Bills Digest No. 194  1998-99 Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill 1999-2000

Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.


Passage History
Main Provisions
Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Passage History

Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill 1999-2000

Date Introduced: 11 May 1999

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Treasury

Commencement: Royal Assent



To appropriate $159.226 million for the expenditure of the Parliamentary Departments for Departmental outcomes, administered expenses and capital items during 1999-2000.



As with the executive Departments, the 1999-2000 Budgets for the Parliamentary Departments have been prepared using an accrual basis and provide funding for Departmental outcomes, administered expenses and capital items, whereas previous appropriations have been stated in terms of running costs and other services. For further information on aspects of the change to accrual accounting, refer to the Digest for the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 1999-2000.

Since 1982, the appropriations for the Parliamentary Departments have been effected by a separate Bill. This followed the Fraser Government's consideration of the Report of the Senate Select Committee (the Select Committee) on Parliamentary Appropriations and Staffing tabled on 18 August 1981.

Under current arrangements, the executive government maintains control over the contents of the Bill as introduced. As the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill is not for the ordinary annual services of the government, it may be amended by the Senate.

The Public Service Act 1922 provides that the administration of the Parliament is undertaken by five Parliamentary Departments - the Department of the Senate, the Department of the House of Representatives, the Joint House Department, the Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff (DPRS) and the Department of the Parliamentary Library.

The Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate are responsible for the provision of procedural, information and administrative services to Members and Senators respectively. The Joint House Department performs building management, maintenance and catering functions associated with Parliament House. DPRS provides reporting, information technology, telecommunications and broadcasting services to the Parliament through Hansard, the Parliamentary Information Systems Office (PISO) and the Sound and Vision Office (SAVO). The Department of the Parliamentary Library is responsible for the provision of library, reference and research services to the Parliament.

The allocations to the various Departments are contained in the Schedule to the Bill. Appropriations for 1999-2000, with the previous year's figures in brackets, are:

House of Representatives






Joint House Department



Parliamentary Reporting Staff



Parliamentary Library




Main Provisions

Clause 6 provides that for Departmental items, the Finance Minister may issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund amounts that do not exceed that listed in the Schedule to the Bill and that such funds must be used for the departmental expenses of the Parliamentary Department. Where the amount is for remuneration or allowances payable under the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973 or the Remuneration and Allowances Act 1990, the Minister for Finance must issue the amount.

For administered expenses, clause 7 provides that the Finance Minister may issue the lesser of the amount specified and the amount the Minister determines to be the administered expenses incurred by the Parliamentary Department.

Clause 8 will authorise the Finance Minister to issue an amount that does not exceed the amounts specified in the Schedule.

The responsible Presiding Officer/s will be able to increase the amount allocated to an item to a total maximum of $200 000 for both the House of Representatives and the Senate (for these Departments this power is exercisable by the Speaker for the House of Representatives and by the President for the Senate) and to a total maximum of $200 000 for all the remaining Departments combined (exercisable jointly by the Speaker and President)(clause 10).

Clause 11 is similar to clause 10 but deals with increases in items due to unforeseen circumstances. The maximum increase under clause 11 is a total of $300 000 for the Senate; $300 000 for the House of Representatives; and a total of $1 million for the other Departments combined.

Clause 14 will formally appropriate the funds for the Bill.


Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Chris Field
2 June 1999
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

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ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1999

Except to the extent of the uses permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without the prior written consent of the Parliamentary Library, other than by Members of the Australian Parliament in the course of their official duties.

Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 1999.

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