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Services to Parliamentary Secretaries

Parliamentary Secretaries 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
  • resources for offices, as determined by the Minister, which are reasonably required for the conduct of members’ parliamentary business in electorate 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 Parliamentary Secretary 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)

Commonwealth transport

  • the operation of COMCAR (excluding costs for Parliamentary Secretaries 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 Parliamentary Secretary (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 Parliamentary Secretaries and their MOP(S) Act employees, including private vehicle allowance for Parliamentary Secretaries 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
  • costs related to cancelled travel

Portfolio Departments

Portfolio departments are responsible for providing the following resources, should the Parliamentary Secretary require. This does not prevent portfolio departments providing other resources the Parliamentary Secretary 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
  • at the request of the Parliamentary Secretary, 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 Parliamentary Secretary’s portfolio department)
  • official hospitality within Australia (including when an employee of the Parliamentary Secretary represents the Parliamentary Secretary 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 Parliamentary Secretary (including additional information technology and communications equipment) for the Parliamentary Secretary’s offices 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
  • providing a laptop computer and a mobile telephone for the Parliamentary Secretary, and employees of the Parliamentary Secretary nominated by the Parliamentary Secretary (and which are additional to those provided by the Department of Parliamentary Services)
  • in relation to the electorate office of the Parliamentary Secretary:
    • any special fitout requirements
    • additional requirements for the security of portfolio-related information
    • any office telephone services and data transmission lines additional to those provided by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services
  • where not claimed from their annual budget for office expenses, the cost of:
    • publications
    • business cards for the Parliamentary Secretary and their personal employees
  • postage costs related to the Parliamentary Secretary’s portfolio duties
  • facsimile services at private residences
  • membership fees of business organisations related to portfolio or Parliamentary Secretary 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 Parliamentary Secretary 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 electorate offices and at the Parliamentary Secretary’s place of residence
  • relief arrangements for personal employees of the Parliamentary Secretary, 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

  • payment of conference and training-related expenses for personal employees, and membership of airline lounges for nominated employees
  • portfolio-related business hospitality
  • salary, travel and other costs of Departmental Liaison Officers.

Parliamentary Departments

Remuneration

  • payment of the Parliamentary Secretary’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

  • 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: 16 September 2019