Cabinet has agreed to the inclusion of a Statutes Amendment Bill in the 2017 legislation programme with the intention that it be introduced by June 2018, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet says.
A statutes amendment bill is designed as a vehicle for short, technical and non-controversial amendments to a range of Acts.
There has been a change in the process for developing the bill, with agencies now required to submit their amendments to the Ministry of Justice for vetting before recommending amendments for inclusion in the bill to their portfolio Ministers.
Under the timetable, Government departments are required to submit potential items in the bill to the Ministry of Justice for initial vetting by the end of August 2017. Once vetted and approved, items must be submitted to the ministry by the end of November 2017. Departments are required to send drafting instructions to the Parliamentary Counsel Office by 2 February 2018.
The Minister in charge of the bill is also required to consult parliamentary parites, seeking their support for the proposed amendments. Letters will be sent to parliamentary parties by early January 2018, to be returned to the Minister in charge by mid-March 2018.
The intention is to finalise the bill for introduction by July 2018.