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 Report 18

Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act 1971 - Amendments, 1983

Summary of the report

The report was transmitted to the Government on 27 June 1983, and was tabled in the Parliament on 3 November 1983.

In its report, the Council identified several problems with the operation of the Compensation (Commonwealth Government Employees) Act 1971 ('Act'), one of which was that in proceedings before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ('AAT') the Commissioner for Employees Compensation did not appear as respondent. The Council felt that, in the circumstances, the benefits likely to be derived from the direct involvement of the Commissioner outweighed the disadvantages. The Council recommended that:

  • the Act should be amended to provide that the Commissioner should determine a claim within 60 days of the lodgement of a claim,
  • the Commissioner should be deemed to have made a determination adverse to the claimant, if a claim had not been determined on the expiration of the prescribed time limit, and
  • the Commissioner should be the respondent in proceedings for the review of the Commissioner's determinations.

The Council also recommended that, if the Commissioner was made the respondent, then subsections 65(6), (7), and (8) of the Act, which modify the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975, would be unnecessary and should be repealed.

Response to the report

The Council's main recommendation was implemented. When the Commonwealth Employees' Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 was enacted, it provided for the new Commission to be a party to appeal proceedings before the AAT. It also provided for internal reconsideration of decisions as a prerequisite for any appeal to the AAT. The Act was proclaimed on 1 July 1988.