Current & former politicians approved expense claims

Cameron Finlay made this Freedom of Information request to Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

The request was partially successful.

From: Cameron Finlay

Delivered

Dear Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet,

Much has been made about MP benefits, payouts, entitlements and pensions with this most recent leadership spill. For the general public (me), it all seems overly complicated with what was earnt, claimed, legal, paid out in the event of a change of position/retirement from parliament, double dipped pension whilst still receiving a wage etc.

Surely there's a spreadsheet/document which states these figures clearly as to who was paid & how much, lest it descend into a free for all of taxpayer funded spending by our elected officials? I'm just trying to gauge the overall budget hit to our country.

Could you please make available any documentation (as in where the totals have been fully calculated, probably previous years figures, just in case 2017-18 hasn't been finalized yet) as to how much public money was claimed by current and former politicians under the banner of "entitled expenses"? Multiple years of figures will suffice, say 3-5 years to get a sample size of what we as tax paying individuals are funding above and beyond our politicians annual 6 figure salaries. Again, MP pensions, admin, staff costs, travel, junkets, babysitters, LAH allowance for interstate meetings/sitting days (Canberra) etc.

Yours faithfully,
Cam Finlay.

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From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Finlay

 

Thank you for your correspondence below dated 31 August 2018 to the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department).

 

Based on the Department's preliminary assessment of your email, it appears
you may be seeking a range of information/documentation detailing how much
public money has been claimed by current and former Parliamentarians under
the banner of "entitled expenses" across an approximate time period of 3 -
5 years.

 

However, unfortunately it is not clear from your email, with sufficient
certainty, the document/s you seek to access from the Department pursuant
to section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Thus, in
its current form, the Department does not consider your email to
constitute a valid FOI request.

 

Nonetheless, it may assist you to know that a large quantity of this type
of information is available publically at the following sources:

 

·       The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) publishes
quarterly reports comprising aggregate information on travel costs, office
facilities, office administrative costs, telecommunications, family travel
and employee costs. These reports are accessible online here:
[1]https://www.ipea.gov.au/pwe

 

·       Prior to January 2017, Finance was responsible for collating and
publishing such reports (on a six-monthly basis). These reports are
accessible here:
[2]https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/...

 

·       Information regarding ministerial salaries is available online
here: [3]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Rem... and is
determined by the Remuneration Tribunal under section 14(2) of the
Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017.

 

·       Further remuneration information (including superannuation and
other allowances) is accessible here:
[4]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Rem...

 

·       In addition to the above information, information regarding an
annual budget for office expenses is accessible here:
[5]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Ann...

 

As foreshadowed above, for a request to be valid under the FOI Act a
number of requirements must be met.  In particular, we draw your attention
to subsection 15(2) of the FOI Act, which provides, among other things,
that for a request to be valid:

·       it must be in writing; and

·       state that the request is an application for the purposes of the
FOI Act; and

·       provide such information concerning the document/s as is
reasonably necessary to enable an officer of the Department to identify
it.

 

Accordingly, we would require more information / details from you
concerning the specific document/s you are seeking to access in order to
identify any potentially relevant documents that the Department may hold
(if in fact the Department does hold any such documents). 

 

Alternatively, given the nature of the information you are interested in
acquiring further detail about, you may wish to consider making a valid
FOI request to the Department of Finance ([6][email address]), as the
objectives of your email appear more closely connected with the functions
of that department than PM&C.

 

If we do not hear further from you by COB next Friday, 14 September 2018
we will consider this matter to be closed.

 

Regards

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. [7][DPMC request email] |

[8]www.dpmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

 

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Link to this

From: FOI
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

UNCLASSIFIED

Dear Mr Finlay

 

Thank you for your correspondence below dated 31 August 2018 to the
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (the Department).

 

Based on the Department's preliminary assessment of your email, it appears
you may be seeking a range of information/documentation detailing how much
public money has been claimed by current and former Parliamentarians under
the banner of "entitled expenses" across an approximate time period of 3 -
5 years.

 

However, unfortunately it is not clear from your email, with sufficient
certainty, the document/s you seek to access from the Department pursuant
to section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act). Thus, in
its current form, the Department does not consider your email to
constitute a valid FOI request.

 

Nonetheless, it may assist you to know that a large quantity of this type
of information is available publically at the following sources:

 

·       The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) publishes
quarterly reports comprising aggregate information on travel costs, office
facilities, office administrative costs, telecommunications, family travel
and employee costs. These reports are accessible online here:
[1]https://www.ipea.gov.au/pwe

 

·       Prior to January 2017, Finance was responsible for collating and
publishing such reports (on a six-monthly basis). These reports are
accessible here:
[2]https://www.finance.gov.au/publications/...

 

·       Information regarding ministerial salaries is available online
here: [3]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Rem... and is
determined by the Remuneration Tribunal under section 14(2) of the
Parliamentary Business Resources Act 2017.

 

·       Further remuneration information (including superannuation and
other allowances) is accessible here:
[4]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Rem...

 

·       In addition to the above information, information regarding an
annual budget for office expenses is accessible here:
[5]https://maps.finance.gov.au/Guidance/Ann...

 

As foreshadowed above, for a request to be valid under the FOI Act a
number of requirements must be met.  In particular, we draw your attention
to subsection 15(2) of the FOI Act, which provides, among other things,
that for a request to be valid:

·       it must be in writing; and

·       state that the request is an application for the purposes of the
FOI Act; and

·       provide such information concerning the document/s as is
reasonably necessary to enable an officer of the Department to identify
it.

 

Accordingly, we would require more information / details from you
concerning the specific document/s you are seeking to access in order to
identify any potentially relevant documents that the Department may hold
(if in fact the Department does hold any such documents). 

 

Alternatively, given the nature of the information you are interested in
acquiring further detail about, you may wish to consider making a valid
FOI request to the Department of Finance ([6][email address]), as the
objectives of your email appear more closely connected with the functions
of that department than PM&C.

 

If we do not hear further from you by COB next Friday, 14 September 2018
we will consider this matter to be closed.

 

Regards

 

FOI Adviser

FOI and Privacy | Legal Policy Branch

Government Division

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

p. +61 2 6271 5849

e. [7][DPMC request email] |

[8]www.dpmc.gov.au

PO Box 6500 CANBERRA ACT 2600

 

 

show quoted sections

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