Part Six Other Matters - 6.1 Supplement Capped Entitlements Exceptional Circumstances

6.1 Supplement of Capped Entitlements in Exceptional Circumstances (SCE)

6.1.1 The Entitlement

A Senator or Member may be entitled to a supplement of a capped entitlement when:

  • the Senator or Member has expended a substantial part of a capped entitlement  in the financial year in which a disaster, as defined by the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997, has occurred
  • because of the disaster, the Senator or Member requires a supplement to the capped entitlement to conduct his or her electorate or parliamentary business1.

For the purpose of this entitlement, ‘disaster’ means:2

a serious disruption to a community or region caused by a rapid onset event that:

  • threatens or causes death, injury or damage to property or the environment; and
  • requires significant and coordinated multi-agency and community response.

The term ‘substantial’ is not defined for the purposes of this entitlement. In considering if a Senator or Member has expended a substantial part of a capped entitlement, the Minister will have regard to the proportion of the Senator or Member’s capped entitlement use in relation to the point in time of the financial year that the disaster occurred.

If approved, the supplement will be provided, and can only be accessed, in the financial year in which the disaster occurred. The supplement cannot be carried over into a subsequent financial year. Any use of the supplement will be recovered from the corresponding entitlement at the beginning of the subsequent financial year unless the Minister agrees otherwise. The Minister has the discretion to decide whether circumstances justify waiving the requirement to recover the amount of the supplement used. However, this discretion will only be exercised when the Minister is satisfied that a recovery from the following financial year’s capped entitlement/s would leave a Senator or Member with insufficient resources to address his or her particular circumstances.

Capped Entitlements

Under the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997 and the determinations made by the Minister in accordance with the Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997,3  the supplement may only be used for the same purpose or purposes for which a capped entitlement can be used.

Senators and Members may claim a supplement for the following capped entitlements:

  • printing and communications
  • office requisites and stationery
  • Australian flags
  • printed material related to national symbols
  • charter transport
  • overnight stays in a Senator’s State or Territory or a Member’s electorate
  • employment of relief staff
  • electorate staff travel.

Information in relation to access to the supplement can be sought from your Entitlements Manager.

6.1.2 Amount of the Entitlement

The Minister can approve an amount of up to $20,000 in a financial year to supplement a Senator or Member’s capped entitlements.

Once approved by the Minister, a Senator or Member can access the supplement for a particular purpose subject to meeting certain conditions in the financial year in which the disaster occurred.

Expenditure on the supplement of capped entitlements in exceptional circumstances is shown in a Senator or Member’s monthly management report and included in the six-monthly report on Parliamentarians’ expenditure on entitlements paid for by Finance and published on the Finance website.

Examples illustrating how the supplement entitlement operates, are set out in the Supplement of Capped Entitlements in Exceptional Circumstances – Administrative Procedures referred to in section 6.1.3 below.

6.1.3 Administrative Procedures

Applications for the supplement of a entitlement should be made to the Special Minister of State (the Minister) in accordance with the Administrative Procedures as soon as practicable, preferably within thirty business days of the disaster occurring.4 A pro-forma is available to assist Senators and Members with the application.

Footnotes

1  Subregulation 3EA(1), Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997.

2  Subregulation 3EA(9), Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997.

3  Parliamentary Entitlements (Supplement of Capped Entitlements) Determination 2012 (No. 1).

4  Subregulation 3EA(3), Parliamentary Entitlements Regulations 1997.