During an election period, and at all other times, work expenses claimed under the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR Act) may only be claimed for conducting your parliamentary business, and cannot be used for any commercial purpose.
This page does not cover travel related matters or reporting arrangements (such as quarterly expenditure or monthly management reports). Information in relation to travel by parliamentarians and their employees or reporting is available from the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA).
All queries regarding Commonwealth-funded office and mobile ICT equipment should be directed to the Department of Parliamentary Services' (DPS) 2020 Service Desk.
The cessation checklist (see related resources) is designed to assist you with the cessation process.
Annual budget for office expenses
Can I send out a 'farewell' newsletter after the election is called?
No. In the case of a Senator who is not re-elected, the last date that the office budget can be accessed for printing or distribution is the day before polling day.
You must ensure that any 'farewell' letter or newsletter is printed and distributed prior to your term ceasing.
If you have ordered, but not taken delivery of any printed items at the close of the day before polling day, you will need to cancel the order, if possible. If a final printed product is received on or after the date of the Federal election, the Commonwealth is unable to meet the cost and the invoice will be returned to you for payment.
You should therefore ensure that any material is printed and distributed prior to polling day.
What should I do with my remaining letterhead and other personalised stationery?
As you will be unable to use this stationery for official purposes beyond the date of the Federal election, the contracted property service provider can provide secure/confidential bins on request for the disposal of these items. When you dispose of any remaining stocks, care should be taken to ensure that it cannot be fraudulently used by others.
What should I do with any remaining flags and other nationhood material?
Remaining stocks must remain in the office. Flags and constituent request items are purchased at Commonwealth expense and provided for parliamentary business.
Invoices for flags and other nationhood material ordered on or after polling day will be forwarded to you for payment.
What should I do with any remaining office stationery and supplies?
Remaining stocks, including toner and printer cartridges and blank paper supplies, must remain in the office for the incoming Senator. Office requisites and stationery items are purchased at Commonwealth expense, and are provided for parliamentary and electorate business.
Invoices for office stationery and supplies ordered on or after polling day will be forwarded to you for payment.
Do I need to cancel the delivery of newspapers and subscription services to electronic publications?
Yes. If you wish to continue receiving any newspapers or maintain subscription services, please arrange to make payment personally.
If you wish to cancel the service, please advise your supplier as soon as possible after the declaration of the poll.
What happens to my Australia Post account and to the funds on my postage meter?
Your Australia Post account is a personal arrangement, and if you wish to close this account you should contact Australia Post directly.
Any remaining funds on your postage meter from the close of the day before polling day will be repaid to the Australian Government and your MaPS state or territory manager can assist with this process.
Can I keep my PO Box number?
No. The PO Box number will be retained by MaPS.
If you wish to have your mail redirected, you will need to make arrangements directly with Australia Post at your own expense.
Do I need to close my Commonwealth-funded website?
Yes, this should be closed as soon as practical.
If I am a Senator who is not re-elected, when do my employees cease?
For electorate employees of a state or territory Senator (other than those Senators who also hold an office), the following arrangements apply:
|Ongoing employees||Employment will cease at the declaration of the poll.|
|Non-ongoing employees||Employment will cease at the earlier of:
|Casual employees||Employment will cease at the earlier of:
During this period, employees may assist you to finalise your affairs in the electorate office.
For personal employees or employees of a Senator who also holds an office, MaPS will write to employees separately regarding their individual circumstances.
See the information on Federal elections and MOP(S) Act employees for more details.
Can I direct my staff to travel after the expiration of my term?
No. You are no longer able to direct staff to travel from the day of the Federal election.
However, MaPS is able to approve direct travel between the electorate office and Canberra in limited and special circumstances (for example, to assist with the packing up of the Parliament House office or to return to their work base if an employee is travelling at the time of the declaration of poll).
Approval is required from MaPS prior to travel taking place.
Can I employ relief or other staff after the Federal election to help with packing up the office?
No. From the day of the Federal election, you are no longer able to employ staff under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 and are therefore unable to engage any new staff or make any changes to arrangements for existing staff.
Only staff who were engaged and commenced prior to polling day may assist with packing up the office.
Can I direct my employees to work from the party’s campaign headquarters?
Yes. By convention, personal and electorate employees may undertake activities in support of your own re-election but not in support of the election or re-election of others. In addition, electorate employees may not be directed to undertake party political duties(see Determination 2016/15).
You should satisfy yourself that your electorate employees are not undertaking party political duties and that you are able to defend the duties undertaken by all of your employees. Directing an employee to assist the party’s campaign in general may be defensible. The duties of an employee become less defensible to the extent that they are in support of the election of another person and not in support of your own re-election.
Office accommodation and resources
What do I need to do in my electorate office?
Your MaPS state or territory manager can provide assistance with relocating effects (other than Commonwealth-owned items) from the electorate office and general advice on vacating the office. Boxes can be provided for you to pack effects, and a one-off removal of your items and papers to your private residence (or other place) can be arranged. You will need to meet costs of insurance of personal items, including during transit.
It is recommended that you commence clearing your office as early as practical to ensure it is handed over to MaPS in good condition.
The contracted property services provider can provide additional general rubbish/recycling bins and secure/confidential bins for this purpose. An office handover and stock-take will be conducted by MaPS prior to your retirement. All Commonwealth owned assets that may be off-site, including cameras and digital/video equipment, must be returned to the office.
As office stationery and supplies, minor office equipment and accessories for ICT are purchased at Commonwealth expense, and are provided for parliamentary business, items must remain in the office.
During the office handover, all keys to the electorate office, PO Box (if applicable) and security passes must be returned to MaPS.
Please contact the Department of Parliamentary Services' 2020 Service Desk regarding the return of Commonwealth-funded mobile ICT equipment (other than any equipment directly leased or hired by you). These items may also be provided to MaPS at the handover for return to DPS.
You should ensure procedures for clearing out the office do not introduce risks to the health and safety of employees or volunteers, particularly with regard to manual handling. The workplace inspection checklist (see related resources) contains a number of considerations for manual handling.
What do I need to do in my Parliament House office?
You can contact the Department of the Senate regarding the removal of your items from your Parliament House office.
Which records should be kept and/or destroyed?
The National Archives of Australia (NAA) provides advice to senators and members on the preservation, storage and disposal of records.
When do I need to vacate my electorate office?
You need to vacate your electorate office as soon as practical after the declaration of the poll.
When do I need to vacate my ministerial or senior office holder office?
You need to vacate the office provided to you as a Minister or senior office holder (where relevant) at, or as soon as practical after, the time that you cease to hold that office.
Who can I talk to about my remuneration and any resettlement allowance?
The Department of the Senate is responsible for the payment of your salary, electorate allowance and any resettlement allowance.
MaPS can assist you in relation to private-plated vehicles and residential internet and telephone services. Please contact your MaPS state or territory manager for further assistance.
Who can I talk to about my superannuation?
The Parliamentary Superannuation Team in the Department of Finance is available to give members of the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme information on their superannuation.
If you joined Parliament after 9 October 2004 will need to contact your nominated superannuation provider.
When do I return my private-plated vehicle?
Your MaPS state or territory manager will discuss arrangements for your vehicle to be collected or dropped off on the day of the dissolution of the House of Representatives to ensure that you do not personally incur any lease costs. All optional extras must be returned with the vehicle including spare keys, fuel cards and accessories. Care should be taken to remove personal effects from the vehicle. Please ensure that the vehicle is returned in a clean, sound, and serviceable condition. This assists in ensuring that the Commonwealth does not incur additional charges for unreasonable wear and tear.
If there is any damage to the vehicle, however minor, please ensure that it is repaired in advance of returning the vehicle (contact sgfleet's 24 hour help desk on 1800 009 082).
Can I buy my private-plated vehicle?
Yes, but only if the lease has expired or is due to expire shortly.
If you are considering purchasing your vehicle, please contact the MaPS VIP manager as early as possible on (03) 6242 2102 or email MPSVIP@sgfleet.com. Any purchase of a vehicle is a private arrangement between you and the lease provider, with payment made directly to the provider. Please be aware that there may be costs involved with the purchase, such as inspection fees, transfer, registration and duty fees, which must be met at your personal expense.
In the event that you decide to purchase your vehicle and arrangements are not finalised by the end of the lease or the end of your term, you must return the vehicle to MaPS until the sale is finalised. Personal arrangements must be made for vehicle insurance once the purchase is finalised, to take effect from the date of collection.
Fuel cards cannot be used for further purchases and must be returned with the vehicle or given to your MaPS state or territory manager.
What happens to my residential internet and telephone services?
If the service account is in your name, no action is required.
If the account is in MaPS’ name, arrangements will be made for the transfer of the account to you from the date of the dissolution of the Senate for a State Senator and the day before polling day for a Territory Senator. You can discuss these arrangements with your MaPS state or territory office.