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Wednesday, 27 October 1993
Page: 2678

(Question No. 626)

Senator Alston asked the Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services, upon notice, on 28 September 1993:

  (1) Who is the NMLS designed to provide services to, what services does it provide and how are these services provided, in particular: (a) does the NMLS only provide these services on request; and (b) does the NMLS initiate the provision of services to clients.

  (2) What proportion of services provide by NMLS falls into either or both of the two categories described in (1)(a) and (b).

  (3) What records is the NMLS required to keep of its activities and does it keep records of requests made to it by clients and of activities it has initiated on behalf of clients; if not, why not; if so, please provide a summary of all requests made to NMLS for services during the period 1 February 1993 to 30 March 1993.

Senator McMullan —I have been advised that the answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  (1) The NMLS provides media services to Ministers of the Crown in accordance with published guidelines and is responsible to the Minister for the Arts and Administrative Services.

  These services are provided at the request of Ministers and their staff as well as at the initiative of the NMLS.

  (2) The NMLS does not record such statistics.

  (3) NMLS staff records are maintained by DAS, as are those of other staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act. NMLS financial records are maintained in accord with relevant Commonwealth regulations. No records of client requests are kept as this is not essential to maintaining organisational effectiveness and staff resources are limited. Accordingly, the summary requested cannot be provided.