IPEA has a multi-layered approach to assurance that takes account of the high volume and types of parliamentary work expenses being accessed and the need for public accountability.
Parliamentarians have access to public funds for their work expenses to enable them to conduct a broad range of activities associated with their parliamentary and official duties. IPEA’s mandate, as expressed by the Prime Minister in early 2017, is to provide greater oversight and accountability of these expenses.
When certifying and processing claims for travel expenses, IPEA seeks to quickly reimburse parliamentarians, their staff and third-party providers without compromising assurance.
IPEA's Assurance Unit carry out a program of post-payment checks to monitor and provide a further layer of assurance that selected travel expenses and related costs have been accessed correctly.
IPEA has responsibility under the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority Act 2017 to audit parliamentarians’ work expenses and the travel expenses of their staff.
IPEA is designing an audit program that will build on ongoing assurance activities, such as the certification, monitoring and checking of individual expense claims.
IPEA will progressively introduce the rolling program of targeted and thematic audits once the new parliamentary work expenses framework (under the Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017) comes into effect.
Concerns about misuse
IPEA’s oversight will provide assurance to the public, parliamentarians and their staff that parliamentary work expenses are being used in accordance with the rules. IPEA does this at arm’s length from Government.
IPEA’s oversight role covers parliamentarians’ work expenses—including those administered by other agencies, such as the Department of Finance—and staff travel expenditure matters.
When IPEA has, or becomes aware of, a concern about a parliamentarian’s use of a work expenses or of their staff’s travel expenses, we deal with it consistent with IPEA’s protocol for Dealing with Misuse of Parliamentary Work Expenses.
IPEA’s protocol sets out the scope of IPEA’s authority and powers, and the processes IPEA follows in dealing with a concern depending on its seriousness.
IPEA will not generally respond to those who have raised concerns nor provide information on progress or any actions taken.