Department of Parliamentary Services Annual Report 2011-2012

Part 5 Sustainability

Sustainability reporting pilot and the Global Reporting Initiative

Sustainability reporting involves the expansion of traditional reporting to include all aspects of an organisation’s economic, environmental, social and governance performance.

DPS, together with a small number of other agencies, is pleased to have participated in the sustainability reporting framework pilot. DPS was selected for the pilot as an agency that is already structuring the environmental chapter of the annual report based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which uses an internationally developed set of environmental indicators to measure performance. Information about GRI is available at

Summary of performance

Table 5.1 is a summary of economic, employment and environmental data collected by DPS for 2011–12. Detailed explanations about DPS’s performance in these areas are included in the relevant sections of the report.

Table 5.1—Summary of performance




Operating Statement

Total expenditure


Total own source revenue


Total net cost of service


Economic Viability

Total assets


Total liabilities



Number of staff employed


Total employee expenditure


The diversity of the workforce18

Women (% of the total workforce)


People with a disability (% of total workforce)


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (% of total workforce)


Staff with English as a second language (% of total workforce)


Staff health and wellbeing

Work health and safety (WHS) incident reports


Number of health and safety representatives


Training and education

Percentage of staff undertaking supported studies



Office energy use21

Total office tenant light and power electricity consumption (kWh)

See footnote 20

Total office tenant light and power energy consumption (MJ)

See footnote 20

Office energy use

Office tenant light and power energy use per FTE (MJ/FTE)

See footnote 20

Office tenant light and power energy use per square metre (MJ/m2)

See footnote 20

Base/central building energy consumption (MJ)22


Base/central building energy consumption per square metre (MJ/m2)


Greenhouse emissions attributed to office tenant light and power and base/central building energy use (T CO2-e)


Green power purchased (kWh)23


Vehicle fleet24

Total number of fleet vehicles


Average green vehicle rating of fleet


Total fuel purchased (Kl)


Total distance travelled (km)


Average fuel consumption of fleet vehicles (l/100km)


Total direct greenhouse emissions of fleet (T CO2-e)


Greenhouse Emissions

Total greenhouse emissions (T CO2-e)


Total greenhouse emissions per FTE (T CO2-e/FTE)


Air Travel25

Total number of flights


Total distance of flights (km)


Potable water consumption

Total potable water use (Kilolitres)


Potable water use per FTE (Kilolitres/FTE)


Potable water use per square metre (Kilolitres/m2)


Resource efficiency and waste

Office paper purchased by FTE (A4 reams/FTE)26


Percentage of office paper purchased with recycled content27


Office paper recycled (tonnes)28


Total waste produced (tonnes)


Total waste produced per FTE (Kg/FTE)


Percentage of waste diverted from landfill




The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives (the Presiding Officers) have joint powers in relation to DPS that are similar, but not identical, to those of a Minister administering an executive department. Parliamentary departments are distinct from government departments, in that they serve the Parliament, not the Government, and operate under the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, not the Public Service Act 1999.

The Presiding Officers are assisted by the Joint House Committee, the Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library, the Security Management Board, the Heritage Advisory Board, the Presiding Officers’ Information Technology Advisory Group and the Art Advisory Committee. The role of each of these committees is outlined below.

Committees advising the Presiding Officers

Joint House Committee

The Joint House Committee (JHC) is comprised of the members of the House Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of those committees are appointed under Senate Standing Order 21 and House of Representatives Standing Order 218 respectively. Currently, when these two committees meet jointly as the Joint House Committee, the senior Presiding Officer is the Chair.

The joint committee first met on Wednesday 26 June 1901, at which time it was resolved that the JHC would take over responsibility for various maintenance and facilities services (at that time, located in the Victorian Parliament House, Melbourne) and ‘such other matters as tend to the convenience of Members of Parliament’. Under current standing orders, the respective House Committees may consider any matter relating to the provision of facilities in Parliament House referred to it by that chamber or its Presiding Officer.

Membership of the JHC at 30 June 2012 was:

Senator the Hon John Hogg (Chair)

The Hon Peter Slipper MP

Senator the Hon Bill Heffernan

Senator Anne McEwen

Senator Stephen Parry

Senator Glenn Sterle

The Hon Warren Entsch MP

The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Ms Jill Hall MP

Mr Chris Hayes MP

Mr Ewen Jones MP

Mr Michael McCormack MP

The JHC met four times in 2011–12 and considered a range of issues, including:

Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library

Information about the role and functions of the Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library, including its terms of reference, can be found under the heading ‘Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library’ in Part 3 of this report.

Security Management Board

The Security Management Board (SMB) was established pursuant to section 65A of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999. The function of the SMB is to provide advice to the Presiding Officers on security policy, and the management of security measures, for Parliament House.

Membership of the SMB is as follows:

In addition, the SMB may invite representatives of organisations involved in the development of security policy and provision of security services to Parliament House to attend meetings. Representatives include officials from the Australian Federal Police, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Finance and Deregulation, as well as DPS.

Heritage Advisory Board

The Parliament House Heritage Advisory Board (HAB) was established by the Presiding Officers on 23 November 2011. The role of the Board is set out in the Parliament House Heritage Management Framework. The primary function of the Board is to provide advice to the Presiding Officers on the heritage management of Parliament House. The Board is also required to provide oversight of detailed heritage issues for Parliament House.

Membership of the HAB is as follows:

In 2011–12, the HAB was assisted in its deliberations by representatives from the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, and the National Capital Authority.

Presiding Officers’ Information Technology Advisory Group

For the 43rd Parliament, the Presiding Officers’ Information Technology Advisory Group (POITAG) comprises seven Senators and six Members of the House of Representatives.

POITAG’s terms of reference are to:

  1. identify and advise the Presiding Officers on the information and communication technology (ICT) requirements of Senators and Members;
  2. monitor and assess the performance of those areas of the parliamentary administration providing ICT-related services; and
  3. advise and assist the Presiding Officers on issues relating to the efficient and cost-effective use of ICT in the Parliament.

Art Advisory Committee

The purpose of the Art Advisory Committee (AAC) is to assist the Presiding Officers in determining the suitability of artworks for addition to the PHAC.

Membership of the AAC includes:

AAC meetings are also attended by an independent art adviser from the staff of the National Gallery of Australia.

The AAC’s terms of reference are to:

  1. provide guidance on the Rotational Collection Acquisition Policy, and set short-term priorities for acquisitions;
  2. assess acquisition proposals in accordance with the acquisition policy and priorities; and
  3. provide advice on other matters relating to the display and management of artworks in the PHAC as considered necessary by the Presiding Officers.

The AAC met twice during 2011–12.

DPS committees

Executive Committee

In 2011–12, the Secretary was assisted in the management of the department by the Executive Committee, which includes the Deputy Secretary, Parliamentary Librarian, all Assistant Secretaries and the Director, Strategy and Communication. This committee considers the development and implementation of the DPS governance framework and associated processes, including risk management and business planning.

The Executive Committee also deals with a range of policy matters in areas such as occupational health and safety, environmental issues and departmental organisation issues.

Minutes of meetings are also published on the intranet (DPS Staff Portal).

Strategy and Finance Committee

In 2011–12, the Strategy and Finance Committee (SFC) operated to support the performance of the department. It comprises the Secretary, the Deputy Secretary, the Parliamentary Librarian, the Chief Finance Officer, and the Director Strategy and Communication.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee’s primary responsibilities are to:

  1. ensure DPS compliance with obligations under the Financial Management and Accountability Act 1997 (FMA Act) and the FMA Regulations;
  2. oversee, on behalf of the Executive, the integrity of DPS financial reporting controls and other procedures or systems for the management of risk and good governance;
  3. advise the Secretary on whether the annual financial statements represent a true and fair view of the department’s financial management; and
  4. provide a forum of communication between the Secretary, senior managers, and internal and external auditors.

The Audit Committee comprises an external chair, Mr Will Laurie, and at least three senior DPS employees. DPS Audit Committee appointments are individual, and responsibilities may not be delegated to another person.

During 2011–12, five DPS members served on the Audit Committee: Mr David Kenny (Deputy Secretary), Ms Roxanne Missingham (former Parliamentary Librarian, who retired from the Committee in February 2012), Dr Dianne Heriot (Assistant Secretary, Research Branch, who assumed the duties of the Parliamentary Librarian from February 2012), Ms Bronwyn Graham (Assistant Secretary, Building Services Branch, appointed to the Committee in March 2012) and Ms Judy Tahapehi (Director, Strategy and Communication).

Table 5.2 lists the chair and the five DPS members who served on the Audit Committee for 2011–12.

Table 5.2—Audit Committee attendance



Meeting attendance


out of

Mr Will Laurie

External Chair



Mr David Kenny

Deputy Secretary



Ms Roxanne Missingham

Parliamentary Librarian



Dr Dianne Heriot

Parliamentary Librarian30



Ms Bronwyn Graham

Assistant Secretary, Building Services Branch



Ms Judy Tahapehi

Director, Strategy and Communication



Representatives of the Australian National Audit Office and the department’s internal auditors (PricewaterhouseCoopers) attend Audit Committee meetings.

Fourteen internal audits were considered by the Committee during 2011–12, covering a range of DPS systems, management and governance processes. Two of these were management-initiated audits arising from questions asked at Senate Estimates hearings in February and May 2011, being the Disposal of Equipment from the Former Staff Recreation Room and the Valuation of Billiard Tables. A full list of internal audits considered by the Committee is provided at Table 5.3.

Audits conducted during the reporting year made a number of recommendations directed at enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. The Audit Committee monitors implementation of recommendations.

Progressive reviews of DPS risk management and fraud control arrangements were undertaken by the Committee throughout the year, including the monitoring of DPS’s implementation, testing and management of the business continuity and disaster recovery plans.

The Audit Committee meets once each quarter, with an additional meeting to consider the DPS financial statements. An extraordinary meeting was held in July 2011 to consider the findings of the internal audit into the Disposal of Equipment from the Former Staff Recreation Room.

Table 5.3—Internal audits considered by the Audit Committee in 2011–12

Audit Title

Disposal of Equipment from the Former Staff Recreation Room

Valuation of Billiard Tables

Management Information System and Performance Reporting

Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning

Management of Infrastructure Services Branch Stores

Electronic Document and Records Management System Post Implementation Review

Transfer of Electorate Office IT Services to DPS

Financial Processing

Certificate of Compliance 2010–11

Human Resource Processing – Long Service Leave Balances

Control Framework Maturity Assessment

Building Services Contract Management

Energy Use and Efficiency

Parliamentary Library Reftracker System

Parliamentary departments coordination

The Senior Management Coordination Group (SMCG) coordinates corporate and related matters among the three parliamentary departments. DPS is represented by the Deputy Secretary. The Department of the House of Representatives is represented by the Serjeant-at-Arms, and the Department of the Senate is represented by the Usher of the Black Rod. The position of chair of the SMCG rotates annually among the three members.

18. Workforce diversity data relies on self-identification
19. This figure is likely under-reported due to a loss of disability data in the transfer of HR information systems from PeopleSoft to Chris 21. A diversity census will be conducted during 2012–13 to correct this anomaly.
20. Environmental indicators reported in this table are impacted by building occupants not represented in FTE including Ministerial staff (DoFD), media outlets and other tenants, contractors and visitors to the building. Where indicated, FTE comprises the three parliamentary departments (DPS, Senate and House of Representatives).
21. Office Tenant Light and Power energy is not measured separately. Office Tenant Light and Power energy is combined with Base/Central Building energy in this table and comprises all energy consumed at Parliament House.
22. Base/Central Building energy consumption includes Office Tenant Light and Power energy consumption and non-transport fuel (diesel).
23. In 2011–12, as part of the Whole of Government (WoG) electricity contract, 10% of energy consumed was from renewable sources. DPS also sourced a small amount of renewable energy (59,501 kWh) from on-site solar power in 2011–12.
24. DPS reports Vehicle fleet data for the three parliamentary departments (DPS, Senate and House of Representatives).
25. DPS reports Flight data for the three parliamentary departments (DPS, Senate and House of Representatives).
26. DPS reports office paper purchased for the three parliamentary departments (DPS, Senate and House of Representatives).
27. Average recycled content for the three parliamentary departments (DPS, Senate and House of Representatives).
28. Office paper recycled is not measured separately. Quantity reported represents all paper products sent for recycling including cardboard, packaging and newspapers etc. Office paper represents approximately 20-30% of all paper products recycled.
29. Mr Kenny excused himself from the July 2011 meeting due to a possible conflict of interest, and did not attend the March 2012 meeting while acting as Secretary. Mr Kenny was on leave for the December 2011 meeting.
30. Dr Heriot assumed the duties of Parliamentary Librarian in February 2012. Prior to this, she was the Assistant Secretary, Research Branch.