Role and functions
The role of the Department of Parliamentary Services is to support the work of the Parliament, maintain Parliament House, and ensure that the building and parliamentary activity is accessible. DPS does this through the provision of broadcasting and Hansard services, information and research services, security, visitor services, building and landscaping maintenance and ICT systems, and through the contracting of various services across Parliament House.
These services are provided to occupants of Parliament House including Senators and Members and their staff, staff of the parliamentary departments and ministerial staff. Services are also provided to the Press Gallery, visitors to the building, including tourists, international delegations, government officials and function attendees, and virtual visitors accessing the online material provided on the APH website. Detail on how the department provides these services is outlined below.
Services provided by DPS
DPS is responsible for broadcasting and archiving the audio-visual record of chamber and committee proceedings, and for producing Hansard transcripts. DPS produces and distributes live audio and video coverage of all proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives, including the Federation Chamber, and of the majority of public hearings of parliamentary committees held in Parliament House. DPS also provides audio coverage of parliamentary committee hearings held around Australia and public address systems for these venues. Parliamentary proceedings are broadcast internally, webcast via the internet and a feed is provided to the media.
DPS provides security services for occupants of, and visitors to, Parliament House, including access control at all entrance points, a mobile and static security presence throughout Parliament House, and security screening of building occupants and over 850,000 visitors per year. DPS also provides a range of visitor services, including guided tours for building visitors and school groups, The Parliament Shop and online information.
The exterior and interior of the building and the Parliament House landscapes are all maintained by DPS. DPS also manages utility services such as electricity and gas, and provides heating and cooling, and hydraulic services.
DPS supports over 4,800 registered ICT users in Parliament House and the electorate offices. DPS provides ICT services in the form of a central help desk, training and assistance, the provision of software and hardware, and support for desktop and mobile computing, printers, televisions and pagers.
DPS also provides data and voice communications services to building occupants. This involves managing data network services such as connection from the desktop to network servers, the internet and connections to electorate offices. DPS also manages voice communication services, including fixed line telephones and mobile phone coverage within Parliament House.
DPS manages the contracts and licences for various commercial activities such as catering, child care, post office, banking and the Press Gallery. DPS also manages functions and events arranged through the public hire of Parliament House facilities.
The Parliamentary Library provides information, research and analytical services to Senators and Members and their staff, parliamentary committees and the parliamentary departments to support parliamentary or representational duties. Services are not provided to constituents or for commercial purposes.
The range of services provided includes individually commissioned information, research and advisory services for clients and research publications, including Bills Digests.
The Library develops and manages access to print and electronic resources. These resources include books, serials, information databases, electronic publications developed both within the department and acquired externally, off-air recordings and transcripts. Access to services is also provided through the Parliamentary Library’s Central Enquiry Point and the Reading Room.
Library staff select, acquire, catalogue, index and provide access to collection material. The Library is also responsible for publishing services for DPS.
DPS was established in 2004 as a joint department under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999 (the Act). Under the Act, the department consists of the Secretary of the department, together with the Parliamentary Librarian and Parliamentary Service employees assisting the Secretary. The Secretary is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is the leader of the department’s senior executive team. The Deputy Secretary and the Chief Finance Officer report directly to the Secretary.
The office of Parliamentary Librarian is a statutory position established by authority of the Act. The Parliamentary Librarian reports to the Presiding Officers in respect of statutory functions detailed in the Act. However, for the exercise of normal management functions, including as detailed in the Act and the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997, the Parliamentary Librarian reports to the Secretary.
The departmental structure is provided at Figure 1.
Outcome and Program Structure
The DPS published outcome is:
Occupants of Parliament House are supported by integrated services and facilities, Parliament functions effectively and its work and building are accessible to the public.
In 2011–12, the Outcome and Program Framework consisted of five programs, including four operational programs and an administered works program. The framework is summarised in Figure 2.
Performance indicators for each program are stated in the Department of Parliamentary Services Portfolio Budget Statements 2011–12. The indicators cover the quality, quantity and price aspects of the department’s services.
Performance results and explanatory comments are provided against each of the department’s subprograms in Part 3—Report on Performance and Part 4—Parliamentary Library.
Figure 1—DPS Departmental Structure at 30 June 2012
Text version of Figure 1
Carol Mills commenced her term as the Secretary of DPS on 28 May 2012. Prior to commencing with DPS, Ms Mills held a number of senior positions in the NSW public service including the Director-General of the NSW Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation, and of Communities NSW. Ms Mills was also Deputy Director-General for the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care, and the Department of Housing. Ms Mills has significant experience as a member of numerous boards and committees including Sydney Festival, National Arts School, NSW Institute of Sport and the Sydney Film Festival. Ms Mills holds qualifications in public policy, economics and business management.
David Kenny joined as Deputy Secretary of the new DPS in 2004, from the role of Division Head, Information Systems, in the Department of Defence. As Deputy Secretary, Mr Kenny has led some of our largest business areas including Building Services, Projects, Content Management and Infrastructure Services. Mr Kenny holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma in Computing Studies and Master of Business Administration.
Dr Dianne Heriot was appointed as Parliamentary Librarian in May 2012, having acted in that position since February 2012. Prior to that, she was Assistant Secretary of the Research Branch of the Parliamentary Library. Dr Heriot has 12 years experience in senior management positions in the public service including in the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Master of Arts (Medieval Studies) and Doctor of Philosophy in Literature.
Karen Williams joined DPS in July 2011 as Chief Finance Officer and Assistant Secretary Corporate Services. Prior to joining DPS, Karen was the Chief Finance Officer at the National Archives of Australia for almost six years. Karen has 20 years of experience in diverse public sector finance roles in a number of small and large Commonwealth agencies. Karen has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. Karen served as a member of the ACT Divisional Council of CPA Australia from 2005 to 2012 and was ACT President in 2008.
Judy Hutchinson is responsible for building a 21st century collection of online resources for use by Senators and Members, their staff and the staff of the Parliament. Judy has worked in the Parliamentary Library for over 20 years and prior to that was at the Library of the Australian National University. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Librarianship (CCAE) and is an Associate Member of ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association).
Cathy Madden has extensive experience working in the Parliamentary Library. She has been Director of the Politics and Public Administration Section since it was established within the Research Branch in 1997. Qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Graduate Diploma in Librarianship, Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies.
Bronwyn Graham joined DPS in 2006 has head of Security after more than 15 years in various roles within the Department of Defence. In 2010, Bronwyn was promoted to Assistant Secretary, Building Services. During this time, she has made significant changes to security arrangements and the commercial leases within Parliament House. Ms Graham has a Graduate Certificate in Management Studies.
Freda Hanley joined DPS in July 2006 as Assistant Secretary, Projects Branch, and in February 2010 she moved to the position of Assistant Secretary, Infrastructure Services Branch. Prior to joining DPS, Ms Hanley was a General Manager at the National Museum of Australia for six years. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Master of Business Administration.
Karen Greening joined DPS in 2007 as Director Facilities and in February 2011 she moved to the position of Acting Assistant Secretary Content Management Branch. She was permanently appointed to the position in September 2011. Prior to joining DPS, Ms Greening held a variety of service delivery roles spanning 20-plus years in the Commonwealth Public Service.
Nick Tate AIPM has acted as Assistant Secretary Projects Branch since November 2011. He joined the Parliamentary Service in 2006 after a 20-year career in the Royal Australian Navy. His first role was Deputy Usher of the Black Rod in the Department of the Senate. He moved to the DPS Building and Security Projects section of the Projects Branch in 2010. He has a Master of Management, Graduate Diploma (Logistics Management), and Graduate Diploma (Resource Management).
Figure 2—Relationship between Outcome and Programs
Text version of Figure 2
Visits by Heads of State
As part of the official visits program, the Parliament hosted a number of Heads of State and other dignitaries during 2011–12. Highlights included the visits of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on 21 October 2011; the Honorable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America on 16-17 November 2011; the Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark on 22 November 2011; and Her Excellency Ms Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, on 28 May 2012.
All such visits require resources and support from DPS, and their success depends on overcoming many complex and technical challenges.
In the presence of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prime Minister hosted a reception in the Great Hall of Parliament House on Friday, 21 October 2011. A DPS Broadcasting crew provided extensive camera coverage of the reception. Technical challenges included the use of a wireless camera link and roving robotic cameras to follow Her Majesty while she and the Duke met the guests. The reception coverage was used by all national television networks and the international media.
Only weeks later, Parliament House played host to visits in short succession by the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, and Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
The visit by the US President required parliamentary staff to deal with many challenges, particularly around security arrangements and timing. The visit involved seven major activities planned in less than 24 hours, with three separate sets of arrivals and departures that included a huge motorcade and large groups of delegates. The coordination of the security arrangements had to be precise and fail-safe.
The contribution by many DPS staff and contractors was a key factor in the success of the visits. Some of these staff were highly visible, such as the security officers and broadcasting crew, while others were less visible—nonetheless, their contribution was vital. The combined scale of these visits was such that almost every area of DPS support activity was represented in some way, from maintenance and landscaping to communications and catering. The following is a cross-section of the types of support provided by DPS staff and contractors during those busy months.
The Parliamentary Security Service—security clearing large areas of the building, providing clear access and managing multiple visitors and groups through the various entry points.
The AFP-Uniform Protection—the closing down of Parliament Drive and clearing external areas as well as liaison and support to their wider AFP colleagues who provided specialist and general support.
Broadcasting—providing television coverage of events on the Forecourt and in the Marble Foyer, Great Hall, Members’ Hall and Main Committee Room; and supporting the broadcast media and working closely with the White House Communications team.
Hansard—producing Hansard records of the sitting during the US President’s visit.
Facilities Management—coordinating the setup of all the areas used throughout the building including flags, tables and chairs.
Maintenance—in particular Building Fabric Services, who modified the lectern used by the President in the House of Representatives Chamber.
Communication Networks—coordinating and managing the many phone and data lines and support for the White House Communications team.
IHG—catering in the Great Hall as well as catering for additional visitors and the President‘s entourage.
Loading Dock—managing the increased receipt of goods and special requirements for the visits.
Cleaning staff—setting up areas, cleaning and general support.