Posted on May 2, 2019 by Katie Mortimer and Sue Puckeridge
UPDATE: Further agency restructures – Administrative Arrangements Order 2019 (No 2)
The Governor has issued further orders that change administrative arrangements and Ministerial responsibilities in NSW. These orders are the Administrative Arrangements (Administration of Acts—General) Order (No 2) 2019 (‘General Order‘), Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Ministers) Order (No 2) 2019 (‘Ministers Order‘), Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Public Service Agencies) Amendment Order 2019 (‘Public Service Agencies Order‘) (together the ‘Further AAO‘).
Earlier Administrative Arrangement Orders took effect from 2 April 2019 (‘2019 AAO‘), and made significant changes to Ministerial responsibilities in NSW. Read our earlier blog on the 2019 AAO here.
The Further AAO commence on 1 May 2019. The General Order replaces part of the earlier 2019 AAO, the Public Service Agencies Order amends part of the 2019 AAO, and the Ministers Order amends and supplements part of the 2019 AAO.
Administration of Acts
As we anticipated, responsibility for the administration of legislation in NSW has been distributed across the 24 Ministers in the Coalition government and is no longer restricted to the 8 Ministers specified in the 2019 AAO.
Allocations that we consider to be of interest are:
- the Heritage Act 1977 is to be administered by the Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts. There is no longer a dedicated Minister for Heritage.
- the Coastal Management Act 2016 is to be administered by the Minister for Local Government. Before the 2019 AAO, it was administered by the Minister for Environment.
- legislation concerning government information and privacy are now jointly administered by the Minister for Customer Service and, the Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Previously the Attorney General was solely responsible.
- a number of Acts administered by the Minister for Finance, Services and Property before the 2019 AAO, are now administered by the new Minister for Customer Service. This includes the Conveyancing Act 1919, the Real Property Act 1900, and the Strata Schemes Development Act 2015.
Increase in Joint Administration
The Further AAO has increased the number of Acts to be jointly administered between Ministers. If 2 or more Ministers are administering an Act, the reference to ‘the Minister’ in an Act or an instrument, means any one of the Ministers administering the Act (see s15, Interpretation Act 1987).
For example, the Crown Land Management Act 2016 is now jointly administered by the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces and the Minister for Water, Property and Housing (except parts of the Act, which are administered by the Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Employee Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and the Arts, and the Minister for Sport, Multiculturalism, Seniors and Veterans).
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
As we previously blogged, as of 1 July 2019 the existing Department of Planning and Environment (‘DPE‘), Department of Industry (‘DOI‘), Office of Environment and Heritage (‘OEH‘) and Office of Local Government (‘OLG‘) are abolished, and a new Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (‘DPIE‘) with expanded responsibilities is established. The Further AAO adds ‘Environment’ to the Department’s name.
The Further AAO amends which parts of public service agencies are being transferred to the new DPIE. As well as DPE, OEH, OLG and parts of DOI, the new DPIE will consist of:
- some persons employed in the Department of Premier and Cabinet,
- parts of the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation,
- some persons employed in the Office of Sport, and
- parts of the Department of Family and Community Services.
Details can be found in the Public Service Agencies Order.
Amended References to Ministers
The Ministers Order reflects the change in administration of Acts from 8 Ministers under the 2019 AAO, to now 24 Ministers under the Further AAO. When the 2019 AAO was made, references to Ministers in an Act were to be construed as a particular Minister from the 8 responsible Ministers (the ‘cluster Ministers‘). The Ministers Order has been updated to reflect the Coalition’s new Ministry.
A reference to a cluster Minister in any document enacted, made or entered into during the ‘interim period’ between the 2019 AAO & the Further AAO, is to be construed as a reference to the Minister who now administers that Act under the General Order.
The orders comprising the Further AAO can be found here:
Please contact Katie Mortimer (8235 9716) or Sue Puckeridge (8235 9705) if you wish to discuss the further changes.