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Office stationery and supplies, minor office equipment and ICT accessories

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).

For the conduct of your parliamentary business, and subject to the limit of your annual budget for office expenses, you may purchase:

  • office stationery and supplies
  • minor office equipment, including accessories, consumables, repairs and maintenance
  • accessories for information and communications technology (such as storage devices, portable power banks and camera lenses for mobile devices).

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 of House departments for Ministerial offices or additional offices for presiding officers
  • office stationery and supplies provided by House Departments at Parliament House offices.

Expenditure is reported in your monthly management reports and quarterly expenditure reports.

Dominant purpose

You may only use your annual budget to purchase office expenses for the dominant purpose of your parliamentary business. You must not use the budget for the dominant purpose of providing personal benefit to, or pursuing the commercial purposes of, yourself or another person. Commercial purpose is defined as a ‘purpose relating to the derivation of financial gain or reward’ (see s5 Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 ).

For example, you should not purchase items only because you wish to distribute them to constituents or community groups, in bulk or individually.

For detailed information on restrictions see Office expenses – restrictions.

Value for money

The contracted office stationery and supplies provider is contractually obligated to provide competitively priced office items.

However, you will still need to consider whether you need a particular type of product to conduct your parliamentary business when assessing its value for money.

ICT accessories

ICT accessories to be used with equipment provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) or on the APH network should not be purchased unless they are compatible with the relevant equipment and/or systems. Contact DPS if you are in doubt about the accessories you wish to purchase, to ensure that you are able to use them as intended.

Work health and safety considerations

You should be mindful not to introduce work health and safety risks to your office. For example:

  • Analgesics and other forms of medication are not claimable from the annual budget for office expenses. The Work Health and Safety (First Aid in the Workplace) Code of Practice 2015 provides that ‘Workers requiring prescribed and over-the-counter medications should carry their own medication for their personal use as necessary’.
  • Tools or tool kits should not be purchased to undertake tasks that should be carried out by a qualified tradesperson or by the contracted property services provider.
  • Chair mats may only be purchased if recommended following an ergonomic assessment.

Ordering via the contracted service provider

Items available from the contracted service provider are aligned with whole‑of‑government procurement arrangements and are therefore wide-ranging in nature. Although a particular product may be available to purchase from the provider, it may not be claimable under the PBR framework. If in doubt whether an item may be claimed, please contact the MaPS helpdesk.

You may order via the Commonwealth's contracted office stationery and supply provider using the COS online portal (COSnet).

For more information see Office stationery and supplies – ordering via Complete Office Supplies Pty Ltd (COS).

Ordering from your choice of provider

Alternatively, you may purchase office expenses from your choice of supplier, although to establish value for money for similar items, comparison with items available through the contracted service provider is expected.

Claims for payment to a non-contracted supplier, or for reimbursement of costs should be sent to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) electronically via the Parliamentary Expenses Management System (PEMS). PEMS provides efficient, digital claims processing at any time of the day or night. If PEMS is unable to be used, complete a 'certification and request for payment, office stationery supplies, minor office equipment, ICT accessories, publications and mobile electorate office expenses' form (parliamentarian only to certify claim) and include an itemised tax invoice and proof of payment.

For all items claimed from the annual budget for office expenses, tax invoices must meet the requirements as per guidance issued by the Australian Tax Office.

Claiming office expenses

PEMS log on

Form 155 - Certification and request for payment, office stationery supplies, minor office equipment, ICT accessories, publications and mobile electorate office expenses

Issuing tax invoices

Delivery and receipt

Office stationery and supplies can be delivered to your electorate office/s, privately-funded electorate office or satellite office (where applicable). If there is a change or additional delivery address for your office expense orders, your State Office Manager will provide the information to the relevant teams.

When you receive a delivery, you should ensure that items received are reconciled against the delivery docket. The docket should be retained for your office records with the delivery date and "Goods Received" noted on the docket for your reference.

For details of delivery, receipt and returns when ordering via the contracted service provider, see: Office stationery and supplies – ordering via Complete Office Supplies Pty Ltd (COS).

Purchasing items with nominated suppliers

The following items must be purchased from nominated suppliers:

  • consumables (including toners and staples) for Konica Minolta MFDs must be ordered through Konica Minolta
  • Lexmark printer toner cartridges must be genuine Lexmark products
  • Lexmark MS812 imaging units are provided through the Department of Parliamentary Services
  • postage meter consumables must be ordered through the manufacturer of the meter
  • bottled water suppliers are arranged through your State Office.

Last updated: 26 March 2020