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).
A postage meter (aka a 'franking machine') is a device which imprints evidence of postage paid to mailed material, thus eliminating the need for adhesive stamps.
Your Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (MaPS) state office provides you with a postage meter in your nominated electorate office, for the conduct of your parliamentary business. MaPS also provides one additional postage meter to each:
- senior office holder who is a member of the Opposition
- leader of a minority party
for the conduct of their official duties only.
Postage credits are purchased from Australia Post. Postage costs for the conduct of your parliamentary business may be claimed from your annual budget for office expenses (see Postage and Australia Post Charge Account).
Credit is downloaded to the postage meter via an inbuilt modem, which may be reset by telephone connection to Australia Post. The amount involved is automatically billed to your nominated Australia Post charge account. When the credit is exhausted or running low, your office can download credit, usually in $500 and $1,000 blocks.
If you have reached your monthly credit limit, no further funds can be accessed on the postage meter until the monthly invoice has been paid. In these circumstances mail can be lodged directly at an Australia Post office or you can apply to Australia Post for an increase to your credit limit.
Your postage metre account may also be used for bulk postage which you can organise through your local post office.
Faults, consumables and training
Meter faults or issues with PIN details must be directed to the Pitney Bowes call centre - 132363.
Postage meter consumables, such as ink and tape, are ordered directly from Pitney Bowes and paid for by forwarding endorsed invoices to your MaPS State Office (through PEMS) for payment from your annual budget for office expenses.
When logging maintenance calls, the caller should quote the serial number of the machine and provide an office contact for the technician.
Contact your MaPS State Office if you need general training for new staff or when a new postage meter is installed.
Postage meter readings
Postage meter readings are taken at the end of each financial year to enable the calculation of the annual budget for office expenses for the following financial year. Readings may also be taken at other times, for example, prior to a Federal election.
Readings can be obtained remotely by Pitney Bowes or manually should it be required.
Last updated: 05 March 2020