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The Clerk is the administrative head of the Department of the Senate and, in accordance with the Parliamentary Service Act 1999, is responsible, under the President of the Senate, for managing the department. The Clerk is also the principal adviser to the President and senators on proceedings in the Senate, parliamentary privilege, committee proceedings and their outcomes in the Senate. The Deputy Clerk supports the Clerk in these roles and, with the Clerk Assistant (Procedure), provides procedural and legislative advice and support to non-executive senators. The Deputy Clerk also has particular corporate governance roles, including as the department’s senior representative on the Audit Committee and as chair of the Program Managers’ Group.

Until January 2018 the Clerk also led the Senate Public Information Office (SPIO). SPIO has now been established as a separate office under the responsibility of the Clerk Assistant (Table), and its work is described at pages 35–37.

The cost of the office for 2017–18 was $1.1m ($1.1m in 2016–17).