ICT and telecommunications

Last updated
28 June 2021

Office ICT, telecommunications resources, and associated support and training are provided to you for the conduct of your parliamentary business. These resources are subject to your PBR obligations and must not be used for commercial purposes.

Your MaPS state or territory office provides fixed-line telephone systems and services in offices, and ergonomic ICT equipment.

Portfolio departments may provide Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries with additional ICT resources. These are provided outside the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017 (PBR Act) framework.

You may claim certain ICT and telecommunications resources as office expenses, subject to the limit of your annual budget for office expenses (office budget). In addition to the obligations that apply to all work expenses, s66 of the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017 prohibits office expenses being used to solicit a vote for a person or party other than yourself, or to solicit support or party memberships; and must not include an advertisement pursuing a commercial purpose.

The Department of Parliamentary Services (DPS) provides and manages the majority of ICT services through the DPS 2020 Service Desk. ICT provided by DPS is not subject to your annual budget for office expenses. Information on ICT equipment, support and services provided by DPS can be found on the furniture and equipment page.

Additional ICT items, accessories, software and services

Where your ICT requirements go beyond the items generally provided to you by DPS, additional ICT equipment and services may be sourced and provided by DPS as an office expense. The cost of these additional resources will be debited against your office budget. Additional ICT equipment and services not procured through DPS are not claimable as an office expense.

You may also purchase ICT accessories (such as storage devices, portable power banks and camera lenses for mobile devices), software (including associated servicing, training and backup services) and cloud-based services (including storage and software) as an office expense. There is no requirement that these resources be sourced through DPS. It is recommended that you discuss proposed ICT purchases with:

  • your MaPS state or territory office as some items which are available through COS may not be eligible for purchase as an office expense
  • DPS to ensure the additional resources are compatible with the APH system and resources they provide.

You may also purchase the following additional telecommunications resources as office expenses:

  • virtual town hall meetings including commercial services that allow you to engage with your constituents via telephone in a town hall style discussion
  • interactive voice response (IVR) phone surveys including inbound or outbound communication to fixed or mobile devices
  • short messaging service (SMS) broadcasting and survey services including bulk SMS communication to individuals
  • online survey tools (e.g. to gauge the views and opinions of constituents).

Claims for additional ICT office expenses should be sent through PEMS or by completing form 141 (see related resources). Claims must include:

  • a tax invoice
  • evidence of payment when claiming reimbursement
  • in respect of software, details in writing of any servicing, backup and training which are included in the package.

Costs can only be claimed for the period you are a parliamentarian and will be reported in your monthly management reports and quarterly expenditure reports issued by the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA).

Claims relating to constituent relationship management software will only be paid via reimbursement. If you are a member of the Government or of the Opposition, you may only claim constituent relationship management software provided by the service provider/s nominated by your party and approved by the Minister.

After body