RESEARCH PAPER 04/82 THE COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY OF MINISTERS – AN OUTLINE OF THE ISSUES

The chain of management runs from the minister, to the chief executive, to other public servants who work inside departments. Section 64 of the Australian Constitution, which provides a three month window in which Ministers may not be a member of Parliament, only commenced after the first general Commonwealth election, which was held on 29—30 March The different experiences gained in each house may be reflected somewhat in the convention that the Prime Minister must sit in the lower house. Rather than seeking to amend this provision, the government adopted a ‘fall-back position’ under which the appointees exercised ‘considerable de facto executive authority’ due to their close ties and access to Cabinet. Other measures have been used in contemporary State politics to introduce external expertise into ministerial deliberations. Second, while Bagehot limits his analysis to the House of Commons, in Australia and, indeed, the UK , Ministers may sit in the upper house of Parliament and gain necessary experience in that house. In the Australian setting, bicameral legislatures except in Queensland and the self-governing Territories complicate the issue of accountability.

However, they were not subject to parliamentary accountability mechanisms. Qld s 23, 43 members of Parliament. A Question of Loyalty addresses the issues regarding ministers and departments avoiding taking accountability for actions and the politicised nature of accountability. He held that role until he was elected to the Queensland Parliament and became Premier of Queensland as result of the March State election. The functionality of these aspects of government, in reality, are far more professional and protected from manipulation otherwise suggested in A Question of Loyalty.

A Question of Loyalty. Why Accountability Must be Renewed. This speech was also at odds with the general tenor of the conventions, which were far more pragmatic: As governments internationally continue to experiment with new ways of improving governance, so too can Australia play a role in these debates through trialling new models and processes for the appointment of Ministers from outside of Parliament.

The episode isssues with the realisation that the information leaked surrounding the over spending was orchestrated by the Prime Minister to put public pressure on the department to make cuts.

Secondly, there are general cabinet decisions on policy matters that the ministers are expected to relay through their departments in order fesearch be implemented by the chief executive, such as cutting department spending White, At the time, Carr did not hold a seat in federal Parliament. In the Australian Capital Territory, if a vote recount is not possible, the vacancy will be filled by a person from the same political party as the vacating Member, as selected by the Legislative Assembly: See also Bernays, above n; Hall, above n Yet, despite this the episode is a good tool in which to explore accountability and responsibility, and how they emerge in the relationship between a minister and his chief executive.

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research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers - an outline of the issues

We are accustomed to think that the essence of responsible government is rrsponsibility The ability of the public service in Yes Minister and the episode A Question of Loyalty is exaggerated to make a satirical point against the effectiveness of Westminster government. However, as noted above, this process relies on a vacancy becoming available. This is due to a clearer separation of the executive and the legislature in policy-making.

They are appointed by the head of the state, and some of them may hold seats in Parliament — a limited number. A Commonwealth, State and Territory constitutional provisions Australian ministerial appointments are regulated by the Federal, State and Territory constitutions. However, in Pakistan a prospective Attorney-General must have been an advocate in the High Court for at least fifteen years and there is no provision for the appointment of a ‘distinguished jurist’,71 further limiting the likelihood that the necessary expertise will be present in Parliament.

(PDF) The Appointment of Ministers from Outside of Parliament | Alysia Blackham –

This model is more suited to the Australian context as it allows external Ministers to be accountable to Parliament while not actually requiring collfctive appointment to that body. Indeed, there is some concern that good candidates for external ministerial positions would be unwilling to subject themselves to a pre- appointment hearing, thereby depriving governments of the very expertise that the position is intended to provide.

research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers - an outline of the issues

Using the casual vacancy provisions, the Labor government was able to bring external expertise into its Cabinet in a similar fashion to the appointment of external Ministers in Canada. While there are few insuperable constitutional limitations to the appointment of external Ministers, it is essential that such appointments are made in a strategic and principled manner.

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As a result, external ministerial appointments in these jurisdictions responsibiltiy require constitutional or legislative change.

research paper 04/82 the collective responsibility of ministers - an outline of the issues

Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. This debate also featured colective the Australian constitutional conventions. Ths strength of the public service was diminished with changes made to the public servants tenure in the State Sector Act ; this removed the chief executives right of permanent tenure until retirement Gregory, The prime minister selects a number of cabinet ministers from the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Cabinet collective responsibility

Drawing on these comparative experiences, we propose a model of external ministerial appointments that builds upon existing appointment and termination processes for Ministers and includes specific accountability measures to ensure the responsibility of external Ministers to Parliament and compliance with ministerial codes of conduct. Following the Carr appointment, the issue warrants more detailed consideration in the Australian context. As countries without any express constitutional requirement that Ministers must sit in Parliament, the UK and Canada provide interesting insights into how external Ministers might be appointed and accommodated in a system of responsible government.

Similar provisions apply under the Pakistani Constitution.

Ministers must not speak against government policy or reveal the deliberations of Cabinet. Often accountability has become interchangeable with the term individual ministerial responsibility Mulgan, The relationship between ministers and administrative heads of departments shown in A Question of Loyalty is one that has been shaped to demonstrate and criticise its fragility.

Over time, the presence of Ministers in Parliament has come to be conflated with responsible government. In JulyPremier Arthur Macalister resigned after a dispute with the Governor over the issuing of inconvertible bank-notes as a response to a financial crisis.

The relationship between James Hacker and Redponsibility Appleby in A Question of Loyalty shows the importance of a positive and cooperative relationship between chief executive and ministers can benefit the process of policy implementation.

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