On 1 July 2017, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) was established as a Commonwealth statutory authority.
IPEA's core objectives are to audit and report on parliamentarians' work expenses. It will provide advice to parliamentarians and their staff on travel and work related expenses to support them in undertaking their duties, requiring that taxpayer funds be spent appropriately and in compliance with the relevant principles and regulations.
Members of the Authority
IPEA is guided by independent Members of the Authority. Each Member has a range of relevant skills and experience and they are responsible for the statutory functions of IPEA.
Ms Jillian Segal AM has been appointed Chair of this Authority. Joining Ms Segal as Members of the Authority are Mr John Conde AO – the President of the Remuneration Tribunal, the Hon. Gary Gray AO, Dr Julianne Jaques and the Hon. Jeffrey Spender QC.
IPEA has been established under the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 as an independent statutory authority with advisory, reporting and auditing responsibilities for the work expenses of parliamentarians and their staff.
The Parliamentary Business Resources Act
The Parliamentary Business Resources (PBR) Act 2017 (PBR Act) establishes the new parliamentary work expenses framework. It is a principles-based framework to cover parliamentarians' work expenses, requiring that the dominant purpose be parliamentary business for any expense claimed and an overriding principle of value-for-money for the Commonwealth.
The PBR Act was passed by the Parliament in May 2017 and work has been undertaken to prepare new regulations to put this Act into force. The regulations will be released soon.
Accordingly, IPEA's travel administration functions will continue to operate under the existing Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990 and associated legislative instruments. Information relating to the status of the PBR Act can be found at the Parliament of Australia website.
What will IPEA be doing?
- Provide Advice - to parliamentarians on travel expenses, allowances, and related expenses
- Monitor - parliamentarians' use of travel expenses, allowances, and related expenses
- Administer and Process - travel expenses, allowances, and related expenses, including processing of these claims
- Report - on work expenses under the existing parliamentary work expenses framework
- Audit - work expenses claims under the existing parliamentary work expenses framework, and
- Make Rules - about travel expenses and allowances, where authorised by law to do so.