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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 3375


Senator Ronaldson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade, upon notice, on 14 September 2009:

With reference to resources provided to the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary by their home department that are above and beyond their entitlements as senators and members:

(1)   For the 2008-09 financial year: (a) can a list be provided of each brand and model of colour printer that was provided for the office of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary; and (b) what was the total cost of: (i) printer cartridges and/or toner, and (ii) servicing these printers.

(2)   For the 2008-09 financial year, what was the total value of photocopy paper received in the office of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary.

(3)   For the 2008-09 financial year, what was the value of other office consumables received in the office of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary.

(4)   For the 2008-09 financial year, can a list be provided of all departmental publications, excluding ordinary or mail-merged letters, which contained the name and/or photograph of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary, including: (a) the cost of producing each of these publications; and (b) how many copies were distributed and to what category of persons they were distributed to.

(5)   Does the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary have a departmentally-funded and maintained website/webpage; if so: (a) what was the cost of developing the website of the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary; (b) was the site refreshed during the 2008-09 financial year and if so, what was the cost for refreshing the site; and (c) what resources does the department provide to maintain, update and upload the content for the site.

(6)   Does the department distribute the media releases for the Minister and/or Parliamentary Secretary; if so: (a) how and to whom; and (b) for the 2008-09 financial year, what was the cost for this distribution.


Senator Faulkner (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade have provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)  

(a)   For the 2008-09 financial year the following table sets out the brand and model of colour printers that were provided for the offices of Ministers and/or Parliamentary Secretaries.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

One HP C3505

Two Lexmark C532

Minister for Trade

One Lexmark C532

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance

One Lexmark C532

One Fuji Xerox APC4300*

*Multi Function device (MFD). Supplied by AusAID

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs

One Fuji Xerox C360*

*Multi Function Device (MFD)

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Byrne)

NIL

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Murphy)

NIL

(b) (i)   The department does not collect information separately in its financial management information system on the costs of printer cartridges and/or toner provided to the offices of the Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries. The total cost of consumables, which may include printer cartridges and/or toner received in the offices of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries, is provided in part 3 below. To collect this specific information for the purpose of answering this question would be a major task and I am not prepared to authorise the expenditure and effort that would be required.

(ii)   For the 2008-09 financial year the costs of servicing individual printers are not able to be separately identified as these are part of a general support contract between the department and an external company. For the Fuji Xerox C360 and APC4300, which are both leased devices, there was no additional service cost paid in the 2008-09 financial year.

(2)   For the 2008-09 financial year, the following table sets out the total value of photocopy paper received in the offices of the Ministers and/or Parliamentary Secretaries.

Minister for Foreign Affairs

$2,647.28

Minister for Trade

$2,765.25

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance

$472.53*

*Supplied by AusAID

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs

$305.40

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Byrne)

$226.36*

*Reflects costs met by DFAT only. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet may also provide photocopy paper to Mr Byrne.

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Murphy)

$158.69

(3)   For the 2008-09 financial year, the following table sets out the value of other office consumables received in the offices of the Ministers and/or Parliamentary Secretaries.

Total consumable cost including toner

Minister for Foreign Affairs

$29,459.18

Minister for Trade

$26,475.34

Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance

$1,775.26*

*Supplied by AusAID

Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs

$1,711.74

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Byrne)

$1,287.43*

*Reflects costs met by DFAT only. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet also provides office consumables to Mr Byrne.

Parliamentary Secretary for Trade (Mr Murphy)

$5,533.83

(4)   A list of departmental publications is located on the Departmental Website http://www.dfat.gov.au/publications/ To provide the cost of producing each of these publications and the distribution details would entail a significant diversion of resources and, in these circumstances, I do not consider the additional work can be justified.

(5)   Yes. The departmentally supported websites of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade are at http://www.foreignminister.gov.au and http://www.trademinister.gov.au respectively.

(a)   The department first established websites for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade in 2000, and has developed them incrementally since that time. To research the initial development costs of the websites would entail a significant diversion of resources and, in these circumstances, I do not consider the additional work can be justified.

(b)   No.

(c)   The departmental work unit responsible for uploading content to and maintaining the ministerial websites comprises three full-time employees, with a budget of $320,000 in 2008-2009. This unit is also responsible for the DFAT website and several other websites maintained by the department. The department does not differentiate between the resources devoted to maintaining the ministerial websites on the one hand and departmental websites on the other.

(6)   The department distributes most media releases for portfolio Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries. (a) These releases are distributed directly via the department’s email system to email distribution lists, which include news rooms and individual journalists with an interest in receiving portfolio-related releases. (b) There was no additional marginal cost for this distribution.