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Capped budget for office expenses

Overarching obligations

The Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 imposes overarching obligations.
The dominant purpose and value for money tests and specified conditions must be met. See s25, 26, 27, 28.
The Commonwealth is not liable to pay an expense or provide a public resource where you contravene any of these obligations (s29, PBR Act).

Annual budget for office expenses

The annual budgets for office expenses for 2020-21 are:

Senators $113,229.78
Members of the House of Representatives $141,468.96 plus a distribution component that is a product of:
$1.054 multiplied by the number of enrolled voters within the Member’s electorate

Annual budgets for office expenses are subject to annual indexation in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Certain items are not subject to the annual budget, including:

  • approved items provided for work health and safety reasons (such as document holders or footrests)
  • toilet paper, paper hand towels for bathroom use and hand-wash soap pump where these items are not provided by the contracted property services provider or landlord
  • some items provided by portfolio departments for Ministerial offices
  • newspapers, office stationery and supplies provided by the House Departments at Parliament House.

No carry forward: any unused portion of your annual budget for office expenses will not be carried forward to the following financial year.

No financial limits on individual expense categories: no financial limits apply to individual categories of office expenses. However, non-financial conditions and restrictions apply to certain expenses.

Administration of payments

Ministerial and Parliamentary Services pays suppliers or reimburses the person nominated by you on the basis of claims you have submitted or orders billed to your account with the Commonwealth’s contracted supplier.

Your annual budget for office expenses is debited based on the date the goods or services are received, and not the date an order is placed / invoiced or a claim is submitted.

Claims will be paid only to the limit of your annual budget for office expenses. Any expenditure over the limit is your personal responsibility, and any overpayment is recoverable as a debt due to the Commonwealth. If you do not repay the overpayment within 28 days of the claim, a 25 per cent penalty loading may apply.

Claiming office expenses

Last updated: 16 July 2020