Background on Expenditure Reporting

From 1 July 2017, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) is responsible for publishing parliamentarians' expenditure reports. As part of the move to more regular reporting, IPEA commenced publishing quarterly expenditure reports from the period 1 January to 31 March 2017. Previous reporting occurred on a six monthly basis and these reports remain available on the Department of Finance website.

On this page you will find information about:


Certification of Expenditure

Parliamentarians and former Parliamentarians (including surviving spouses of former Prime Ministers and Life Gold Pass holders) are asked to certify that their expenditure was in accordance with the provisions legislated.

Commencing from the period January to June 2011, information regarding Parliamentarians and former Parliamentarians' certification of their expenditure has been published.

Process of Compilation

In accordance with current practice, IPEA prepares the draft reports capturing data from business systems used to process and administer work expenses for:

  • Parliamentarians
  • former Prime Ministers
  • other Life Gold Pass holders
  • post retirement travellers
  • surviving spouses or de-facto partners of former Prime Ministers
  • surviving spouses or de-facto partners of other Life Gold Pass holders.

Preliminary reports are provided to individuals to confirm their transactional information. If an amendment is advised, it is checked against the source data (such as invoices and records of payment). Following a reconciliation of the data, an amendment (if appropriate) is made and records are adjusted. If required, copies of amendments are provided to the individual.

Why Do Some Offices Have Higher Travel Expenditure? 

When comparing parliamentarians travel expenditure it is important to note the following:

  • Ministers are likely to have more staff and a greater requirement to travel (depending on the nature of their portfolio). This may have an impact on the volume and cost of travel for their office.
  • The location and size of a parliamentarians electorate may also have an impact on the overall cost of travel for an office. For example, flights between Perth or Darwin and Canberra are often more expensive than flights between Sydney or Melbourne and Canberra and this will have an impact on the total travel expenditure for that office. This is also the case for electorates in more remote locations as the cost of travel to Canberra may include multiple flights and/or ground transport costs.

Expansion of Reporting 

On 27 September 2001, the then Prime Minister announced that expenditure by former Governors-General, former Prime Ministers, other Life Gold Pass holders, severance travel beneficiaries and surviving spouses or de facto partners of certain eligible former Parliamentarians arising from benefits granted to them in recognition of public service, would be publicly disclosed.

The statement further indicated that this disclosure would be done on a six-monthly basis in conjunction with the Parliamentarians' expenditure. The document would contain the same level of detail, in the relevant category, as for Parliamentarians.

From the July to December 2009 reporting period, the reports were enhanced for Senators, Members and certain former Parliamentarians to include the following:

  • office administrative costs, including:
    • office consumables and services
    • printing and communications
    • publications
  • office facilities costs
  • travel allowances and travel expenses for both domestic and overseas travel, including family travel costs.

The 2016 An Independent Parliamentary Entitlements System Review identified a recommendation to improve transparency relating to office costs (Recommendation 28). From the January to June 2016 reporting period, expenditure on the establishment, relocation and refurbishment of offices is reported separately as Commonwealth expenditure administered by Finance. These costs are no longer reported against individual parliamentarians.

More Information?

  • Media enquiries may be directed to mediaenquiries [at] ipea.gov.au (mediaenquiries)mediaenquiries [at] ipea.gov.au (@ipea.gov.au).
  • Parliamentarians and their staff may obtain advice on expenditure reporting by calling 6215 3000 or by emailing enquiries [at] ipea.gov.au
  • Further information on the work expenses framework can be found on the Legislative Framework page.