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 2 PROPOSED DEPARTMENT OF PARLIAMENTARY SERVICES

The Speaker, pursuant to notice, moved—That, in accordance with section 54 of the Parliamentary Service Act 1999,the House of Representatives resolves that:

(1) (a) the Joint House Department, Department of the Parliamentary Library and Department of the Parliamentary Reporting Staff are abolished with effect from 31 January 2004; and

 (b) a new joint service department, to be called the `Department of Parliamentary Services' be established from 1 February 2004 to fulfil all the functions of the former joint departments;

and supports the Presiding Officers in the following endeavours:

(c) to reinforce the independence of the Parliamentary Library by strengthening the current role of the Library committees of both Houses of Parliament;

(d) to bring forward amendments to the Parliamentary Service Act 1999to provide for a statutory position of Parliamentary Librarian within the new joint service department and conferring on the Parliamentary Librarian direct reporting responsibilities to the Presiding Officers and to the Library committees of both Houses of Parliament;

(e) to ensure that the resources and services to be provided to the Parliamentary Library in the new joint service department be specified in an annual agreement between the Departmental Secretary and the Parliamentary Librarian, approved by the Presiding Officers following consideration by the Library committees of both Houses of Parliament; and

(f) to consider, after the establishment of the joint service department, that department providing human resources and financial transaction-processing activities for all the Parliamentary departments, subject to such an arrangement being proven to be both cost-effective and efficient; and

(2) the text of this resolution be transmitted to the Senate for its information.

Debate ensued.

Mr Latham moved, as an amendment—That the following paragraph be inserted:

(1A) any savings achieved by the amalgamation may be used to offset increases in costs of security measures approved by the Presiding Officers for Parliament House, but if those increases in costs exceed those savings, the appropriations for the parliamentary departments are to be supplemented for the excess; and"

Debate continued.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and passed.

Question—That the motion, as amended, be agreed to—put and passed.