Accounting for a national biosecurity incident response plan
All parties must:
keep records, in auditable form, of eligible costs
be able to substantiate claims for reimbursement in accordance with clause 6.1(j) arising from eligible costs incurred for each national biosecurity incident response they are involved in.
All parties must make these records available, in accordance with clause , when the cost-sharing arrangements are coordinated, as outlined in clause (m).
Coordination of claims for reimbursement
On commencement of this agreement, the NBMG secretariat will ensure that an officer is responsible, as part of their job description, for coordinating and collating claims for reimbursement, in accordance with clause 6.1(s), of a party’s eligible costs arising from a national biosecurity incident response.
The role of the officer employed in accordance with clause 6.2(m)6.3 will be to manage:
the receipt and processing of applications from parties for reimbursement of eligible costs
verification that a party has provided the information required to satisfy the NBMG that
the amount of the claim constitutes eligible costs
those eligible costs have been incurred by the claiming party in connection with the agreed national biosecurity incident response
the referral back to the NBMG for clarification on what constitutes eligible costs if this is unclear
the reimbursement of a party’s eligible costs
records of claims receivable and payable by parties in accordance with the cost-sharing arrangements under this agreement, including requesting that records kept by the parties in accordance with clause 7.11.
The NBMG must decide on the level of resourcing required to undertake the functions outlined in clause 6.2(m)(a) for each national biosecurity incident response.
The cost of coordinating the cost-sharing arrangements, as outlined in clause 6.2(m)(a), are over and above the normal commitments of parties and will be eligible costs under this agreement and shared.
The costs classed as eligible costs will be calculated based on the hourly rate of the relevant officer, and any additional resources for contracted parties to undertake the functions outlined in clause 6.2(m)(a).
Each affected party must provide, at meetings of the NBMCC,or at other agreed times, a written report in the form of Attachment 5F to Schedule 2, setting out their budgeted, committed and actual expenditure relating to the national biosecurity incident response plan.
The NBMCC must promptly report to the NBMG on the progress of a national biosecurity incident response and matters requiring NBMG consideration.
The National Biosecurity Committee (NBC) or the NBMG may request, at any time, a financial or efficiency audit of the implementation of a national biosecurity incident response plan.
If the NBC or the NBMG requests an efficiency audit, the audit will be prepared by an external provider in accordance with item (c) of Attachment 5E to Schedule 2.
If the NBC or the NBMG requests a financial audit an external provider will be appointed to:
provide a formal sign-off on any claims or payments made regarding the cost-sharing of eligible costs
have regard to the matters set out in item of Attachment 5G to Schedule 2.
The costs of undertaking activities in accordance with clauses (h)(j) and (k) will be classed as eligible costs in accordance with items and 3.5 of Schedule 2.
Institutional structures to support this agreement
The parties agree that this agreement will be supported by national institutional arrangements that deliver consolidated, strategic and timely decision-making.
The parties agree to do their best to ensure that:
their appointed representatives to such bodies and
any of their employees and officers who are given roles or functions under the agreement,
carry out those roles and functions as though they themselves were signatories to the agreement.
Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers responsible for biosecurity matters
The parties must ensure that the Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers responsible for biosecurity matters, include in their meetings on biosecurity issues, a consideration to consolidate their individual biosecurity agendas.
The parties must ensure that the Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers responsible for biosecurity matters engage other ministers on biosecurity matters that may be relevant to the business of those other ministers.
National Biosecurity Committee
The NBC’s role includes:
developing strategic national biosecurity policy
consulting with other national committees on biosecurity matters that may be relevant to their business
implementing this agreement
monitoring the implementation of this agreement, including contributing to a review of this agreement in accordance with clause Part VIII..
The NBC will carry out its role in accordance with Australia’s international rights and obligations.
Establishing a National Biosecurity Management Consultative Committee
Upon notification of an outbreak by the reporting point, the parties will establish an outbreak-specific NBMCC.
The NBMCC established for an outbreak of a pest or disease will:
advise the NBMG on various matters concerning the outbreak and any resulting national biosecurity incident response; and effectively and efficiently coordinate the technical aspects of that response, including the tasks identified in clause Part V.
be constituted, have roles and objectives, and meet and conduct its affairs in the manner set out in
perform the obligations specified in this agreement.
in relation to that outbreak.
The NBMCC will carry out its roles in accordance with Australia’s international rights and obligations.
Establishing a National Biosecurity Management Group
An outbreak-specific NBMG will be convened on the request of any party or on the advice of the NBMCC in accordance with step 5 of clause 6.1.
The NBMG established for a pest or disease outbreak will:
be the peak national decision-making forum, through which parties will seek decisions on, but not limited to
whether the outbreak is of national significance
whether a national biosecurity incident response is technically feasible and cost beneficial
whether the outbreak requires a national biosecurity incident response
agreeing to the national biosecurity incident response plan
cost-sharing in accordance with the national biosecurity incident response plan
be constituted, have roles and objectives, and meet and conduct its affairs in the manner set out in Schedule 4
perform the obligations specified in this agreement
in relation to that outbreak.
The NBMG will carry out its role in accordance with Australia’s international rights and obligations.
Legislative and administrative arrangements
Review of existing legislative and administrative arrangements
Each party will review its legislation, regulations and administrative arrangements and do their best to ensure they support the commitments in this agreement. The parties will be guided by Schedule 3 in undertaking the reviews.
Reporting on legislative and administrative arrangements
Each party will prepare and provide to the NBC, within two years of becoming a party to this agreement, a report setting out the results of the reviews undertaken in accordance with clause 8, and any proposed amendments or new legislation, regulations or administrative arrangements, including a timetable for their implementation.
Managing the agreement
Representatives of the parties
On commencement of this agreement, each party
will nominate a representative who will be responsible for administering this agreement on behalf of that party
must notify the NBC of a change to the party’s representative within 30 days.
Each party will notify, through their representatives, any changes to their circumstances relating to this agreement, including, for example, withdrawing from it.
Schedules to agreement
The schedules to this agreement have the same status as the main part of this agreement.
The process for resolving disputes
If a dispute arises under this agreement between any or all of the parties, those parties will work together to resolve the dispute using the following procedures:
initial discussions will be undertaken by the relevant officials on the NBMG, and will be conducted in good faith and with a view to resolving the dispute
if the dispute is not resolved within 60 days an independent mediator may be employed to assist the disputing parties in resolving the dispute. When undertaking this option the parties will
agree on a suitably qualified person to undertake the mediation process
share any costs for the mediation equally, unless otherwise recommended by the person conducting the mediation or alternative dispute resolution process.
If mediation does not resolve the dispute, the matter will be referred to the ministers responsible for administering the disputing parties.
Obligation to continue to perform
Despite the existence of a dispute each party must continue to meet its obligations under this agreement.
Commencement and termination
This agreement will commence operation on the date it is signed by the Commonwealth and at least one of the state or territory parties.
The term of this agreement is from commencement until termination.
This agreement is terminated if:
there are less than two parties to the agreement; or
the Commonwealth is no longer a party to the agreement.
Withdrawal from this agreement
If a party wishes to withdraw from this agreement it must give notice to each other party and such notice must:
state the party’s intention to withdraw from the agreement
set out the party’s reasons for the withdrawal; and
specify the date on which the withdrawal will be effective; which must be no earlier than six (6) months from the date of the notice.
Amendments to this agreement
Amendments to be in writing
The parties may vary this agreement only by way of an exchange of letters between all parties through the Commonwealth, State and Territory Ministers responsible for biosecurity matters.