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Security (and training) for your electorate (or Ministerial or Office Holder) office, as determined by the Special Minister of State, for purposes related to your parliamentary business and not for commercial purposes.
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services arranges security, including measures such as:
- a secure reception counter
- window locks
- duress and intruder alarms
- programming of access systems
subject to the lease conditions and any relevant local government or State legislation, and taking into account value for money considerations.
You and your employees should ensure that:
- the office is left secure when unoccupied. Windows should be closed and secured, blinds closed, lights (other than security lights), fans, air conditioners and other electrical equipment switched off, doors locked and the office intruder alarm set
- office alarm codes are issued to each individual and not shared
- they are familiar with, and use, the security infrastructure. This includes using secure reception doors, individual alarm codes and knowing how and when to use the duress alarms.
Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Managers can arrange new alarm codes and training in duress alarms if required
- portable and attractive items (for example, cameras, data projectors, voice recorders, laptops, mobile telephones, tablets, remote access tokens and mobile broadband cards) are kept in a secure place when not in use.
- To prevent laptops being stolen, laptops should be securely attached to an immovable object by the Kensington cable at all times in the office or whenever the laptop is unattended. You can request Kensington cables for laptops through the Department of Parliamentary Services’ 2020 Service Desk.
Certain information that is routinely collected and stored in offices should be regarded as confidential or sensitive, and protected accordingly. This includes employee details and any personal information provided by constituents. See Management of Records for how your office should access, store and dispose of records, in particular sensitive records, and the necessity to distinguish between ‘official’ and ‘non official’ records for access and disposal purposes.
Arrangements that you can set in place to protect confidential or sensitive information include:
- have an employee present at all times when the office is open
- visitors should be supervised while in the office
- sensitive or classified material should not be discussed using a mobile telephone, left on a voicemail system, or sent using email or SMS
- security features on communications devices, such as passwords and personal identification numbers, should be used where available and should not be shared with other people
- papers, documents, communications devices and data storage devices should be locked away when not in use and at the end of the day
- cabinets, cupboards and major items of office equipment should be secured when the office is unoccupied
- employees must ensure any volunteers working in the office have their own computer user account and password and must not use or share accounts or passwords with other volunteers or employees
- computers should be secured with a password protected screen, or turned off, while unattended
In keeping with the requirements of the Australian Government Information Security Manual all removable media (including external hard drives, USB drives, DVDs and CDs) should be registered with a unique identifier in an appropriate register to allow their movements to be tracked.
Hard drives in networked multi-function devices are the responsibility of the Department of Parliamentary Services, who will ensure their destruction as appropriate.
If your office:
- is broken into, the security company will call the police and notify your office’s nominated contact;
- experiences any suspicious incident, you or your staff should contact the Australian Federal Police immediately.
In either case, report any damage to the contracted Property Services Provider and your State Manager as soon as possible so that any necessary arrangements can be made to secure the premises. To notify the loss, damage or theft of equipment or assets provided by Ministerial and Parliamentary Services, complete:
If an injury or near miss associated with an incident at your office occurs:
- report it to the WHS and Occupational Rehabilitation Services provider immediately during normal office hours, or at the first opportunity if the incident occurs outside these hours
- if the WHS and Occupational Services provider is unavailable, certain serious (notifiable) incidents must be reported to Comcare on 1300 366 979 immediately.
A Notifiable Incident Flowchart is available to assist in determining which incidents need to be reported to Comcare. Notify your Ministerial and Parliamentary Services State Manager as soon as practicable so that advice can be sought from the Commonwealth’s insurers.
The Employee Assistance Program is available to provide individual counselling or group debriefing sessions following a critical incident. Group sessions can be arranged through your Advice and Support Director.
You and your employees have duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to put in place and observe workplace practices that minimise the risk of injury to members of the public. See Insurance Cover for further information on public liability insurance coverage while undertaking or carrying out your parliamentary business.
Your office should:
- have an internal contingency plan for dealing with emergency or security situations, including keeping an up-to-date list of emergency contact numbers (for example the police, ambulance, mental health teams, interpreter and counselling services);
- ensure that the Emergency Officer and First Aid Officer roles within your office are filled and all training for these roles is up-to-date
- be familiar with any formal Emergency Evacuation Management Plan applicable to building occupants, and comply with directions given by:
- emergency services personnel
- the Emergency Officer responsible for the office, and/or
- a Warden responsible for the building or section of the building in which the office is located.
The Commonwealth’s liability for loss or damage does not extend to cover cash, stamps, personal items and equipment, including privately-owned computer equipment, kept in offices or Australian Government vehicles. You should ensure that your personal insurance arrangements are extended to cover such items.