In 2017 the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcom Turnbull MP, announced a major overhaul to the Parliamentary Work Expenses Framework to provide greater accountability and transparency. As part of the reforms, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) was established, with responsibility to provide assurance that work expenses are spent in compliance with the Framework.
IPEA will deal with concerns or matters regarding possible misuse of work expenses at arm's length from Government, enabled by the Authority's responsibilities under the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 (IPEA Act) for auditing and reporting of parliamentarian's work expenses and Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 employee (MOP(S) Act staff member) travel expenditure.
When a concern regarding the use of a work resource is raised or identified, IPEA will conduct a preliminary review. The review will scrutinise the work expense use and determine if the concern is credible and substantial.
In the event of a credible and substantial matter of possible misuse, IPEA will decide whether, or not, to undertake an assurance review or audit of the matter.
Matters involving more serious possible misuse will be considered by the Members of the Authority.
Members of the Authority will decide whether a matter is referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Members of the Authority will decide whether, or not, to publish their decision(s) in relation to a concern or matter.