Glossary and abbreviations list

amendments and requests for amendments Proposals to alter a bill, which may be moved by any senator or member. Any amendments made by one House must be agreed to by the other House before a bill can become law. The Senate may not amend bills imposing taxation or appropriating money for the Commonwealth’s ordinary annual services; nor may it amend an appropriation bill so as to increase a charge or burden on the people. The Senate may, however, ‘request’ the House of Representatives to make such amendments.
AFMPA Association of Former Members of the Parliament of Australia
AusTender Australian Government tender information system
bill A proposal for a law that is introduced into Parliament. Bills are considered consecutively by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The two Houses must agree to a bill in identical terms before it can be transmitted to the Governor-General for assent, which marks its passage into law.
committee of the whole A committee consisting of all the members of the Senate formed to consider a bill in detail.
COVID-19 Stands for novel coronavirus disease 2019, which is the illness caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2).
DPS Department of Parliamentary Services
estimates hearings The term commonly used to describe the consideration by Senate legislation committees of the annual and additional estimates of expenditure of government departments and agencies.
IPRO International and Parliamentary Relations Office
motions Proposals for the Senate to agree to something, which must be expressed in a way that conforms with the standing orders.
pandemic A worldwide spread of an infectious disease.
parliamentary privilege Two significant aspects of the law relating to parliament: the privileges or immunities of the Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament; and the powers of the Houses to protect the integrity of their processes, particularly the power to punish contempts.
PBO Parliamentary Budget Office
PBS Portfolio Budget Statements
PEO Parliamentary Education Office
PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PSC Parliamentary Skills Centre
Presiding Officers The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are the Presiding Officers. Each presides over the proceedings of his or her respective House. Administratively, each is responsible for his or her respective House department and together they are responsible for the Department of Parliamentary Services and the Parliamentary Budget Office.
procedural scripts Scripts containing both routine and complex wording to be used by senators to ensure compliance with standing orders when taking part in proceedings in the Senate.
questions on notice When referred to in the context of the Senate, these are written questions to ministers from other senators. Questions on notice in the context of estimates proceedings are written or oral questions from committee members to a minister and/or the minister’s departmental officers, which require written answers from the minister or the minister’s department.
second reading amendments Proposed resolutions which comment on or affect the passage of bills, but do not propose specific changes to the text of bills.
SES Senior Executive Service
SPIO Senate Public Information Office
Standing Orders Procedural rules that govern the conduct of proceedings in the Senate and its committees.
TOPS Table Offices Production System