Opinion Number. 182

Subject

CUSTOMS WHETHER LAWFUL TO PROVIDE FOR APPLICATION OF PENALTIES AND FORFEITURES TO PURPOSES OTHER THAN REVENUE WITHOUT AUTHORITY OF GOVERNOR-GENERAL

Key Legislation

CUSTOMS ACT 1901. s. 264 : COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 1902. s. 78

Date
Client
The Auditor-General

The Auditor-General:

The Auditor-General asks to be advised on the following question:

Is it necessary for the authority of the Governor-General to be obtained under the provisions of section 78 sub-section (3) of the Commonwealth Public Service Act 1902, in cases where payments of money to officers are made from penalties and forfeitures recovered under any Customs Act, and which moneys are paid under the direction of the Minister as provided in section 264 of the Customs Act 1901?

Section 264 of the Customs Act 1901 is as follows:

All penalties and forfeitures recovered under any Customs Act shall be applied to such purposes and in such proportions as the Minister may direct.

A more recent Act-the Commonwealth Public Service Act 1902-provides as follows (section 78 (3)):

Payments of money to officers other than for salary or prescribed transfer or travelling allowances or expenses shall be made only under the authority of the Governor-General.

In my opinion, the authority of the Governor-General under section 78 (3) of the Public Service Act is required for the payment of money to officers in accordance with a direction of the Minister under section 264 of the Customs Act.(1)

[Vol. 4, p. 262]

(1) This opinion was published in Commonwealth of Australia, Pari. Papers 1904, Vol. II, p. 1347.