Terms of Reference


Terms of Reference and Guidelines

(January 2018)

ROLE

The ACT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) Ministerial Advisory Council provides strategic advice to the ACT Government on issues affecting LGBTIQ communities in the ACT.

The work of the council reflects the aim of the ACT Government that Canberra becomes a socially and culturally inclusive community that celebrates its diversity and makes Canberra the most LGBTIQ-friendly city in Australia. The Council will monitor the progress of achievements towards this objective through consultation with the LGBTIQ community and relevant organisations.

The  Council is to:

STRUCTURE

The Council will consist of a minimum of 7 to a maximum of 12 members, excluding the Chair and Deputy Chair. All members, including the positions of Chair and Deputy Chair, will be appointed by Chief Minister.

COMPOSITION AND REPRESENTATION

Council members will consist of individuals from the various LGBTIQ communities in the  ACT whom satisfy the selection criteria.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The Executive Committee consists of the Chair and the Deputy Chair and is responsible to the Chief Minister for leading the Council in the development and execution of its work program.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The  Chief Minister may consider the composition of the Council as a whole when  selecting members to ensure that the Council represents the broad spectrum of  people in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer communities  in the ACT. In addition to ensuring that the Council is composed of members who hold knowledge and expertise about each of these communities, the Council will  include (where appropriate) people with disabilities, people of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people of different ages and from different locations1. The Office for Women and the Office for  Multicultural, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs will be consulted  prior to appointments being made.
The  selection criteria for the Council are:

TERMS OF APPOINTMENT

Appointments  will be for up to 3 years, unless otherwise determined by the Chief Minister.

No  member may serve more than two terms.

The Council may form sub-committees to undertake specific work and / or co-opt  individuals with expertise for particular tasks.

The Chief Minister should aim, where possible, for a 50% rotation of members each  term.

The Chief Minister has the power to appoint persons to casual vacancies in  accordance with the selection criteria.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE AND APOLOGIES

Where a member is unable to attend a meeting, that member should submit an apology to the Secretariat (Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate) and the Chair stating the reason for the absence;

Where  a member does not submit an apology and does not attend a meeting, they will be recorded as absent;

Proxies and/or observers will not be accepted to replace the absent member;

Members’ terms may be cancelled if they fail to attend 3 consecutive meetings (regardless of whether an apology has been recorded).

Members may apply to the Chair for a Leave of Absence of up to three months from the Council. The Chair may grant any such application if it is permissible within the operational needs of the Council.

Applications for a Leave of Absence for longer than three months must be submitted to the Chief Minister and will be granted at the discretion of the Chief Minister.  Where a leave of absence has been granted for more than three months, the Chief  Minister may appoint a casual replacement for the duration of the leave  granted.

VACATION OF OFFICE

Members may resign from the Council at any time provided  they notify the Chief Minister in writing, stating their intention to resign  from the Council, with a copy to the Chair, at least four weeks prior to the  date of resignation. The appointment of replacement members is at the  discretion of the Chief Minister.

ROLE OF THE CHAIR

The role of the Chair is to:

GENERAL MEETINGS

QUORUM

In  order for decisions to be made at meetings there is to be a quorum of no less than half the total current number of members plus one.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Unless indicated otherwise, all Council papers, documents and minutes are confidential.

Members may, on occasion, be provided with other confidential material, which they should not disclose to anyone outside the Council and should treat with the utmost care and discretion.

Breach of these confidentiality requirements may result in termination of a member’s appointment, at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

Final documents, minutes and decisions can be made available to the public under the Open Government Policy.

SECRETARIAT SUPPORT

Secretariat support to the Council will be provided by the Chief Minister, Treasury and  Economic Development Directorate. The Secretariat is responsible for:

OFFICIAL BUSINESS AND THE REPRESENTATION OF COUNCIL VIEWS

The Chair and the Deputy Chair will be deemed to be on Council business when representing the Council at meetings and forums and when attending to the  operation of Council and meeting with ACT Government representatives and such  other business as may reasonably be required in discharging the Council’s Terms of Reference. The Chair and the Deputy Chair may represent existing Council  policy in the public domain, including the media, as needed to discharge the Council’s Terms of Reference.

A  member will be deemed to be on official duties:

Reasonable costs incurred by members during such activities will normally be met by the  per diem Community Engagement payment, but can be considered on a case by case  basis.

Member(s) on official business outside of meetings are expected to reflect the existing  policies of the Council and shall report on the matter to the Council at the  meeting following the event or by a report sent to the Council.

Formal speeches and papers to be delivered by a member on behalf of the Council or the  Chief Minister; submissions to inquiries and committees; and significant  correspondence will be cleared through the Chair prior to their presentation  and a copy made available to the Secretariat.

All contact with the media on behalf of the Council should only be by the Chair, or pursuant to explicit delegation from the Chair. Any information to be released  to the media on behalf of the Council will need to be cleared through the Chair.

BUSINESS BETWEEN MEETINGS

The Chair may write and sign letters and conduct business between meetings on  behalf of the Council, and the Secretariat should be provided with copies of  all correspondence. The Chair may delegate these operations to the Deputy Chair (or other members) as needed. All submissions and significant correspondence  (for example, a response to a statutory body) should be cleared through the Chair.

Members are expected to advise the Secretariat when they have completed agreed actions  arising from previous meetings.

OUT OF SESSION MATTERS

Council  may deal with matters out of session.

Where an urgent response is required from Council members between meetings, the Chair must endeavour to alert members to the relevant business via email, text message or other appropriate means, providing a clear timeframe for response.

Where a matter requiring resolution is to be dealt with in an out of session paper, agreement by two thirds of Council members is required for assent.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST AND CODE OF CONDUCT

Conflict of interest is defined as any instance where a Council member has a direct financial or other interest in matters under consideration or proposed for consideration by the Council.

Council members are expected to observe the highest standards of ethical conduct, including honesty, courtesy, fairness and conflict of interest, as outlined in:

A  member must disclose to the Chair any situation that may give rise to a  conflict of interest, a potential conflict of interest, or a potential  perceived conflict of interest. The Chair will make the determination whether there are adequate grounds for excluding a member from any related discussion or decision making regarding a conflict of interest issue.

Conflicts  of interest that may be sufficient to justify the termination of a member’s  appointment must be considered by the Chief Minister. In such a situation, the Chair has the power to suspend the person’s membership until the Chief Minister’s agreement is obtained.

TERMINATION

The  Chief Minister retains the discretion to terminate a member’s appointment to  the Council upon notice of not less than four weeks for reasons including  breach of confidentiality, breach of attendance requirements, failure to  disclose a conflict of interest and/or breach of the Code of Conduct.

REMUNERATION OF EXPENSE

From commencement of the council, the Chair will be paid at a rate determined by the ACT Remuneration Tribunal per diem.

The Deputy Chair and members will be able to access a $50 Community Engagement  payment, to a maximum of 6 claims per member per annum. The Deputy Chair or members acting in the role of the Chair will be eligible for the Remuneration Payment per diem. Payments will be coordinated by the Secretariat.

Reimbursement is in recognition of the work undertaken by members of the Council to fulfil  its role. Members are expected to actively contribute to the work of the Council, including:

The Community Engagement Payment Policy and claim forms are available from the  Council Secretariat.

CONTACT DETAILS

Member Governance Charter

This Charter operates in conjunction with the Council’s Formal Terms of Reference.

Individual Responsibility

Members acknowledge that they are appointed as individuals, not organisational representatives, and that they are individually accountable for adhering to the charter set out below..

Respect and Courtesy in all Dealings

Members must be respectful in all their dealings with other Members, the Secretariat and any individuals with whom they come into contact with through their Council role. All members agree to maintain a positive and constructive atmosphere at Council meetings by encouraging courtesy, respect and openness.

Council members are expected to observe the highest standards of ethical conduct, including honesty, courtesy and fairness as outlined in the ‘ACT Public Service Code of Conduct’ (October 2012).

Confidentiality

Members acknowledge that unless otherwise indicated, all Council papers and minutes are confidential. From time to time, Council may decide that certain information will be marked for release. Such decisions must be minuted. Because of their Council role Members may, on occasion, be provided with other confidential material, which they should not disclose outside of the Council and should treat with the utmost care and discretion.

Conflicts of Interest

Members must disclose to the Chair any situation that may give rise to a conflict of interest, a potential conflict of interest, or a potential perceived conflict of interest. The Chair will make a determination as to whether there are adequate grounds for excluding a member from any related discussion or decision–making process.

Quorum

Members note that at meetings, decisions may only be made when there is a quorum of no less than half the total current members plus one.

Apologies

Where a member is unable to attend a meeting, that member must submit a timely apology to the Secretariat stating the reason for their absence.

Out-of-Meeting Business

Council may deal with some matters out of session. Where an urgent response is required from Council members between meetings, the Chair must endeavour to alert members to the relevant business via email, text message or other appropriate means, providing a clear timeframe for response. Members agree, where possible, to respond within this timeframe, at a minimum confirming that they have received the correspondence and preferably providing feedback or a ‘nil comment’ response.

Media Engagement

All contact with the media on behalf of the Council should be by the Chair, or pursuant to explicit delegation from the Chair. Any information to be released to the media on behalf of the Council must be cleared through the Chair.

1 Government policy on boards and committees seeks to achieve and maintain 50% representation of women on all government boards and committees, and also increase the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with a disability, persons from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Governance Principles – Appointments, Boards and Committees in the ACT.