Part Three Accommodation and Office Facilities - 3.3 Electorate Office Equipment

3.3  Electorate Office Equipment

3.3.1  The Provision

Electorate offices are fully equipped to enable Senators and Members to carry out their Parliamentary, electorate and official business. It is expected that an incoming Senator or Member will use the equipment allocated to the outgoing Senator or Member.

The standard provision of equipment includes:

  • information and communication technology equipment (see section 3.4)
  • telephone services (see section 3.5.1)
  • mobile telephone services (see section 3.5.2)
  • a facsimile machine with a dedicated line
  • a postage meter
  • a folding and enveloping machine (alternatively, costs of up to $500 per annum for folding and enveloping services from a commercial provider may be claimed)
  • a document shredder.

A refrigerator, a microwave oven, a television to the value of $900 (which may include a multi-function television), and a coffee machine may also be provided. A dishwasher may be installed when a new electorate office is fitted out.

A portable induction hearing loop device is available on request to make an electorate office more accessible to constituents with hearing impairments. An electorate office with a hearing loop available may display the International Deafness Symbol to advertise the availability of the facility.

Office equipment may be purchased or leased, and is ordered and supplied to electorate offices by the relevant Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager. Where applicable, maintenance contracts are also arranged by the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager.

Replacement of Equipment

A continual program is managed by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services to replace equipment when it has reached the end of its service life. Replacement of all equipment has regard to the need to provide Senators and Members with effective and properly functioning office tools in accordance with the provision, balanced against the need to ensure proper management of Commonwealth resources.

Provision, Operation and Maintenance of Equipment

The Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager is responsible for arranging the supply, repair and maintenance of office equipment, excluding information and technology equipment, and for arranging training for employees who operate the equipment. Senators and Members are responsible for ordering consumable items, using the contracted suppliers’ online ordering system for office requisites and stationery (see section 3.7). As goods and services provided to Senators and Members are usually subject to arrangements with contracted suppliers, Senators and Members may not procure goods from an alternative source, without first discussing the matter with their Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager.

Assets Register of Office Equipment

Ministerial and Parliamentary Services maintains a record of all office equipment provided to electorate offices, on an official assets register, and carries out stocktakes at regular intervals. All office equipment provided at Commonwealth expense remains the property of the Commonwealth. Large items must not be removed from the electorate office, and portable items must be returned, as advised by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, when a Senator or Member’s eligibility for that equipment ceases.

3.3.2  Privately-Owned Office Equipment

Senators and Members may, at their own expense, and in consultation with the relevant Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager, install privately-owned equipment in electorate offices (such as items purchased using their electorate allowance).

However, to protect the integrity of official networks and equipment, privately owned computer equipment and software must not be installed, unless it is stand alone. Ministerial and Parliamentary Services does not maintain or support privately-owned equipment.

3.3.3  FaxStream

FaxStream is a service that can send fast facsimile transmissions of high quality to a large number of fax numbers by accessing a single service provider number. The cost of FaxStream is not met at Commonwealth expense and Senators and Members are personally responsible for meeting the costs of all use of FaxStream services.