9.3.1 General administration & delegation
DSS Secretary delegation
The Secretary of DSS is responsible for the general administration of the PPLAct, subject to any direction by the Minister. However, to allow for efficient administration of the PPL scheme, given the volume of decisions to be made, the Secretary, by signed instrument, may delegate, all or any of his or her powers under the PPLAct (other than the exception under paragraph 128(1)(b)) to an 'officer', the Chief Executive Centrelink, the Chief Executive Medicare or an Australian Public Service (APS) employee in Services Australia.
The Secretary may delegate his or her power under paragraph 128(1)(b) (which relates to disclosing information to an agency head) only to the Chief Executive Centrelink or the Chief Executive Medicare. If the Secretary delegates that power to the Chief Executive of Centrelink or the Chief Executive Medicare, the Chief Executive cannot delegate the power to a Departmental employee (within the meaning of the Human Services (Centrelink) Act 1997 or the Human Services (Medicare) Act 1973).
The Secretary also has powers and functions under Part 4 of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014, which deals with civil penalty provisions, and Part 5 of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014, which deals with infringement notices. The Secretary may delegate his or her powers under Part 4 and Part 5 of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014, as those Parts apply to provisions of the PPLAct, to the Chief Executive Centrelink, the Chief Executive Medicare, or an SES or acting SES employee.
Review of the operation of PPLAct
A review of the general operation of the PPL scheme commenced in January 2013. As required under the PPLAct, the Minister ensured that the public was given the opportunity to make submissions in relation to the review and tabled a written report of the review in each House of the Parliament within 15 sitting days of the day on which the Minister received the report.
The review considered:
- the amount of time off work that primary carers are taking to care for newborn or newly adopted children
- the availability and amount of leave and payments provided by employers in relation to the birth or adoption of a child, and the interaction of those entitlements with PLP provided under the PPLAct
- the operation of the work test
- whether primary claimants' partners should be paid PLP separately from, or in addition to, primary claimants
- whether employers should make superannuation contributions in relation to PLP
- the results of any evaluations conducted in relation to the operation of the PPLAct, and
- any other matter relevant to the general operation of the PPLAct.
Note: The review of the PPL scheme was completed on 11 June 2014, as required under the PPLAct.
The Governor-General may make Regulations consistent with the provisions of the PPLAct setting out certain matters required or permitted by the PPLAct to be prescribed or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the PPLAct.