This is a single section from Chapter 17. Read the full chapter here.

Is legislation required to create a new public body?

Legislation should only be used to create a new public body when it is required by law or is necessary to ensure that the body possesses the necessary powers, authority, and appropriate governance arrangements.


Legislation is required to establish a new tribunal, Crown Agent, Autonomous Crown Entity, or Independent Crown Entity (see below for a discussion of these forms). However, it is not always necessary to establish a public service department, a departmental agency, or any of the other organisational forms mentioned below. Whether or not legislation is required must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, having regard to the need to:


  • confer a particular function (whether statutory or otherwise);
  • grant the entity powers it would not otherwise have by virtue of being a legal person;
  • establish appropriate governance and accountability arrangements;
  • give effect to international obligations;
  • give statutory recognition to the body;
  • establish a statutory officer within a public sector agency, who will have the task of exercising specific statutory functions or powers.

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