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Inquiry into multiple ministerial appointments

Inquiry
Publication date

Inquiry into the appointment of the Hon Scott Morrison MP to administer various portfolios and related matters

On 26 August 2022, the Prime Minister, the Hon Anthony Albanese MP and the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, announced the appointment of the Hon Virginia Bell AC to lead an Inquiry into the appointment of the former Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP to multiple ministries.

Further details about the inquiry, including how to make a submission, can be found at the inquiry’s website.

Terms of Reference

The Hon Virginia Bell AC has been appointed to conduct an inquiry into the appointment of former Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP to administer departments other than the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and related matters. The inquiry will:

  1. examine and report on the facts and circumstances surrounding the appointment of Mr Morrison to administer the Department of Health, the Department of Finance, the Department of Industry, Science and Energy and Resources, the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of the Treasury, in addition to the Department of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet
  2. examine and report on the implications arising from the appointments, including on:
    1. the functioning of departments of state, Government Business Enterprises and statutory bodies;
    2. the structure of the Ministry
    3. the accountability of the executive to the Parliament; and
    4. public confidence in government
  3. examine and report on the practices and processes which apply to:
    1. the appointment of ministers to administer departments of state under section 64 of the Constitution; and
    2. directions that ministers hold certain offices under section 65 of the Constitution;

including the disclosure of those appointments and directions; and

  1. recommend any procedural or legislative changes which would provide greater transparency and accountability.

The inquiry shall have regard to the Solicitor-General’s Opinion in the matter of the validity of the appointment of Mr Morrison to administer the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (SG No.12 of 2022).

Ms Bell will report to the Prime Minister by Friday, 25 November 2022.