About the Department

The Department of the House of Representatives provides services to support the efficient conduct of the House of Representatives, its committees and certain joint committees as well as a range of services and facilities for Members in Parliament House. The Department also undertakes activities to promote the work of the House in the community and is responsible for the conduct of the Parliaments' international and regional relations. The Speaker has accountability obligations to the Parliament for the Department. The Clerk of the House of Representatives is responsible for managing the Department.

The Department's outcome

The Department has a single outcome:

  • The House of Representatives fulfils its role as a representative and legislative body.

Five activities support this outcome:

Activity 1 - Chamber and Federation Chamber

Manager: Clerk Assistant (Table), Clerk Assistant (Procedure)

  • Chamber and Federation Chamber
  • Advice and services to enable the Chamber and Federation Chamber to meet and address business as scheduled
  • Processing and drafting of bills
  • Creating and processing the records and papers of the Parliament
  • Collection, analysis and publication of procedural and statistical information

The outputs of Activity 1 are delivered primarily through the Clerk’s Office, the Table Office and the Procedure Office. Other departmental work areas also contribute as required.

These areas combine to provide effective secretariat and advisory support to the Chamber and Federation Chamber of the House of Representatives. Main functions are:

  • provision of advice to the Speaker and members of the House of Representatives
  • provision of programming and procedural advice and support
  • processing and drafting of bills
  • preparation of the record of proceedings of the House
  • processing and custody of, and provision of access to, the documents presented to the House
  • provision of procedural and parliamentary research and a statistical service, and
  • provision of secretariat support to certain domestic committees.

Activity 2 - Community awareness

Manager: Serjeant-at-Arms

Community Awareness: Public information and education services to increase public knowledge and awareness of, and interaction with, the work of the House of Representatives and the Commonwealth Parliament.

The work of Activity 2 aims to increase knowledge about the House of Representatives in the community and encourage community participation in the work of the House and its committees. The department’s Community Outreach team works in cooperation with other departmental areas to produce a range of multimedia products and conduct seminars and presentations that help inform the community about the House.

Activity 3 - Committee support

Manager: Clerk Assistant (Committees)

Committee support: Procedural, research, analytical and administrative support for the conduct of inquiries and other activities of committees and the publication of the final report.

The work of Activity 3 (Committee Services) is carried out by the Committee Office. The Committee Office supports parliamentary committees in discharging their responsibilities of parliamentary consideration of policy and legislation and scrutiny of government.

Activity 4 - Inter-parliamentary relations and capacity building

Manager: Clerk Assistant (Table)

Interparliamentary Relations: Advice and support to facilitate the conduct of the Parliament’s international and regional affairs

Activity 4 provides advice and support for the conduct of the Parliament’s regional and other international affairs. The functions and services of the output group are delivered primarily by the International and Parliamentary Relations Office (IPRO), which is jointly funded by the departments of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and administered by the Department of the House of Representatives.

Activity 5 - Members' services and corporate support

Manager: Serjeant-at-Arms

Activity 5 focuses on providing advice, services and support for members of the House of Representatives. Responsibilities include support for accommodation at Parliament House, the delivery of office and communication services such as stationery, printing and information technology, and the payment of salaries and allowances. These responsibilities are undertaken by the Serjeant-at-Arms’ Office, the People Strategies Office, the Parliamentary Business and Information Services Office and the Finance Office.

In providing these services, the department maintains a close liaison with the Department of Parliamentary Services. The Department of Parliamentary Services is responsible for providing building maintenance and the central information technology services for Parliament House generally while staff in the Department of the House of Representatives act as the primary contact point for members in relation to the provision of the services.