Senate Public Information Office


Produce, publish and manage information resources about the activities of the Senate and its committees.

Liaison with the Department of Parliamentary Services and others in relation to the ICT systems and resources that underpin the support provided to the Senate, including system enhancement and development.

Performance information Performance results
Coordination of public information resources advances awareness of the Senate. Accurate information resources were developed and published including sitting day resources such as the Dynamic Red, Senate Daily Summary, statistics and the video series Senate Discovery. Other website information and social media presence was maintained and enhanced.
In-house design and production of information supports the work of the department. A range of material, including procedural resources and the department’s corporate reporting and planning documents were produced to agreed timeframes. Intranet sites for senators and staff enhanced dissemination of information.
Development and enhancement of information systems support the Senate. Planned progress was achieved in ICT projects affecting Senate and committee information resources. The requirements of the Senate and the department were effectively represented in the ICT priorities of the Parliament.


The Senate Public Information Office (SPIO) produces and publishes an array of information resources so that people may understand and engage in the work of the Senate. This work is undertaken against the strategic goal of improving the department’s approach to publishing and sharing information and being responsive to the evolving ways in which senators and the public expect to find and digest information.

SPIO also coordinates the department’s involvement in forums and projects affecting the production and dissemination of Senate and departmental information resources.

During 2017–18, the oversight of SPIO moved from the Clerk’s Office to the Clerk Assistant (Table) and it was established as a stand-alone element of the department’s organisational structure.

The cost of the office for 2017–18 was $1.2m ($1.2m in 2016–17).

In this reporting period, the office’s work to develop and publish information resources included:

  • publication of the Dynamic Red (with enhanced information available), the sitting week summary resources Week Ahead and Senate Daily Summary
  • management of the ParlWork application, including identifying further enhancements to be implemented in the next reporting period
  • further development of the Senate Connect intranet, which provides practical and procedural resources for senators and their staff, and the Senate department’s intranet, SENnet, which provides procedural, administrative and policy materials required by our staff
  • commencing work on redeveloping the PEO website, and
  • producing video, print and web resources for the PEO, and continuing to develop the Senate Discovery series.

During the reporting period SPIO continued its collaborative work with the Departments of Parliamentary Services and the House of Representatives on a number of ICT projects to enhance the systems that underpin our work and to create new resources, including:

  • the redevelopment of the department’s statistical collection StatsNet
  • the creation of ‘Live Estimates’, a resource to enable senators and the public to follow in real time, the progress of estimates hearings, akin to the Dynamic Red which tracks proceedings in the Senate each sitting day
  • the creation of the online searchable database for estimates questions on notice
  • enhancements to committee office systems and continued rollout of the committee report builder, a new application to improve the production and publishing of committee reports
  • enhancements to the Table Office Production System (TOPS), and
  • participation in foundation projects that improve information and data management capabilities of the Parliament, including the Common Data Access Platform.

The new StatsNet and Live Estimates programs will be implemented early in the next reporting period. Other projects including the estimates questions on notice database and enhancements to TOPS were delivered in this reporting period.

Performance outlook

In 2018–19, SPIO will continue to publish and make accessible the Senate’s information.

The office will also continue to work with DPS to progress various ICT related projects designed to strengthen and streamline the systems and resources that enable our work, including:

  • enhancements to the ParlWork application and other web based resources
  • redesigning the Notice Paper and Journals of the Senate
  • the Online Tabled Documents Project (in collaboration with the Senate Table Office, DPS, the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) which will develop a system to receive and publish digital copies of tabled documents to significantly streamline the receipt, tabling and publication of thousands of documents each year, and
  • a project to integrate the estimates questions on notice database and the whole of government Parliamentary Document Management System (in collaboration with the Department of Finance), to streamline information exchange between the department and executive government agencies.