In the absence of a Chair, the Nominated Presiding Officer is the person responsible for chairing the meeting. It could be a Deputy Chair or any other member of the body. The decision on who may be an appropriate person to authorise attendance is a matter for the authority/body having regard to the particular operating requirements of the individual authority/body.
The sole responsibility of the Nominated Presiding Officer, in terms of the Part-time Office determination, is to certify the hours of attendance of office holders (and any associated reasonable official travel) at a formal meeting, i.e. they are simply certifying that someone attended the meeting and as such has an entitlement to fees.
In the normal course of business, commitment to meetings may fluctuate in terms of the size of the agenda or the complexity of the items considered. This may impact on the preparation time required of an office-holder.
Regardless of this fluctuation, time spent preparing for a formal meeting does not ordinarily attract a separate payment. The fee that is payable on a meeting day has already been determined to take account of the time spent preparing for a meeting.
The Part-time Office determination does provide that "Time spent by the office holder preparing for a formal meeting that the Chair considers is excessive to normal preparation time may be treated as 'authority business'". This means that only where preparation time goes well beyond what is normally required of the office holder could it be considered excessive.
The Tribunal does not envisage circumstances where this would be a regular occurrence. Where office holders do regularly spend excessive time preparing for meetings, the authority may wish to consider whether another remuneration rate, or model, may better suit the functions of the office. Any change would require a submission to the Tribunal.
The Tribunal can only determine remuneration for offices within its determinative jurisdiction. Where office holders within the Tribunal's jurisdiction are also audit committee members the Tribunal may determine additional fees dependent on the circumstances. This would require a case to be made, via a submission, to the Tribunal.
The website’s search facility enables users to find answers to questions about the Tribunal's functions and offices. Where there is a FAQ containing the search term the website provides suggestions as text is entered. Paying agencies and other frequent visitors to the site are encouraged to sign up to receive an email alert when changes are made to the website.
Each category of office has a dedicated launch page that provides a background on the office and relevant FAQs. Current determinations, together with current applicable guidelines, statements and reports, display on the launch page. The current determinations could include either consolidated determinations or principal determinations (see the FAQ “What are principal determinations, compilations and amending determinations” for more information).
Most determinations (including associated explanatory statements and if applicable, reasons for determinations) and other statements and reports from 2004 can be found in the Document Library by conducting a filtered search (by office, year and/or document type). Should access be required to historical documentation (generally from 2003 or earlier years) a request can be made to the Remuneration Tribunal Secretariat at enquiry [at] remtribunal.gov.au.
The Tribunal is also keen to receive feedback about the website. You are welcome to email your suggestions and comments to enquiry [at] remtribunal.gov.au.
The Tribunal does not routinely set fees for sub-committee work. Often sub-committees are simply one way that boards and other entities choose to allocate the workload in relation to the primary functions of that entity.
The Tribunal has set audit fees for some bodies recognising that there are often significant responsibilities and additional commitment related to these committees. The Tribunal has also set additional fees for a small number of other sub-committees of governing boards which undertake or support a key component of the board’s governance responsibilities.
Where it is considered that additional fees are warranted a submission can be made to the Tribunal. The submission would need to comment specifically on why the Tribunal should not consider the functions of the sub-committee to be part of the entity/board's usual functions.
The following points should be addressed in a submission, i.e. whether:
- the committee has formal ongoing governance functions;
- the committee’s work represents a key component of the board’s governance responsibilities;
- the committee’s work has a significant impact on organisational strategy and viability;
- the fee paid to board members is insufficient compensation for the level of responsibility and commitment required of sub-committee members; and
- additional fee arrangements are currently in place, or proposed, for audit committee members.
Rates for meals and incidentals are equivalent to the overseas meals and incidentals rates in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) determination dealing with reasonable travel and overtime meal allowance expense amounts. The relevant ATO determination is specified in the Tribunal’s Official Travel determination.
The rate of overseas TA payable to an office holder depends on the Travel Tier determined for the office. Accommodation should be provided at a standard reasonably equivalent to that provided for the office holder in Australia.
Class of travel is also dependent on the Travel Tier determined by the Tribunal, i.e.
Tier 1 = First Class or Business Class
Tier 2 = Business Class
Tier 3 = Economy Class
An office holder who is entitled to travel Economy Class may upgrade to Business Class where the duration of the flight exceeds five hours.
Information about the Tribunal's four part-time remuneration models may be found on the Tribunal's website (under the 'background area' of the Part-time Office page on the Tribunal’s website). This includes information about some of the Tribunal's considerations in applying the models.
The remuneration models are:
- annual fee
- daily fee
- base (annual) fee and daily meeting fee
- annual meeting fee and additional daily fee
Where a Minister or employing body believes that a different model from that determined by the Tribunal would better suit their part-time offices, a submission should be made to the Tribunal.
It would be appropriate to reduce the reasonable daily overseas meal allowance amounts determined by the Australian Taxation Office by 50 per cent where dinner has been provided or paid for by an entity other than the office holder, or 25 per cent in the case of either breakfast or lunch. Alternatively, it would also be permissible for office holders to comply with any relevant administrative guidelines put in place for employees in their agency where these are not inconsistent with the Official Travel determination.
Where the entity includes a Deputy Chair, the Tribunal may set a specific rate for the Deputy Chair where the responsibilities of an office warrant remuneration in excess of that provided to a Member. This could involve particular statutory functions set out in the legislation or significant ongoing responsibilities, for example as Chair of sub-committee/s or with carriage of strategic or risk management aspects of the body. The Tribunal will not usually set a specific Deputy rate where the Deputy role is limited to chairing meetings and taking on some chair responsibilities in the absence of the Chair or assisting the Chair on an ad hoc basis.
In its October 2013 report ‘Review of Remuneration - Part-time Offices’ the Tribunal noted that where a separate Deputy Chair rate is justified it would generally be set at 75 per cent of the Chair for annual fee recipients and at the mid-point between the Chair and Members for daily fee recipients.
The Tribunal does not 'automatically' set Deputy Chair fees; a submission is required specifically addressing the role in order for the Tribunal to consider a separate rate. If it is considered that a different Chair/Deputy Chair/Member ratio is warranted than that recommended by the Tribunal, then this should be addressed in the submission.
The Part-time Office determination includes a definition of official travel time. It is generally associated with travel where an office holder is entitled to claim travelling allowance (e.g. interstate travel). It does not include normal commuting time (i.e. the time spent travelling between an office holder's home and principal place of work).