Section 2: Outcome and planned performance

2.1 Outcome and performance information

The relationship between activities of the Department of the Senate and the planned outcome is described both financially and non-financially. Financial details for the planned outcome by output groups appear in Table 2.1 (Total Resources for Outcome 1) while non-financial information appears in Table 2.2 (Performance Information for Outcome 1).

There has been no change to the department's outcome or output groups from the 2007-08 PBS.

Output cost attribution

The cost of corporate support and other corporate overheads is allocated across all output groups on the basis of average staffing levels.

Trends in Resourcing

Figure 4 shows the departmental appropriation at $20.3m in 2008-09 (up from $19.7m in 2007-08), and historical levels of departmental funding.

Figure 4: Trends in departmental appropriation ($'000)

Figure 4: Trends in departmental appropriation ($'000)

2.1.1 Outcome 1: Effective provision of services to support the functioning of the Senate as a House of the Commonwealth Parliament

Outcome 1 Strategy

To achieve this outcome with the funds appropriated by the Parliament, the department provides the Senate, its committees, the President of the Senate and senators with a broad range of advisory and support services, and the public with information about the Senate and its work.

The work of the department is determined almost entirely by the Senate and its committees. The department is responsible to the Senate and all senators, and maintains complete impartiality in serving equally senators from all political parties and independent senators.

The department’s four main areas of service provision are:

  • Senate support – advice and secretariat support for the functioning of the Senate.
  • Committee support – advice and secretariat support for the operation of Senate and some joint committees.
  • Senators’ services – advice and services relating to office services, information technology, ceremonial, security, and other support services for senators and Senate office-holders in Parliament House.
  • Public education and awareness – promotion of public knowledge and awareness of the role and activities of the Senate and its committees.

These areas are reflected as intermediate outcomes in Figure 1 on page 2.

 

Outcome 1 Resource statement

Table 2.1 shows how the 2008-09 Budget appropriations translate to total resourcing for outcome 1, including administered expenses, revenue from government (appropriations), and revenue from other sources.

The total annual appropriation for the department in the 2008-09 Budget is $20.3 million.

Table 2.1: Total resources for Outcome 1

Contributions to Outcome 1

The department’s contribution to the achievement of Outcome 1 is assessed using indicators and processes which cover all of the department’s output groups, as well as using indicators and processes which are specific to particular output groups. Indicators and assessment processes covering quality, timeliness, quantity and price are outlined in Table 2.2.

Achievement of planned performance will be reported in the Department of the Senate’s 2008-09 annual report.

Table 2.2: Performance information for Outcome 1

Performance information across output groups

For the department’s output groups, performance is monitored on the basis of:

Quality

  • The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the accuracy, quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Timeliness

  • Advice or material given on request of senator in time to be used for the purpose for which it was required.
  • Key business documents for the Senate and its committees, including minutes, agendas, messages and schedules of amendments and reports, produced in accordance with predetermined requirements and the requirements of the Senate and its committees.

Quantity

  • On the basis of recent experience, in 2008-09 the Department would expect to support the Senate on approximately 65 sitting days and committees in accordance with their requirements.

Price

  • The total resourcing for the department in 2008-09 is estimated to be $35.0m ($20.5m departmental).

 

Performance Information for Individual Outputs

In addition to the foregoing performance indicators and assessments that apply to the department’s output groups, the following indicators and assessments apply to the individual outputs indicated.

Output Group 1: Clerk’s Office

Output

Performance Information

Provision of sound and timely advice on proceedings of the Senate and its committees and provision of leadership and strategic direction for the department.

Provision of secretariat and advisory support to the Procedure Committee, the Committee of Privileges and the Committee of Senators’ Interests.

Provision of procedural information and related services to senators and the Senate department.

Quality: The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President, committee members and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Advice, documentation, publications and draft reports are accurate and of a high standard.

Timeliness: Meetings held, documentation provided and reports produced within timeframes set by the Senate or the committee, as relevant.

Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice updated each six months; new printed edition produced regularly.

Procedural Information Bulletin produced two days after end of sitting fortnights.

Other procedural resources updated and augmented as required.

Quantity: As required, on request, or proactively, to facilitate proceedings.

 

Output Group 2: Table Office

Output

Performance Information

Provision of programming and procedural support to the Senate.

Processing of legislation.

Processing of tabled documents and maintenance of safe custody of Senate records, and provision of a document distribution and inquiries service.

Preparation of records of Senate business and proceedings.

Dissemination of information on the work of the Senate.

Provision of secretariat support to the Appropriations and Staffing, Selection of Bills and Publications Committees.

Quality: The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President, committee members and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Key business documents are accurate and of a high standard.

Timeliness: Order of Business finalised and distributed prior to sittings and advice prepared proactively or as required.

Journals of the Senate for the previous day and Notice Paper for the current day available prior to sittings; statistical and other documentation available as required or in accordance with predetermined requirements.

Running sheets available as soon as practicable; proposed amendments distributed in accordance with requirements; schedules of amendments and prints of bills available in accordance with predetermined requirements.

All inquiries answered and documents stored or distributed on a timely basis.

Meetings held, documentation provided and reports produced within timeframes set by the Senate or the committee, as relevant.

Quantity: As required to facilitate proceedings; quantities meet predetermined distribution requirements or are accessible electronically or both.

 

Output Group 3: Procedure Office

Output

Performance Information

Provision of advisory and drafting services to non government senators.

Provision of procedural advice and training to senators, staff, public servants and officials from other parliaments both within Australia and overseas.

Provision of secretariat support to the Regulations and Ordinances Committee and Scrutiny of Bills Committee.

Provision of parliamentary information services to the community.

Provision of parliamentary education services to schools, teachers and students.

Provision of policy advice and secretariat support for the maintenance and development of interparliamentary relations including the Inter-Parliamentary Union, overseas conferences and delegations program for senators.

Quality: The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President, committee members and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Procedural advice is accurate and covers all foreseeable eventualities.

Amendments and bills are accurate and legally sound.

Public information and parliamentary research is accurate, comprehensive and targeted for particular needs.

Education Centre Teaching and other PEO projects accurately reflect the Parliament and its work.

Timeliness: Procedural advice is timely.

Scrutiny committee meetings held, documentation provided and reports produced within timeframes set by the Senate or the committees, as relevant.

During sitting periods, amendments drafted as soon as possible after receipt of instructions.

Seminars and lectures held on time and in accordance with advertised schedule; public information projects delivered according to programmed schedule.

PEO teaching programs held on time and in accordance with booking schedule.

PEO projects delivered according to programmed schedule.

Information available on the internet and in publications is up to date and available as soon as practicable.

 

Output Group 4: Committee Office

Output

Performance Information

Provision of secretariat support to the Senate legislative and general purpose standing committees, select committees and certain joint committees.

 

Quality: The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President, committee members and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Advice, documentation, publications and draft reports are accurate and of a high standard.

Timeliness: Meetings held, documentation provided and reports produced within timeframes set by the Senate or the committee, as relevant.

Tabling deadlines met in all but extraordinary circumstances.

Quantity: Documentation is sufficient for committee purposes and material available to the public is available promptly, electronically or in hard copy.

 

Output Group 5: Black Rod’s Office

Output

Performance Information

Senators’ Services

Provision of office, chamber and committee room support; information technology and ceremonial services; and security advice for senators and Senate office-holders in Parliament House.

Provision of support services, in conjunction with the House of Representatives, to the Former Members’ Association.

Administered items:

Payment of parliamentary salaries and allowances to senators and office-holders of the Senate.

 

Quality: The degree of satisfaction of the President, Deputy President, committee members and senators, as expressed through formal and informal feedback mechanisms, with the quality and timeliness of advice and support and the achievement of key tasks.

Advice, documentation and publications are accurate and of a high standard.

Timeliness: All support services delivered in a timely manner.

Quantity: All support services and supplies delivered in accordance with entitlements on request.

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