The department is one of the three parliamentary departments supporting the Australian Parliament.
The main responsibility of the department is the effective and efficient provision of advisory and administrative support services to enable the Senate and Senators to fulfil their representative and legislative duties.
The department also runs education programs and prepares publications to promote an understanding of parliamentary processes.
These responsibilities are reflected in the intermediate outcomes shown in the diagram on the opposite page.
The department is responsible to the Senate through the President of the Senate. The administrative head of the department is the Clerk of the Senate. The department is organised into five offices:
- Clerk’s Office – provides procedural and constitutional advice in relation to the proceedings of the Senate and its committees; strategic direction for the department; secretariat support for the Procedure Committee, the Committee of Privileges and the Committee of Senators' Interests; and maintains the Register of Senators' Interests.
- Table Office – provides programming and procedural support to the Senate; processes legislation and documents, and archives records of the Senate; produces records of Senate business and proceedings, and disseminates information on the work of the Senate; provides document distribution and inquiries services; and provides secretariat support to several domestic committees.
- Procedure Office—provides advisory and drafting services to non-government senators, secretariat support for the legislative scrutiny committees and policy support for inter-parliamentary relations; conducts parliamentary research; and promotes community awareness and knowledge of the Senate and the parliament.
- Committee Office – provides secretariat support for most Senate and certain joint committees and in accordance with committee directions, facilitates the public’s awareness of and involvement in the work of committees.
- Black Rod’s Office - provides office, chamber and committee room support; information technology and ceremonial services; security advice; and corporate services to the Senate, senators and departmental staff.
Resources made available in the Budget year
Table A: Resources made available in the Budget year
Appropriations and variations
There were no major changes, variations or initiatives in relation to the departmental appropriation for the 2009-10 financial year.
Figure 2: Departmental appropriation by Office ($’000)
Figure 3: Departmental appropriation by Office (% of total)
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