Parliamentary services

The Department provides high-quality parliamentary services to support the Minister and the Secretary in fulfilling their accountability requirements to Parliament. These services include processing, monitoring and quality-assuring ministerial correspondence and briefings, coordinating question time briefs, and providing support to the Executive and the Minister’s office for Senate Estimates hearings.

Parliamentary staff in the Department also maintain the Parliamentary Document Management System, which electronically stores all parliamentary and ministerial documentation.

Emma Hill, Department Liaison Officer, in the grounds of Parliament House
Emma Hill, Department Liaison Officer, in the grounds of Parliament House
Figure 12. Parliamentary workflow—documents processed for 2016–17
Figure 12. Parliamentary workflow—documents processed for 2016–17

Parliamentary documents processed by the Department:

  • Ministerial correspondence (received)—2,348
  • Briefings—738
  • Question time briefs—141
  • Answers to parliamentary questions on notice (tabled)—38
  • Senate Estimates questions on notice (tabled)—418
  • Senate Estimates briefings—172

In 2016‒17, parliamentary staff in the Department remained involved in the ongoing review of business practices in order to streamline reporting and better monitor workflows. The Department was also active in cross-agency Parliamentary Workflow Solution Committee meetings and brought forward ideas to enhance the Parliamentary Document Management System and so deliver business benefits.

In 2017–18, the Department will continue to do the following:

  • deliver high-quality, solution-focused parliamentary support to the Minister and the Secretary
  • collaborate with other departments to develop strategic approaches to identifying opportunities for improving parliamentary workflows and productivity across government
  • anticipate business needs and remain innovative to ensure that parliamentary services are efficient and responsive and align with modern technology
  • maintain the capability of staff using the Parliamentary Document Management System to monitor and manage the workflow of parliamentary documents in order to achieve good record keeping and be accountable.