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Organisational overview of IPEA

This section provides an overview of IPEA.

Our purpose

IPEA’s purpose is to provide:

  1. advice and administration for current and former parliamentarians and their staff on travel and travel related work expenses to support them in the exercise of their parliamentary functions and their respective roles
  2. independent oversight of the work expenses accessed by current and former parliamentarians and their staff through our auditing and reporting functions.

Outcomes and programs

As at 30 June 2020, IPEA has one outcome outlined in the 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements.

Outcome 1—Support for current and former parliamentarians and others as required by the Australian Government through the delivery of, independent oversight and advice on, work resources and travel resources.

Program 1.1—Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority—Travel Oversight and Reporting. IPEA provides services to parliamentarians and their staff and publicly reports on their expenditure.

Our role and functions

IPEA is committed to delivering on our objectives by creating a culture of accountability and transparency in the provision and use of parliamentary work expenses.

Our approach is to tailor interventions—education, advice, reporting, compliance and enforcement—as appropriate. IPEA does this by:

  • providing advice to parliamentarians and their staff employed under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 (MOP(S) Act) on travel expenses and allowances
  • monitoring parliamentarians and MOP(S) Act employees regarding travel expenses, allowances, and related expenses
  • administering travel expenses, allowances, and related expenses, including processing of these claims
  • educating parliamentarians and their staff and raising awareness of the Parliamentary Business Resources framework
  • publically reporting on work expenses under the Parliamentary Business Resources framework
  • auditing work and travel expense claims.

Through these interventions, we aim to:

  • advise, educate and raise awareness about the Parliamentary Business Resources framework and the principles to consider when making decisions about the use of taxpayer money
  • assure the Australian public about the efficient, effective, economical and ethical use of taxpayer money.

Our organisational structure

For 2019–20, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is IPEA’s accountable authority under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and is responsible for its performance and compliance with regulatory requirements. The responsible Minister is the Minister for Finance.

IPEA is comprised of three branches, each with a Branch Manager and overseen by the Chief Executive Officer. These branches and their functions are:

Travel, Education and Advice Branch:

  • advising and supporting parliamentarians and their staff on travel related matters
  • processing travel allowance claims for parliamentarians and their staff
  • administering overseas travel for parliamentarians and their staff
  • paying travel suppliers and reimbursing travel related expenses
  • developing and implementing education programs and products.

Transparency, Assurance and Legal Branch:

  • auditing and assuring work-related expenses for parliamentarians and travel expenses of their staff
  • developing and releasing a variety of regular reports, including expenditure reports
  • providing legal advice
  • responding to Freedom of Information requests and privacy matters.

Corporate, Governance and Strategy Branch:

  • supporting the Members of the Authority and IPEA’s Audit and Risk Committee
  • managing records
  • providing human resource and workforce planning services
  • advising and supporting governance arrangements
  • providing communications and media services including the IPEA website and media support
  • delivering financial management and procurement services
  • providing ICT services and support including Parliamentary Expenses Management System (PEMS).