The creation of an ACT administrator - the equivalent of a state governor - could help the territory increase its autonomy and power.
In a review of ACT's branches of government, the federal government's intervening power has been labelled one of the most significant constraints on good governance in the territory, limiting its autonomy and power.
The review, by professor John Halligan, said the ACT had an unfulfilled system of government because it continued to operate under rules set by the federal government.
One option to improve the ACT's status was to consider the case for an administrator.
"This would presumably draw on the Northern Territory's experience where the administrator is appointed by the governor-general, but in practice, performs a similar constitutional role to state governors, and has other statutory powers as well as non-partisan ceremonial and civic duties," the report said.
ACT's rights have come under increased scrutiny in recent months, with speculation the federal government could try to overturn recently passed laws that will make possessing small quantities of cannabis legal as of January 31.
Apart from the lack of an administrator, the ACT's autonomy was also affected by the powers of the Commonwealth to act through legislation, the operation of the Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories and the role of the National Capital Authority.
A recent jurisdictional issue raised in the report was that the integrity commission does not cover ACT Policing as it is part of the Australian Federal Police. The Commonwealth Government rejected a proposal for the commission to have jurisdiction over members.
The report, titled Review of the Performance of the Three Branches of Government, was recently tabled in ACT Legislative Assembly.
The report also said the Legislative Assembly was too small for the combined local and state functions.
"The pressures on MLAs and ministers have continued because of the complex range of responsibilities of the city-state, and the absence of an upper house and a lower tier of government matters," it read.
It said the ministry needed to be larger to accommodate the range, diversity and complexity of the government's functions.
As an alternative, it suggested the ACT introduce citizens councils or groups that are given local responsibilities without the status of a local government.
"This allows municipal roles to be assigned to that level, while state functions can be handled on an at-large basis," the report read.
It also suggested changing how portfolios were allocated to ministers, saying they should be better aligned with government directorates. It noted Deputy Chief Minister Yvette Berry's five portfolios involved six of the seven directorates.
The report said there was a view among ACT's court staff the government did not fully appreciate the nature and meaning of independence.
It said an example was that the government still issued press releases on behalf of the courts.
There was also contention about magistrates and judges being included in public officers open to scrutiny by the soon to be in operation integrity commission.
Some saw this as trampling on judicial independence and in breach of the separation of powers, while others believed the ACT Judicial Council already provided sufficient oversight.
The review, conducted every four years, was based on discussions with senior people in the Assembly, government and the courts, and advice from other participants inside and outside the ACT system of government.