You are provided with an annual budget for office expenses under s67 of the Parliamentary Business Resources Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) to claim the following types of office expenses:
- printing and communication
- postal vote applications
- postage meters and Australia Post charge accounts
- postage costs for official duties
- stationery and supplies
- flags, nationhood materials and wreaths
- additional ICT items, accessories, software and services
- fixed-line telephones
- mobile office facilities and equipment.
Office expenses budget for 2021–22
Members of House of Representatives
$143,025.12 plus a distribution component that is a product of:
$1.065 multiplied by the number of enrolled voters within the Member’s electorate
Certain items are not subject to the budget, including:
- approved items provided for work health and safety reasons (such as document holders or footrests)
- toilet paper, paper hand towels for bathroom use and hand-wash soap pumps where these items are not provided by the contracted property services provider or landlord
- some items provided by portfolio or parliamentary departments for Ministerial offices and Presiding Officer offices
- newspapers, office stationery and supplies provided by the parliamentary departments at Parliament House.
The budget is subject to annual indexation in line with the Consumer Price Index and is exclusive of GST. Any unused portion of your budget will not be carried forward to the following financial year. No financial limits apply to individual categories of office expenses other than broadcast radio which cannot exceed one-third of an eligible parliamentarian’s budget.
If you commenced your parliamentary term during a financial year, your budget is calculated on a pro rata basis.
Any expenditure over the limit of your budget is your personal responsibility, and any overpayment is recoverable as a debt to the Commonwealth. If you do not repay the overpayment within 28 days of the claim, a 25 per cent penalty loading may apply.
Your office expenses budget is debited from the date the goods are received or the services are rendered.
Keeping track of budgets
Budget reports can be requested for:
- office expenses budget
- family travel
- electorate support budget
- travel allowance for party political duties other than in Canberra, and electorate duties outside your electorate
- travel on unscheduled commercial services within your electorate
- privately leased office costs (satellite office expenses budget).
These reports may only show expenditure claimed. It is important for you to maintain a running record of all committed expenditure to more accurately track against budgets.