Principles-Based Framework

Parliamentarian

The Parliamentary Business Resources framework (PBR framework) is the principles-based framework governing parliamentarians' work expenses.

The PBR framework is made up of the:

Under the PBR framework, parliamentarians must ensure that work expenses for parliamentary business are consistent with the obligations under the PBR Act: value for money, dominant purpose, conditions, good faith and personal responsibility and accountability


Obligations

The introduction of a principles-based approach, and the establishment of a legal framework to govern the use of public resources for parliamentary business are important reforms to parliamentarians' work and travel expenses, implemented on 1 January 2018. Parliamentarians must ensure that expenditure accessed for parliamentary business is consistent with the obligations outlined in the table below.

Obligation From 1 January 2018
Dominant Purpose

Parliamentarians must ensure that any expenses incurred are for the dominant purpose of conducting parliamentary business. Parliamentarians should consider whether they would have undertaken an activity which involved the incurring of an expense even if there was no parliamentary business related to the activity.

Value For Money

The expenses framework also requires that parliamentarians' use public resources for parliamentary business in a way that achieves value for money. Value for money means using public money efficiently, effectively and economically, consistent with the obligations on the proper use of public resources by Commonwealth officials under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

Good Faith

Parliamentarians need to act ethically and in good faith when using, or accounting for, public resources. For example, they must not seek to disguise their personal or commercial business as parliamentary business. Acting in good faith requires that parliamentarians act honestly and consider all of the reasons for claiming or using public resources in the circumstances.

Personal Responsibility
and
Accountability

A parliamentarian is personally responsible and accountable for their use of public resources and should consider how the public would perceive their use of these resources for travel in particular circumstances. Personal responsibility extends to the use of public resources in the parliamentarians' name by others who may be authorised to incur expenses within their office, or for family reunion purposes. A parliamentarian must be prepared to publicly justify their use of public resources and should consider how the public would perceive their use of public resources for travel in particular circumstances.

Conditions

A parliamentarian must not make a claim, or incur an expense, in relation to a public resource if they have not met ALL of the conditions for its provision. Conditions may include imposed limits and can be specific to individual work expenses. They are set out in the PBR Regulations and in Determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal and the Special Minister of State.

More Information

  • For travel related queries, contact IPEA on phone (02) 6215 3000 or email enquiries [at] ipea.gov.au.
  • Additional information on the principles-based framework can be found on the Legislative Framework page.
  • For advice on all non-travel related work expense matters, email Ministerial and Parliamentary Services at mpshelp [at] finance.gov.au or call (02) 6215 3333.