. This can be done prior to the formal establishment of an office. The Tribunal can notify an indicative decision if it does not yet have the power to formally decide an office's remuneration – for example, where the establishing legislation has not yet been enacted. The Tribunal will then make an actual decision once the legal status is resolved.
Where there are amendments to the legislation establishing an office after the Tribunal has advised an indicative decision, the Tribunal should be notified as it may need to vary its indicative decision.
In the case of an existing office, submissions can be put in at any time at which a submission can demonstrate significant changes or developments that affect the office. It should be noted, however, that the Tribunal is more likely to adjust remuneration for an existing office after any changes to that office have actually occurred and have had a demonstrable effect on the office's responsibilities and workload, rather than in anticipation of any changes.
Note, in relation to multiple offices: where an organisation has full-time public offices (including PEOs and specified statutory offices) and part-time public offices (including advisory offices), the Tribunal's preference is to consider the remuneration for all categories of offices at the same time (e.g. a full-time CEO and part-time Board Members).
- When receiving submissions about a review of an office's remuneration or the establishment of a new office, the Tribunal would expect to receive information on all the public offices within that organisation at that time. This will be the case even if no changes are proposed to existing arrangements for those other offices. If these details are not provided the Tribunal may request this information in order to be fully cognisant of the matters affecting the authority's office holders when setting remuneration.
Will the Tribunal seek further information?
The Tribunal may reach a decision based on the information provided in the submission and other publicly available information; or it may wish to contact the Minister or other person making the submission for further information. On occasion it may wish to meet with relevant parties. If this is the case, the Tribunal will make the necessary arrangements. All submissions should include departmental contact details.
When will the Tribunal make a decision?
The Tribunal meets regularly. A submission can be lodged at any time and the Tribunal Secretariat on (02) 6202 3930 can provide an estimate of when a matter may be considered by the Tribunal.
Once a decision is made, the President of the Tribunal will generally write to the relevant Minister and/or the person making the submission. Due to the confidentiality and sensitivities of these decisions, it is generally considered inappropriate to provide separate advice of the outcome to other interested parties; the Tribunal relies on either the relevant Minister or person making the submission to further disseminate this information (as appropriate).
Where the Tribunal's decision results in the need for a determination to be issued, the determination is generally made at the subsequent meeting of the Tribunal (that is, the next meeting after the 'in principle' decision is made), or after the Tribunal has the power to determine the matter (after legislation establishing a new office takes effect, for example). In most cases the determination is tabled in the Parliament and published on the website of the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments. All determinations made by the Tribunal are published on its website.
Is my submission confidential?
The Tribunal is subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, (the Act). It should be noted that submissions made to the Tribunal are clearly documents in the possession of the Tribunal in the terms of the FOI Act, which means that such documents are liable to be released under a freedom of information request unless the document is exempt for reasons spelt out in the Act.
Detailed information on freedom of information can be found on the website of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner at http://www.oaic.gov.au/foi-portal/about_foi.html.
Where a submission contains confidential information, such as the name of an appointee to an office prior to that appointment being publicly announced, this should be clearly indicated in the submission.