Frequently asked questions

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What is authority business?

The Part-time Office Holder determination defines authority business.  Essentially authority business can be:

  • any authorised work that is not a formal meeting (it can be performed on the same day that a formal meeting is held).  This list isn't exhaustive, but it could include:
    • sub-committee work (including sub-committee meetings and preparation for those meetings);
    • stakeholder engagement;
    • representational work;
    • out-of-session consideration of funding/grant applications;
    • official travel on a non-meeting day;
    • comments and feedback provided on papers, policies, strategies;
    • inspections or visits where this is part of the work of the authority; and
    • general correspondence, emails and phone calls that relate to the office holder's work for the body/entity.
  • excessive time spend preparing for a formal meeting (normal preparation time is not considered authority business and does not attract additional payment).  A decision on whether preparation time is excessive is a matter for the Chair.

In order to establish an entitlement to payment an office holder must spend a minimum period of at least one hour on authority business.  Shorter periods do not attract payment.  The maximum payment that may be made to an office holder for work performed on a day is one daily fee.

Applies to: Part time

Who is the Nominated Presiding Officer at a meeting?

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 for the authorities/bodies to decide, based on the particular operating requirements of the individual authority/body.

The sole responsibility of the Nominated Presiding Officer, in terms of the Part-time Office Holder determination, is to certify the hours of attendance of office holders (and any associated reasonable official travel) at a formal meeting.  Presiding officers are not authorising the spending of public monies under financial legislation, they are simply certifying that someone attended the meeting and as such has an entitlement.

Applies to: Part time

When will the Tribunal set a Deputy Chair rate?

The Tribunal may set a Deputy Chair rate where the responsiblities of an office are so extensive that they warrant remuneration in excess of that provided by the Member rate.  This could involve particular legislative functions 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 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 review of part-time offices the Tribunal noted that where a separate Deputy Chair rate is justified it would be generally struck 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 from the appropriate minister 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.

Applies to: Part time

When does the Tribunal set additional annual fees for (sub) committee work?

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.  Because annual fees are already struck having regard to these functions additional fees aren't generally warranted.

The Tribunal has set audit fees for some bodies recognising that there are often significant responsibilities and additional commitment related to these committees.  In exceptional circumstances the Tribunal may set additional fees if a case can be substantiated that a (sub) committee has specific additional onerous 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.

Applies to: Part time

How does the Tribunal decide which remuneration model should apply to part-time offices?

There is information about the Tribunal's four part-time remuneration models on the Tribunal's website (under the 'background area' of the Part-time Office web page).  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.

Applies to: Part time

What is 'official' travel time for the purposes of calculating daily fees for part-time office holders?
The Part-time Office Holder determination defines 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).

Applies to: Part time