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In April 2012, John Cain, former Victorian Government Solicitor and current National Special Projects Manager at Maurice Blackburn, conducted a review of the department's legislative practices and processes. The terms of reference were to review the department's current system; assess the adequacy and standardisation of the system; recommend any improvements and identify areas of concern. The review was completed in May 2012 and a copy of the report is available at:

The review concluded that the current systems adopted by the department for the development, passage, commencement and maintenance of legislation and regulations are adequate. No specific areas of concern were identified in the review. The report noted that, for the department as a whole, a central legislative register already exists in relation to Bills being introduced into Parliament. The report recommended further improvements to the ongoing and central management of knowledge in relation to legislative processes.

The department has considered the report provided by John Cain and agrees in-principle to the recommendations. Work to consider the implementation requirements for each recommendation is underway. The department's specific response to the recommendations is as follows:

Recommendations 1 and 2
Response: Agree. The department will develop and adopt a departmental-wide project management approach for the development, passage, commencement and amendment of legislation. The approach adopted will include a review component.

Recommendations 3, 4 and 5
Response: Agree. The department has considered these recommendations and will build on the work already done, in relation to the existing central register, and develop an enhanced knowledge management system for legislation. The department agrees to consider the inclusion of the types of information set out in Recommendations 3, 4 and 5 when developing this system. The department agrees that any knowledge management system introduced will be regularly maintained and updated by individual officers and will consider certification requirements. The department agrees that information on the sunsetting of instruments and review requirements should be captured in the knowledge management system.

Recommendation 6
Response: Agree. The department will continue to update existing training materials.

Recommendation 7
Response: Agree-in-principle. The department does not agree that all new staff should participate in legislative training given the diverse nature of employment across the department. The department agrees that all new staff, likely to be exposed to work involving legislation, should participate in legislative training. The department agrees with the recommendation as it applies to existing staff.