(1) This section applies to:
(a) the office of President of the Commission; and
(b) the office, under the Public Service Act 1999 , of Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs.
(2) The Governor-General may appoint a commissioner to act in both of the offices to which this section applies:
(a) during a period, or during all periods, when there are vacancies in both of those offices; or
(b) if another commissioner holds both of those offices--during any period, or during all periods, when that other commissioner:
(i) is absent from duty or from Australia;
(ii) is suspended under section 188; or
(iii) is, for any other reason, unable to perform the functions of those offices.
(3) An appointment of a commissioner under this section may be expressed to have effect only in such circumstances as are specified in the instrument of appointment.
(4) A commissioner appointed to act during vacancies in both of the offices to which this section applies shall not continue so to act for more than 12 months.
(5) An appointment under subsection (2), by reason of vacancies in both of the offices to which this section applies, shall not be made after the expiration of a period of 12 months after the date of the occurrence of the vacancies or, if the vacancies did not both occur on the same date, after the date of the occurrence of the vacancy in the office that last became vacant.
(6) Where a commissioner is acting in both of the offices to which this section applies in accordance with paragraph (2)(b), and those offices both become vacant at the same time while the commissioner is so acting, the commissioner may continue so to act until the Governor-General otherwise directs, the vacancy in either of the offices is filled or a period of 12 months from the date on which those vacancies occurred expires, whichever first happens.
(7) Subject to this section, the Governor-General may:
(a) determine the terms and conditions of appointment of a commissioner appointed under this section; and
(b) at any time terminate such an appointment.
(8) A person appointed under subsection (2):
(a) shall, in the capacity of a person appointed to act as Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs, be paid such remuneration and allowances as the Governor-General determines; and
(b) shall not be paid remuneration or allowances in the capacity of commissioner or in the capacity of Acting President.
(9) For the purpose of payment of allowances under paragraph (8)(a) to a person appointed under subsection (2), the duties appertaining to the office of Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs shall be deemed to include the duties appertaining to the office of commissioner and to the office of President of the Commission.
(10) The appointment of a commissioner under this section ceases to have effect if the commissioner resigns the appointment by writing signed by the commissioner and delivered to the Governor-General.
(11) While a commissioner is acting in the offices to which this section applies, the commissioner has, and may exercise, all the powers, and shall perform all the functions, of the holder of each of those offices.
(12) The validity of anything done by or in relation to a commissioner appointed under this section shall not be called in question on the ground that the occasion for the commissioner's appointment had not arisen, that there is a defect or irregularity in or in connection with the commissioner's appointment, that the commissioner's appointment (not being an appointment to act during vacancies in both of the offices to which this section applies) had ceased to have effect or that the occasion for the commissioner to act had not arisen or had ceased.
(13) The Governor-General may appoint a person who holds an appointment as acting commissioner under section 191 to act in both the offices to which this section applies as if the reference in subsection (2) of this section to a commissioner (first occurring) included a reference to a person holding an appointment as an acting commissioner under section 191 and, if the Governor-General does so:
(a) subsections (3) to (12), inclusive, of this section apply to and in relation to the person as if the references in those subsections to a commissioner included references to an acting commissioner; and
(b) without limiting the application of those subsections in accordance with paragraph (a) of this subsection, the person so appointed is not entitled to act in those offices in pursuance of the appointment under subsection (2) of this section at any time when the person is not acting in an office of commissioner in pursuance of an appointment under section 191.