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Attorney-General's Office Bill 2005 [H.B. 4, 2005]
April 29, 2005

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Gazetted on the 29th April, 2005

ATTORNEY-GENERAL'S OFFICE BILL 2005

MEMORANDUM


The purpose of this Bill is to establish the Attorney-General's Office Board ("the Board"), to constitute the Attorney-General's Office as a service outside the Public Service, and to provide for the administration of the Office and conditions of service of its members. In more detail the Parts of the Bill provide as follows-

Part I
Clause 1 sets out the Bill's short title and provides for the date of its commencement if it becomes an Act. Clause 2 contains definitions of terms used throughout the Bill.

Part II
Clause 3 provides for the Constitution of Attorney-General's Office. Clause 4 provides for the establishment and composition of the Attorney-General's Office Board. Clause 5 sets out the functions of the Board. Clause 6 encourages the Board to devolve its decision-making powers to the Attorney-General and Deputy Attorneys-General. Clause 7 provides for the Attorney-General to make annual and other reports to Parliament.

Part III
Clause 8 is intended to provide for the security of tenure of the Deputy Attorneys-General along lines similar to those provided under the Constitution for judges. Clause 10 provides for the creation of departments in the Attorney-General's Office and classification of members of Office. It further establishes the Department of Administration and provides for its control and supervision. Clause 11 empowers the Board to engage persons under contract as members of the Office. Clause 12 provides that members of the Attorney-General's Office engaged otherwise than on contract must undergo a probationary period of not less than six or more than twelve months. Clause 13 provides for the Board to fix the conditions of service of members of the Attorney-General's Office. Clause 14 provides for the secondment and deployment of members of the Attorney-General's Office. Board to engage in regular consultations on conditions of service with associations or organisations representing members of the Attorney-General's Office and recognised by the Minister. Clause 15 provides for the secondment and deployment of members of the Office. Clause 16 provides for the recognised association and organisation.

Part IV
This Part provides an outline for the procedure to be followed in connection with the discipline of members of the Attorney General's Office.

Part V
Clause 20 provides for the funds of the Attorney-General's Office. The investment of moneys not immediately required by the Office, the accounts to be kept by the Office and their audit by the Comptroller and Auditor-General are provided for in clauses 21, 22 and 23.

Part VI
Clause 24 applies the State Liabilities Act [Chapter 8:14] to legal proceedings against the Attorney-General's Office. Clause 25 deals with the transfer of pensions benefits of members of the Attorney General's Office payable from the Consolidated Revenue Fund. Clause 26 empowers the Board to make regulations providing for the conditions of service of members of the Attorney-General's Office. Clause 28 as read with the Second Schedule amends Acts whose provisions will be affected by this Bill and Clause 29 contains transitional provisions.


ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE BILL, 2005

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I
PRELIMINARY
Section
1. Short title and date of commencement.
2. Interpretation.

PART II
ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE BOARD
3. Constitution of Attorney-General's Office.
4. Establishment and composition of Attorney General’s Office Board.
5. Functions of Board.
6. Delegation of functions.
7. Reports of Board.

PART III
ADMINISTRATION OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE
8. Tenure of office of Deputy Attorneys-General.
9. Departments and classification of members of Office.
10. Department of Administration.
11. Persons under contract.
12. Probationary period.
13. Conditions of service of members of Office.
14. Consultations re conditions of service of members of Office.
15. Secondment and deployment of members of Office.
16. Recognised associations and organisations.

PART IV
DISCIPLINE OF MEMBERS OF ATTORNEY-GENERAL’S OFFICE
17. Investigation and adjudication of misconduct cases.
18. Removal of members from office.
19. Appeals to Labour Court.

PART V
FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
20. Funds of Office.
21. Investment of moneys not immediately required by Office.
22. Accounts to be kept by Office.
23. Audit of accounts.

PART VI
GENERAL
24. Legal proceedings against Office.
25. Pension rights of members of Office.
26. Service regulations.
27. Act not to affect application of certain other laws.
28. Amendment of Acts.
29. Transitional provisions.

FIRST SCHEDULE: Provisions applicable to the Board.
SECOND SCHEDULE: Amendment of Acts.


Presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs


BILL
To constitute the Attorney-General's Office; establish the Attorney General’s Office Board and to provide for its functions; to provide for its administration and the conditions of service of members of the Attorney-General's Office; to provide for the transfer of persons from the Public Service to the Attorney General’s Office; to make consequential amendments to various Acts; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

WHEREAS sections 76(1), (9), (12) and (14a) of the Constitution provide as follows:

76.(1) There shall be an Attorney-General who shall be the principal legal adviser to the Government and whose office shall be a public office but shall not form part of the Public Service.

(9) There shall be one or more Deputy Attorneys-General whose offices shall be public offices but shall not form part of the Public Service.

(12) A Deputy Attorney-General shall assist the Attorney-General in the exercise of his functions, and shall perform such other functions as the Attorney-General may assign to him.

(14a) The Attorney-General and every Deputy Attorney-General shall hold office on such terms and conditions, including terms and conditions relating to the payment of salary, allowances and pension, as the President may fix, and any amounts so payable shall be charged upon and paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

AND WHEREAS it is desirable to make provision by Act of Parliament—

(a) for certain of the conditions of service fixed by the President under section 76(14a) of the Constitution for the Attorney-General and every Deputy Attorney-General in order to improve their security of tenure; and
(b) for the conditions of service of legally qualified persons and other persons employed in the office of the Attorney-General in order to better attract and retain suitable staff:

NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe as follows:—

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1 Short title and date of commencement
(1) This Act may be cited as the Attorney General’s Office Act, 2005.

(2) This Act shall come into operation on a date to be fixed by the President by statutory instrument.

2 Interpretation
In this Act—

“approved service” means—

(a) the Public Service; or
(b) a uniformed force; or
(c) the service of Parliament; or
(d) the service of a government, statutory body, local authority or institution approved by the Minister, after consultation with the Board, for the purposes of this Act;

“Board” means the Attorney General’s Office Board established by section 4;

“committee” means a committee established by the Board in terms of paragraph 8 of the First Schedule;

"fixed date" means the date fixed in terms of section 1(2) as the date of commencement of this Act;

"member", in relation to the Office, means a member of the Office referred to in section 3;

“Minister” means the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

"Office" means the Attorney-General's Office constituted by the persons referred to in section 3;

“pension benefit” means any pension, commutation of a pension, gratuity or other similar allowance or benefit or any refund of pension contributions, including any interest payable thereon, for a person in respect of his or her service as a member of the Board, or in respect of any ill-health or injury arising out of and in the course of his or her official duties as such a member or for a dependant or personal representative of such person in respect of such service, ill-health or injury or on the death of such person;

"prescribe" means prescribe by service regulations;

“recognised association or organisation” means an association or organisation declared to be a recognised association or recognised organisation, as the case may be, in terms of section 16(1);

“service regulations” means regulations made in terms of section 26 regulating conditions of service of members of the Office.

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