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Monday, 28 February 2011
Page: 786


Senator Humphries asked the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services, upon notice, on 29 November 2010:

Since 14 September 2010, for each Minister and any Parliamentary Secretaries within their portfolio:

(1)   Do the Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries have access to a departmental credit card; if so, can a copy be provided of all bank statements.

(2) (a)   How many mobile devices are provided to the Minister’s office; and (b) what is the total spend on mobile devices for each office to date.

(3)   At what level is each staff member employed in the office.

(4)   What has been the total cost of travel for the Minister and Parliamentary Secretaries.

(5)   What has been the total travel for all staff, by office.


Senator Arbib (Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Minister for Social Housing and Homelessness) —The Minister for Human Services has provided the answer to the honourable senators question:

(1)   The Minister does not have access to a departmental credit card.

(2) (a)   There are 10 mobile devices (plus 10 Wireless USB Modems) provided to the Minister’s office, (b) The total spend on mobile devices/ Modems as at 29 November 2010 is $13,797.

(3)   The employment of staff under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 is administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. On 19 October 2010, the Department of Finance and Deregulation tabled with the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee, Government Personal Positions as at 1 October 2010.

(4)   The costs of official travel by Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and accompanying staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 are largely paid by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. As such, with the exception of those costs listed below, the information sought will be tabled by the Special Minister of State in the last sitting week of June 2011 in his six-monthly report on Parliamentarians Travel Paid by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. As at 29 November, the total cost of short-term transport (such as hire cars and taxis) was $2,086.98.

(5)   The Special Minister of State will respond on behalf of all ministers.