DPS is established as a department under the ParliamentaryService Act 1999 (PS Act). The Australian Parliamentary Service serves the Parliament by providing professional support, advice and facilities to each House of the Parliament, parliamentary committees and parliamentarians, independently of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth.
The department is responsible to both Houses of Parliament through the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon Tony Smith MP, and the President of the Senate, Senator the Hon Scott Ryan.
The Secretary is the administrative head of the department and accountable authority. The Parliamentary Librarian (who is a statutory office holder) reports directly to the Presiding Officers—and to the Joint Standing Committee on the Parliamentary Library—in respect of her statutory functions.