37th Report: Administration of Parliamentary Security

37th Report: Administration of Parliamentary Security

November 2002

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006

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Members of the Committee


Richard Pye
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: 02 6277 3015
Fax: 02 6277 5784
E-mail: richard.pye@aph.gov.au
Internet: https://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/app_ctte/index.htm

Background: Review of the administration of parliamentary security

1.1  The Standing Committee on Appropriations and Staffing presents its 37 th Report, on the Administration of Parliamentary Security. This report reflects the consideration by the committee of in principle decisions made by the Presiding Officers on security matters following the review by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner of aspects of the administration of the Parliament.

1.2  The review was commissioned in April 2002 by the then President, Senator the Honourable Margaret Reid, and the Speaker, the Honourable Neil Andrew MP. The first of three areas identified for investigation was, ‘The advantages, financial and organisational, which may arise from a change to the administration of security within Parliament House.’ The full terms of reference of the review are contained at Appendix 1.

1.3  The Commissioner presented his first report, on security matters, to the Presiding Officers in June 2002. The recommendations on security were later subsumed, with some minor edits, in his final report, received by the Presiding Officers on 30 September 2002 and tabled in the Senate on 23 October 2002.

1.4  The President reported to the committee that the Presiding Officers had made the following in principle decisions in response to the Commissioner’s recommendations on the administration of parliamentary security: That—

The President referred to these issues as part of his statement to the Senate on security within the Parliamentary Precincts on 11 November 2002.[1]

Role of the committee

2.1  The terms of appointment of the Standing Committee on Appropriations and Staffing require that it examine matters affecting the staffing and administration of the Department of the Senate, including proposals to vary the staffing structure.2Further, a resolution of the Senate declares, ‘that no changes in the structure or responsibilities of the parliamentary departments should be made until—

2.2  The in principle decisions made by the Presiding Officers propose both a variation to the staffing structure of the Department of the Senate and a change in the structure and responsibilities of the parliamentary departments. Accordingly the committee has considered those decisions and now reports to the Senate.

Administration of parliamentary security

3.1  With respect to the administration of Parliamentary security, the committee has adopted the following resolutions:

(1) The committee, with reference to the statement by the President to the Senate on 11 November 2002, endorses the proposals adopted in principle by the President for the reorganisation of the security function in Parliament House, including:

and recommends that the Senate approve of those proposals.

(2) The committee, in endorsing those proposals, notes that, while the proposed reorganisation may improve governance and coordination in the security function, it does not itself ensure that appropriate security measures are taken in Parliament House, and the committee calls on the President to take appropriate measures to secure the building adequately, with the advice of the Commonwealth’s security agencies and with appropriate consultation with, and notification to, senators.

3.2  The Senate must approve the proposed changes before they can take effect.

Review of aspects of the administration of the Parliament

4.1  With respect to the review by the Parliamentary Service Commissioner, the committee notes that the Presiding Officers have invited comments from senators, parliamentary staff and other interested persons by 22 November 2002. The committee will consider the review further after that time.

(Paul Calvert)

[1]November 2002 Senate Debates, 11/11/2002, pp. 5817-8 [Proof Hansard]

[2]Standing order 19.

[3]Agreed to 3 June 1987, J.1951.