The Parliamentary Service Act 1999 establishes the
office of the Parliamentary Librarian, whose primary function is ‘to provide
high quality information, analysis and advice to senators and members of the
House of Representatives in support of their parliamentary and representational
These services are to be delivered:
- in a timely, impartial and confidential manner
- maintaining the highest standards of scholarship and integrity
- on the basis of equality of access for all senators, members of the House of
Representatives, parliamentary committees and staff acting on behalf of
senators, members or parliamentary committees, and
- having regard to the independence of Parliament from the Executive
Government of the Commonwealth.
To help ensure the independence of the Library, the Librarian reports directly to
the Presiding Officers and to the Parliament in respect of her statutory
functions. The Librarian also reports to the Joint Standing Committee on the
Parliamentary Library (JSCPL) which advises the Presiding Officers on matters
relating to the Library.
The Library’s primary clients are senators, members and parliamentary committees.
Other client groups include parliamentarians’ staff, staff of the parliamentary
departments, and the Governor-General. Service entitlements for all
clients are outlined in the Parliamentary Library Statement of Client Services
as approved by the JSCPL.
The Parliamentary Library is part of DPS’ Program 1. In the DPS Corporate Plan 2017–18,
the Library’s services fall under the strategic theme: ‘Respond to the changing
needs of the Parliament’.
Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary
The JSCPL is appointed each Parliament to:
- consider and report to the Presiding Officers on any matters relating to the
Parliamentary Library referred to it by the President or the Speaker
- provide advice to the President and the Speaker on matters relating to the
- provide advice to the President and the Speaker on an annual Resource
Agreement between the Parliamentary Librarian and the Secretary of DPS, and
- receive advice and reports, including an annual report, directly from the
Parliamentary Librarian on matters relating to the Parliamentary Library.
The Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library. Standing (left to
right): Senator Moore, Senator Brockman, Mr Zimmerman, Mr Broadbent, Dr Heriot
(Committee Secretary); seated (left to right): Ms Stanley, Mr Ramsey (Joint
Chair), Senator Lines (Joint Chair), Mr van Manen; inset (left to right): Mr
Bryne, Senator Duniam, Dr Freelander, Senator Gichuhi. (Auspic)
The JSCPL for the 45th Parliament was established by motion of the House of
Representatives and of the Senate on 1 September 2016 and 12 September 2016
respectively. The following senators and members served on the JSCPL In 2017–18:
- Mr Rowan Ramsey MP (Joint Chair)
- Senator Sue Lines (Joint Chair)
- Senator Slade Brockman (from 17 August 2017)
- Mr Russell Broadbent MP
- The Hon Anthony Byrne MP
- Senator Jonathon Duniam
- Dr Mike Freelander MP
- Senator Lucy Gichuhi (from 5 February 2018)
- Senator Claire Moore
- Senator James Paterson (to 5 February 2018)
- Ms Anne Stanley MP
- Mr Bert van Manen MP
- Senator John Williams (to 17 August 2017)
- Mr Trent Zimmerman MP.
The JSCPL met privately on 5 December 2017, 5 February 2018 and 18 June 2018 and considered,
- the client evaluation of Library services for the 45th Parliament
- the Librarian’s annual report
- electorate office outreach
- a review of the Library’s key performance indicators
- Library Census-related services
- strategic digital priorities, and
- correspondence to the committee.
The Parliamentary Library comprises the Parliamentary Librarian and the employees
of DPS assisting her.
The Library’s Executive is:
- Dr Dianne Heriot, Parliamentary Librarian
- Mr Jonathan Curtis, Assistant Secretary, Research Branch, and
- Ms Liz Luchetti, Assistant Secretary, Library Collections and Databases Branch.
The Library’s structure comprises:
- Office of the Parliamentary Librarian—a small unit consisting of the
Parliamentary Librarian, three Library executive support officers, the
Library Publishing Unit and the Director, Client Relations, who provides
orientation and training services for parliamentarians, their staff and
other parliamentary staff
- Research Branch—which provides information, research and analytical services
including individually commissioned research, publications and statistical
and mapping services, and
- Library Collections and Databases Branch—which develops and manages access
to the Library’s print and electronic resources. The Branch also manages the
main Library reference desk and the Senators’ and Members’ Reading Room.
Figure 5: Parliamentary Library Organisation Chart (as at 30 June 2018)
Parliamentary Service Act 1999, subsection 38B(1).
Parliamentary Service Act 1999, subsection 38B(2).
Service Act 1999 subsection 38A(2).