Use of offices and office resources

Last updated
07 September 2023

Commonwealth-provided or funded offices, must only be used for the dominant purpose of conducting your parliamentary business. This includes your electorate, Ministerial and office holder offices, visiting suites at CPOs, resources provided for these offices, and your satellite office.

These offices and resources must not be used for any commercial purpose regardless of whether the dominant purpose test is satisfied. For example, you are not permitted to display signage or other material at your office which advertises a business or contains a business’ logo. Any commercial use of offices or office resources means the Commonwealth is not liable to cover expenses relating to the resource; and you may be required to repay the amount of the resource and a 25% penalty loading may apply.

You should take care to avoid the perception that your electorate, Ministerial or office holder office is being used as a campaign office for your re-election or in support of your political party. Election campaign material must not be displayed:

  • on the exterior walls, windows, fences etc. of a Commonwealth-funded office (including a satellite office)
  • inside the office where it is clearly visible from outside the office.

Any use of your office or resources by community groups must be supervised by you or an employee who can assist with the safe use of equipment and ensure security measures are followed.

For the referendum, please refer to the Referendums webpage: Referendums | Ministerial and Parliamentary Services (finance.gov.au).

In addition to your duties to your workers, you have duties under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for anyone entering your workplace to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that their health and safety is not put at risk from work carried out within your workplace.

You are accountable for all use of resources provided to you at Commonwealth expense, including any charges incurred for use of office equipment and facilities, such as telephones.

The table below provides scenarios of some permitted and excluded office uses.

Scenarios

Permitted

Excluded

Use of your office to conduct a media briefing or meeting on a matter which relates to your parliamentary business

Permitted

 

Use of your office for parliamentary business activities (which also support your re-election campaign)

Permitted (with limitations by convention)

 

Display of signs outside or inside the office advertising a local business.

 

Excluded

Use of your office to undertake fundraising activities

 

Excluded

Use of your office predominantly for the personal benefit of you or others

 

Excluded (only limited incidental use is permitted)

Use of your office by a business to store merchandise or make business telephone calls etc.

 

Excluded (commercial use is not permitted)

Minor use of your office by community groups

Permitted, with supervision, and only for limited purposes (e.g. making local calls or small amounts of photocopying) to ensure the dominant use is your parliamentary business

Excessive use may constitute an actual or perceived improper use of Commonwealth resources. Commercial use is not permissible.

After body