Department of the Senate

Department of the Senate

About the Department

The Constitution vests the Commonwealth legislative power in a Parliament consisting of the Queen, represented by the Governor-General, a Senate and a House of Representatives.

The Department of the Senate provides the Senate, its committees, the President of the Senate and senators with a broad range of advisory and support services related to the exercise of the legislative power of the Commonwealth.

The parliamentary head of the department is the President of the Senate and the departmental head is the Clerk of the Senate.

The department is one of three supporting the two Houses, the others being the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of Parliamentary Services.

The work of the Department of the Senate is determined almost entirely by the Senate and its committees. The department is responsible, not to the government of the day, but to the Senate and all senators, and maintains complete impartiality in serving equally senators from all political parties and independent senators.

Offices of the Department

The Department consists of five offices:

 

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About the Senate

The Senate is one of the two houses of the Australian Federal Parliament. It consists of 76 senators, twelve from each of the six states and two from each of the mainland territories. It shares the power to make laws with the other House of Parliament, the House of Representatives. The Senate is elected by proportional representation, so that its composition closely reflects the voting pattern of the electors.