Postage and Australia Post charge account
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).
Postage at Parliament House
Stamps and stamped envelopes, to the value of $1,800 per financial year, are made available from Parliament House for the conduct of your parliamentary business.
If you choose to use the postage allocation, the value is deducted from your annual budget for office expenses. If you do not wish to use the postage allocation, you must advise your House Department.
Australia Post charge account
You may apply directly to Australia Post for an Australia Post charge account, which can be used for communication and distribution expenses, including:
- ordinary mail
- priority paid mail
- certified mail
- express courier mail
- bulk direct mail service
- bulk pre-sorted mail
- householder delivery service
for the conduct of your parliamentary business.
- The annual budget for office expenses must not be used to purchase stamps or stamped envelopes.
- The cost of postage in relation to official duties, which is not deducted from the annual budget for office expenses, is provided for:
- Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and presiding officers - this is administered by their departments. See Postage costs for official duties;
- Senior office holders who are members of the Opposition and the leader of a minority party - a separate postage meter is provided for official postage. See Postage costs for official duties.
Mail processed through the Australia Post charge account or postage meter must show your office address for return of undelivered mail.
Standard credit limit:
The standard credit limit for an Australia Post charge account is $10,000 at any one time.
Varying credit limit:
As the Australia Post charge account is a private arrangement between you and Australia Post, you should contact Australia Post directly to vary the standard credit limit. The Australia Post account manager contact details are located at the top of the monthly invoice.
Processing of invoices:
Australia Post issues monthly invoices by email to assist with timely payment of invoices and the avoidance of late payment fees. You may specify a particular email address for receipt of Australia Post invoices. Nomination of alternative email addresses should be sent to Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS)
To avoid late fees, all pages of the Australia Post invoices must be submitted immediately upon receipt, to 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 either (or both) Form 141 or Form 155.
Invoices and certification forms that are not received at least five business days before the due date or that are incomplete may not be processed by the due date. Any late fees will also be paid from your annual budget for office expenses (s66(1)(q) Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017).
If you receive an unpaid/underpaid mail notice from Australia Post you must complete the charge account details slip, which can be found at the bottom of the unpaid/underpaid mail payment notice, and return it to Australia Post to be added to your next monthly invoice. The notice is not an invoice and MaPS cannot action it on your behalf.
Last updated: 31 March 2020