Strengthening Legal Advice to the Commonwealth Media Release

Media Release

Attorney-General
Senator The Hon George Brandis QC

1 July 2015

Today the Australian Government completed the consolidation of the Australian Government Solicitor into the Attorney-General’s Department. The consolidation will strengthen the delivery of first class, seamless legal and legal policy advice to the Commonwealth.

The Attorney-General’s Department is the central legal policy department of the Commonwealth. AGS is the nation’s leading provider of legal services to government. Consolidation will result in a department that is the single source of authoritative advice on key Commonwealth legal and legal policy issues, and is well-placed to deliver on the core legal business of the Commonwealth and the most critical matters of state.

The Judiciary Amendment Act 2015 supports the consolidation by ensuring that there is minimal disruption to the operations of AGS and that it maintains its independent functional identity and name.

I look forward to working with AGS in their ongoing role led by the new Australian Government Solicitor, Mr Ian Govey AM.

The Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department, Mr Chris Moraitis PSM, will shortly initiate a review of Commonwealth legal services to better organise, coordinate and align the provision of legal advice to government. The review will also examine the role of in house legal practices in Commonwealth departments and agencies.

The consolidation implements decisions made as part of the Government’s Smaller Government Reform Agenda, which was announced at the 2014 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook in December 2014.