An electorate support budget (ESB) is provided to all parliamentarians to allow for the travel of electorate employees and the employment of relief electorate employees. You can employ non-ongoing and casual employees solely against the ESB. You cannot employ ongoing employees solely against the ESB.
All salary costs for employment against the ESB are debited from the ESB. This includes salary paid during all leave periods taken by an employee and the salary of any person employed as a ‘replacement’ during a period of leave. Other non-salary payments to the employment such as employer superannuation contributions, casual loading, electorate staff allowance, studies assistance, discretionary [payments, severance benefits and payment in lieu of unused leave are not debited from the ESB.
Parliamentarians are advised of their ESB at the beginning of each financial year. The ESB is a dollar amount calculated in accordance with Schedule C of Determination 2020/15: Staff travel and relief staff arrangements (see related resources).
Details of employee travel are included in your monthly management reports to assist you to monitor and manage your ESB. Queries about travel should be directed to the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA). You can request an up to date balance of your ESB using the request budget report form (see related resources).
Certain office-holders may nominate one electorate employee to travel without debit from the electorate support budget or swap the travel arrangements of an electorate employee with a personal employee. Details of this are set out in Determination 2020/15. Nominations are made through the IPEA, by completing the electorate employee travel nomination form (see related resources).
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.