Bills Digest No. 67  1998-99 Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No.2) 1998-99


Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

WARNING:
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.

CONTENTS

Passage History
Purpose
Background
Main Provisions
Endnotes
Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Passage History

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No.2) 1998-99

Date Introduced: 3 December 1998

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Finance and Administration

Commencement: On Royal Assent

Purpose

To authorise the Minister for Finance and Administration to release $1 129 000 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), in addition to funds appropriated by the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act 1998-99, for the operation of the Parliamentary Departments during 1998-99.

Background

Glossary of Terms

Appropriation - is the setting apart, assigning or applying of a sum of money to a particular use or to a particular person. In the budget context, an appropriation usually refers to an authorisation by Parliament to draw on funds from the CRF.

Budget outlays - refer to the net cost to the taxpayer of providing government services. Appropriations/payments out of the CRF are adjusted to take account (for example) of many government receipts. Hence a hypothetical government program 'XYZ' may have a total appropriation of $600 million but this may only represent budget outlays of $500 million if the 'XYZ' program receives income of $100 million from other (non-budget) sources.

Running costs - are the full recurrent and minor capital costs incurred by a department or agency in providing government services for which the department or agency is responsible. For many departments, staff salaries will represent the largest proportion of such costs.

Carryovers - are the mechanism by which funds appropriated for running costs in one year can be spent in some future year. The rationale for carrying forward unspent funding is based upon flexibility. Carryovers also reduce the incentive for unnecessary end-of-year spending and allow managers to plan spending without being restricted by cut-off dates. Up to 10 per cent of the total running costs budget can be carried forward from any one year.

Overview

Since 1982 a separate Bill has effected the appropriation for the Parliamentary Departments. This followed the Fraser Government's consideration of the Report of the Senate Select Committee on Parliamentary Appropriations and Staffing which was tabled on 18 August 1981.

Under current arrangements, the executive government maintains control over the contents of the Bill as introduced. In theory however, since the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill is not for the ordinary annual services of the government, the Senate may amend it.

The Public Service Act 1922 provides that the administration of the Parliament is undertaken by five Parliamentary Departments - the Department of the Senate, the Department of the House of Representatives, the Joint House Department, the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff (DPRS) and the Department of the Parliamentary Library.

The Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate are responsible for the provision of procedural, information and administrative services to Members and Senators respectively. The Joint House Department provides building and facilities management, maintenance and visitor services associated with Parliament House. DPRS provides reporting, information technology, telecommunications and broadcasting services to the Parliament through Hansard, the Parliamentary Information Systems Office (PISO) and the Sound and Vision Office (SAVO). The Department of the Parliamentary Library is responsible for the provision of library, reference and research services to the Parliament.

The additional appropriations sought by this Bill relate to the running costs of the:

  • Department of the Senate - $90 000
  • Department of the House of Representatives - $539 000, and
  • The Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff - $341 000.

An additional appropriation of $159 000 relates to capital expenditure for the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff.(1)

The total appropriation of $1 129 000 is partly offset by savings of $570 000 in the appropriations for the running costs of the Department of the Parliamentary Library and the Joint House Department made by the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Act 1998-99.(2)

Main Provisions

The Minister for Finance and Administration will be authorised to issue $1 129 000 from the CRF for the purposes specified in the Schedule of this Bill during 1998-99 (clause 4).

Clause 6 allows the Minister, based on the determination of the Presiding Officers, to draw additional funds from the CRF for increases in salaries and payments during the year ended 30 June 1999. Amounts issued must be reported to the Parliament.

Endnotes

  1. Appropriations (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No.2) 1998-99, p.10.
  2. Appropriations (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No.2) 1998-99, Second Reading
    Speech
    by the Minister for Finance and Administration, the Hon. John Fahey, MP, 3 December
    1998.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Ross Kilmurray
6 January 1999
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents with Senators and Members
and their staff but not with members of the public.

ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1999

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1999.

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