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Services to Ministers

Ministers are provided with support from several administrators within the Commonwealth, including:

  • Ministerial and Parliamentary Services within the Department of Finance
  • the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority
  • their portfolio department (particularly for services and costs relating to official duties)
  • the Parliamentary Departments (Department of Parliamentary Services, Departments of the House of Representatives and Senate)
  • VIP Operations within the Department of Defence
  • the Department of Home Affairs
  • Government Network Services Branch within the Department of Finance
  • Protocol and International Visits Branch within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The support and expenses that each of these administrators are responsible for is outlined below.

Ministerial and Parliamentary Services

Remuneration

  • private-plated vehicle/s, including the costs of operating and maintaining the vehicle, in accordance with determinations made by the Remuneration Tribunal

Offices, office expenses and other resources

  • electorate offices, as determined by the Minister
  • Ministerial offices, as determined the Minister
  • resources for offices, as determined by the Minister, which are reasonably required for the conduct of members’ parliamentary business in electorate offices and Ministerial offices (including combined offices) – such as furniture and fittings, office and audio visual equipment and associated training, parking, signage, security, post office boxes and flagpoles – but excluding information and communications technology and services (including mobile phones) and associated training and support provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services or additional resources provided by portfolio departments (as detailed under the Portfolio Departments and Parliamentary Departments sections below)
  • fixed telephone services and equipment in offices
  • if a Minister is a member of the House of Representatives who represents an electorate that is at least 5,000km2 in area, the reimbursement of costs to establish, operate, maintain or vacate a privately-leased office (referred to as a satellite electorate office)
  • office expenses, as set out in subsection 66(1) of the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017 (PBR Regs), that are met from the annual budget for office expenses
  • the cost of flags under the Chamber Flag Program (the parliamentary departments administer the distribution of these flags and certificates)
  • in the Ministerial Wing of Parliament House:
    • management of office accommodation, including parking in the basement car park
    • the supply of executive furniture for the Minister and a range of standard furniture for the Minister’s employees
    • the provision of amenities and other equipment necessary for the function of the Minister’s office (e.g. refrigerator, microwave oven, television)
    • authorising the removal of any furniture or equipment (note: this condition also applies to the removal of furniture and equipment provided by portfolio departments)

Commonwealth transport

  • the operation of COMCAR (excluding costs for Ministers that are charged to portfolio departments)

Employees

  • the administration of salaries and non-travel related allowances of personal and electorate employees under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act)
  • the provision of the Professional Development Program and ad-hoc training for MOP(S) Act employees
  • facilitating Negative Vetting Level 2 security clearances for all MOP(S) Act employees of a Minister (noting that the processing of Negative Vetting Level 2 security clearances is undertaken by the Australian Government Security Vetting Agency within the Department of Defence).

Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority

Travel allowances

  • payment of domestic and international travel allowances for Ministers and their MOP(S) Act employees, including private vehicle allowance for Ministers and their family members

Domestic and international travel expenses

  • expenses for all travel within Australia (except road transport for official duties which are covered by the portfolio department), including by staff and family members, and recovery of costs from passengers travelling with members that are covered by transport costs undertakings
  • international travel expenses and transport costs for incidental travel within Australia to undertake the international travel, including for an accompanying spouse/de facto partner and accompanying staff
  • the cost of resources reasonably required for the conduct of the Prime Minister’s official duties during international travel (including hiring office space, office equipment or other premises and facilities; ICT facilities and services; interpreters or other specialist services; hospitality; newspapers and other consumables; booking and cancellation fees; and other associated fees and charges)
  • costs related to cancelled travel

Portfolio Departments

Portfolio departments are responsible for providing the following resources, should the Minister require. This does not prevent portfolio departments providing other resources the Minister requires that are not listed below.

Remuneration

  • internet and telephone services provided at private residences

Domestic and international travel expenses

  • road transport costs, including COMCAR, for official duties, and the road transport costs of their spouse/de facto partner and dependent children
  • at the request of the Minister, a self-drive vehicle in Canberra, including the costs of operating and maintaining the vehicle, in lieu of road transport costs in Canberra
  • the cost of portfolio-related business when travelling overseas (for example, costs for: meeting rooms, portfolio-related hospitality, office hire, communications charges, and employees of the Minister’s portfolio department). For the Prime Minister, these costs are only those in addition to expenses covered by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses authority above
  • official hospitality within Australia (including when an employee of the Minister represents the Minister on portfolio-related business)
  • any security requirements when travelling overseas additional to those provided by the Department of Home Affairs

Offices, office expenses and other resources

  • additional or alternative furniture or equipment requested by the Minister (including additional information technology and communications equipment) for the Minister’s offices, both in the Ministerial Wing of Parliament House and in the Ministerial office, where these items are beyond the standard ordinarily provided for an electorate office
  • repairs and maintenance to furniture and equipment, provided by the portfolio department
  • installation of any additional telephone and data transmission services in a Ministerial office or combined Ministerial/electorate office related to the Ministerial office
  • ongoing costs associated with all office telephone services in a Ministerial office (or combined Ministerial/electorate office), related to the Ministerial office except:
    • the Ministerial Communications Network, for which Finance pays transmission and maintenance costs
    • the Parliament House Network which the Department of Parliamentary Services provides
  • providing a laptop computer and a mobile telephone for the Minister, and employees of the Minister nominated by the Minister (and which are additional to those provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services)
  • additional stationery and office supplies for the Parliament House office and the Ministerial office and Ministerial functions in a Minister’s combined Ministerial/electorate office
  • where not claimed from their annual budget for office expenses, the cost of:
    • publications
    • business cards for the Minister and their personal employees
  • postage costs related to Ministerial duties
  • facsimile services at private residences
  • membership fees of business organisations related to portfolio or Ministerial responsibilities
  • the cost of CabNet computer terminals and printers, and related cabling, which are supplied by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • implementation of procedures for, and training of, the Minister and their employees in the handling, storage, transfer and transmission of National Security classified material
  • installation and maintenance of information security technologies for the storage of National Security classified information in the Ministerial and electorate offices and at the Minister’s place of residence
  • relief arrangements for personal employees of the Minister, where the period of an employee’s absence is less than 12 weeks (except where a vacancy is filled from within the office under higher duties)

Other

  • the provision of semi-official residential telephone services for senior Ministerial employees nominated by the Minister
  • payment of conference and training-related expenses for personal employees, and membership of airline lounges for nominated employees
  • salary, travel and other costs of Departmental Liaison Officers.

Parliamentary Departments

Remuneration

  • payment of the Minister’s salary (both base salary and additional salary) and electorate allowance
  • payment of any additional electorate allowance in lieu of a private-plated vehicle
  • payment of employer superannuation contributions

Office expenses

  • certain facilities and equipment in the Minister’s Parliament House office, including telephones, two computers linked to the Parliament House network and a facsimile machine
  • installation, repair and replacement of information technology equipment, software and network infrastructure, including associated training and support, in offices provided by the Commonwealth (other than equipment, services and software provided by entities other than the Department of Parliamentary Services)

Other

  • the cost of photographic services at Parliament House (AUSPIC)
  • the provision of chamber flags and certificates under the Chamber Flag Program.

VIP Operations – Department of Defence

The Department of Defence is responsible for the cost and provision of Commonwealth transport by air (referred to as Special Purpose Aircraft).

Department of Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs monitors and, where appropriate, coordinates protective security arrangements.

Government Network Services Branch – Department of Finance

The Government and Network Services Branch is responsible for the provision and maintenance of the Ministerial Communications Network.

Protocol and International Visits Branch – Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The Protocol and International Visits Branch is responsible for the supply of official gifts for presentation (outsourced to Intandem Holdings Pty Ltd.), and for overseeing all aspects of the official gifts service.

Footnotes

The Ministerial Communications Network provides secure communications services to the Ministry within Parliament House and to interstate offices, portfolio agencies and State and Territory jurisdictions.  These services include the National Telepresence System, secure telephones (including handheld devices), secure facsimile machines, and assisting with the secure transmission of other agency systems such as (Prime Minister and Cabinet) CabNet, (Attorney-General’s Department) ASNet and (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) SATIN.

Last updated: 04 November 2019