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Tuesday, 20 April 1999
Page: 3939


Senator Robert Ray asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice, on 1 December 1998:

With reference to the past practice in which the Prime Minister has supplied answers across portfolios relating to the employment of departmental liaison officers (DLOs):

(1) What is the standard allocation of DLOs per portfolio minister and per non-portfolio minister and parliamentary secretary.

(2) In each instance how many DLOs have been allocated to each minister and parliamentary secretary.

(3) In each instance what are the responsibilities of each DLO, where allocated on account of a major agency etc.

(4) Which ministers have been allocated escort officers and how many.

(5) Which ministers have staff undergoing short-term developmental experience in the offices of ministers and parliamentary secretaries, for example, Graduate Administrative Assistants, and how many.

(6) What are the number of staff from the department and Cabinet's Parliamentary Liaison Office assisting the Leader of the House and the Manager of Government Business in the Senate.


Senator Hill (Environment and Heritage) —This answer replaces the answer previously supplied to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The standard allocation is two DLOs for portfolio ministers, and one for non-portfolio ministers and parliamentary secretaries. There are exceptions to the standard allocation, usually where a minister has responsibility for more than one major agency, either within the portfolio or another portfolio, or for times of peak activity requiring additional liaison.

(2) See Table 1 (attached) for DLOs currently allocated.

(3) The DLOs have responsibility for facilitating liaison between the minister and the department or agency in relation to administrative and policy matters. The range of duties varies depending on the level and skills of the DLO, as well as on the work priorities of the minister's office and department or agency from time to time.

(4) Consistent with past practice, the Minister for Defence, the Hon John Moore, MP, and the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence, the Hon Bruce Scott, MP, have each been allocated one escort officer.

(5) Consistent with past practice, public servants may undertake short-term developmental opportunities in ministers' offices. The Office of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs regularly takes a placement from the Department of Veterans' Affairs' Graduate Administrative Assistant program.

(6) The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet provides four staff in the parliamentary liaison role. One parliamentary liaison officer (PLO) and an assistant to the PLO are made available in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

TABLE 1:DEPARTMENTAL LIAISON OFFICERS AS AT 9 MARCH 1999

ABBOTT

1

ABETZ

1

ALSTON

2

ANDERSON

2

ANTHONY

1

BISHOP

1

CAMPBELL

1

COSTELLO

3

DOWNER

3

ELLISON

1

ENTSCH

1

FAHEY

2

FISCHER

2

HEFFERNAN

1

HERRON

2

HILL

2

HOCKEY

1

HOWARD

2

KELLY

1

KEMP, D

3

KEMP, R

2

MACDONALD

2*

MCGAURAN

1

MINCHIN

2

MOORE

2

NEWMAN

4

PATTERSON

1

REITH

2

RUDDOCK

2

SCOTT

2

SLIPPER

1

STONE

1

SULLIVAN

1

TAMBLING

1

TROETH

1

TRUSS

2

TUCKEY

1

VAILE

2

VANSTONE

3

WILLIAMS

2

WOOLDRIDGE

2

WORTH

1

* includes one part-time position used in Parliamentary sittings periods.