Government services 5 Minute Fix 07

10 Dec 2020
Get your 5 Minute Fix of government sector news. This issue: new procurement rules for Federal and NSW Governments; 2020's administrative law developments in review; privacy and natural justice; Standing Order 52; and the usual round-up of issues affecting the public sector.

Administrative law

Administrative law updater: Practical refusal reasons for declining FOI requests

The question of whether a request will both substantially and unreasonably divert the resources of an agency depends on a range of factors, including the size and resources of the agency. Learn more here.

Webinar: Administrative Law 2020 – A Year in Review

In this Webinar, Professor Bill Lane discusses the major administrative law developments during 2020 at both the National and State level and their significance for Government agencies.  Listen here

Climate change

The new Climate Change Bill offers a fresh approach – but will it be taken?

Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-awaited private member's Bill from Zali Steggall adopts a fresh approach to responding to the risks of climate change in Australia and offers a potential pathway forward for all parties and interested groups. Learn more here.

Contracts and procurement

An early Christmas present for Departments and SMEs: New Commonwealth Procurement Rules (December 2020)

New Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) have been issued by the Minister for Finance under section 105B(1) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (Cth) (PGPA Act) and will come into effect on 14 December 2020.

The amendments update the CPRs to make it easier for agencies (specifically non-corporate Commonwealth entities) to procure goods and services valued up to $200,000 from small to medium sized enterprises (firms with fewer than 200 full-time equivalent employees) and to incorporate existing Commonwealth legislation and procurement policies.  Learn more here.

Streamlining the NSW Aboriginal Procurement Policy and what it means for agencies and contractors

The NSW Government is merging procurement policies for goods, services and construction to drive demand for Aboriginal employment and businesses. Lina Fischer and Anne Davis explore the implications for Government and contractors. Learn more here.

New ICT purchasing framework to replace Procure IT: NSW Dept of Customer Service to launch industry consultation phase

In December 2020, the New South Wales Department of Customer Service will release, for industry consultation, exposure drafts of a new suite of ICT contract documents.  Learn more here.

Severance clauses: do yours cut the mustard?

If a severance clause is not drafted carefully, parties could be stuck with a contract that doesn't achieve their aims – or doesn't even exist. Learn more here.

Commissions and inquiries

Bushfires Royal Commission hands down final report – where to next?

How have Governments and Industry responded to the Bushfires Royal Commission's final report and what are the likely next steps towards implementation of the report's recommendations? Learn more here.

Exposure draft of the legislation for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission released – what's it all about?

We walk you through the process, explain some of the key features of the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission and explain what you can do to have your say before the process winds up. Learn more here.

COVID-19 and business continuity

WEBINAR – Managing fraud risk and investigations in a COVID environment

In this session, Chelsea Hosking and Belinda Miller discuss key trends and fraud-related risks, how to manage the increased risk in the workplace, and how to investigate and respond to fraud-related issues in already-disrupted work environments. LISTEN here.

Environment Compliance Toolkit – November 2020

Although restrictions imposed by Governments across Australia are being relaxed, wound back or lifted, our Environmental Compliance Toolkit helps you understand how you can manage your environmental compliance and/or development approvals where operational changes may still be required as part of your organisation's response to COVID-19. Read more here.


Q&A: Expert evidence, then and now

Four barristers give their insights into how the role of the expert has changed, and what makes a good expert.  Learn more here.

Privacy & human rights

The right to reputation: natural justice and human rights issues in administrative and regulatory investigations

Public sector investigators conducting regulatory and administrative investigations have always contended with a myriad of legal issues and risks surrounding natural justice requirements. Eleanor Dickens, Sam Weston and Hilary Baker set out some practical guidance to help them navigate those issues and risks. Learn more here.

Australian privacy law reforms – what you need to know

The objective of the review is broad: to consider whether the scope of the Privacy Act and its enforcement mechanisms remain fit for purpose. Learn more here.


Amendments back on the cards for native title agreements: enhancing efficiency!

The Bill, which has been reintroduced, is designed to improve native title laws and practice by giving native title claim groups greater flexibility to set their internal processes, and streamlining and improving native title claims resolution and agreement-making.  Learn more here.;

Standing orders

Standing Order 52: How recent changes will impact NSW Government agencies

As SO52s are the new norm for NSW Government, being prepared and acting early are critical and should be part of the planning for all NSW Government legal teams. Dr Ashley Tsacalos, Alex Brien and Lycia Hayes set out useful guidance on getting ready for your next SO52. Learn more here.


Clayton Utz communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all States and Territories.