By Anne Tiernan, Jennifer Menzies
During this monograph, Anne Tiernan and Jennifer Menzies capably chart the customarily unsafe terrain of the ‘caretaker interval’ that ensues from the time an election is named until eventually a brand new govt is shaped. this can be a panorama fraught with political and administrative risks - quite for public servants who're required to ‘mind the store’ and preserve the fundamental equipment of presidency going. The conventions characterize an ancient accretion of customized, perform and principles, usually leavened with uncertainty. In tackling their topic, Tiernan and Menzies draw upon their shared earlier reviews as public servants and ministerial ‘staffers’ in addition to the top criteria of educational scholarship - it is a ‘must learn’ for politicians, public servants and scholars of presidency.
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Additional resources for Caretaker Conventions in Australasia: Minding the Shop for Government
The adherence to three caretaker principles is involved in any decision concerning a major policy matter. They are: (1) not taking a decision for which the Government (or minister) cannot formally be called to account in Parliament; (2) not binding an incoming government to a course of action; and (3) avoiding a decision which is a matter of contention between the Government and the Opposition. Nevertheless, the emphasis on what constitutes a policy decision is not consistent across all jurisdictions.
A level of prescription contained in a guidance document is usually an indication that it has been an area of controversy in the past. In Victoria in 1999 an appointment became an issue because, as noted in Chapter 3, the results of the election were not clear for nearly a month after polling day. The appointment of a new Auditor-General had been approved and announced before the election. Because the appointee was relocating from New Zealand, the formality of approval by the Governor-in-Council did not happen until he had taken up his position.
The Queensland guidance notes that care should be exercised during the period between the announcement of the election and the dissolution of the Legislative Assembly, this being a particularly sensitive time requiring judgement and common sense. The New South Wales guidance—mindful of the fixed parliamentary terms in that State—specifies that caretaker conventions commence when the term of the Legislative Assembly expires. In Victoria and Tasmania, the period commences at the time the Legislative Assembly expires or is dissolved.